Days of Heaven Upon Earth

A Year Book of Scripture Texts And Living Truths

By A. B. Simpson

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Day 1

"After that ye have suffered awhile" (I. Peter v. 10).

Beloved, are we learning love in the school of suffering? Are our hearts being mellowed and deepened by the summer heat of trial until the fruit of the Spirit, "which is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance, faith, is ripening for the harvest of His coming, and our sufferings are easily borne for His sake"? Oh, this is the school of love, and makes Him unutterably more dear to our hearts and us to His. And thus only can we ever learn with Him the heavenly charity which "suffers long, and is kind."

We see the very first and the very last feature of the face of love, as delineated in St. Paul's portrait (I. Cor. xiii.), are marks of pain and patient suffering, "suffers long," "endureth all things." So let us learn thus in the school of love to suffer and be kind, to endure all things.

Surely it will not be hard to love through all when it is the heart of Jesus within us which will love and continue to love to the very end.

I want the love that suffers and is kind,
That envies not nor vaunts its pride or fame,
Is not puffed up, does no discourteous act,
Is not provoked, nor seeks its own to claim.

Day 2

"And hath raised us up together" (Eph. ii. 6).

Ascension is more than resurrection. Much is said of it in the New Testament. Christ riseth above all things. We see Him in the very act of ascending as we do not in the actual resurrection, as, with hands and lips engaged in blessing, He gently parts from their side, so simply, so unostentatiously, with so little imposing ceremony as to make heaven so near to our common life that we can just whisper through. And we, too, must ascend, even here. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above." We must learn to live on the heaven side and look at things from above. How it overcomes sin, defies Satan, dissolves perplexities, lifts us above trials, separates us from the world and conquers the fear of death to contemplate all things as God sees them, as Christ beholds them, as we shall one day look back upon them from His glory, and as if we were now really "Seated with Him," as indeed we are, "in the heavenly places." Let us arise with His resurrection and in fellowship with His glorious ascension learn henceforth to live above.


Day 3

"Look from the top" (Song of Solomon iv. 8).

Yes, our perplexities would become plain if we kept on a spiritual elevation. How often when the traveler quite loses his way he can soon find it again from some tree top or some hill top where all the winding paths he has gone spread behind him, and the whole homeward road opens before. So, from the heights of prayer and faith, we too can see the plain path, and know that we are going home.

There is no other way in which we can gain the victory over the world. We must get above it. We must see it from the side of our great reward. Then it looks like earthly objects after we have gazed upon the sun for a while. We are blind to them. When the Italian fruit-seller finds that he is heir to a ducal palace you cannot tempt him any more with the paltry profits of his trade or the company of his old associates. He is above it all. They who know the hope of their calling and the riches of the glory of their inheritance can well despise the world. It is the poor starving ones who go hungering for the husks of earth. We are born from above and have a longing to go home. Let us go forth to-day with our hearts on the homestretch.


Day 4

"Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not" (I. John iii. 6).

In sanctification what becomes of the old nature? Many people are somewhat unduly concerned to know if it can be killed outright, and seem to desire a sort of certificate of its death and burial. It is enough to know that it is without and Christ is within. It may show itself again, and even knock at the door and plead for admittance, but it is forever outside while we abide in Him. Should we step out of Him and into sin we might find the old corpse in the ghastly cemetery, and its foul aroma might yet revive and embrace us once more. But he that abideth in Him sinneth not and cannot sin while he so abides.

Therefore let us abide and let us not be anxious to escape the hold of eternal vigilance and ceaseless abiding. Our paths are made and the strength to pursue them; let us walk in them. God has provided for us a full sanctification. Is it strange that He should demand it of us, and require us to be holy, even as He is holy, seeing He has given us His own holiness. So let us put on our beautiful garments and prepare to walk in white with Him.


Day 5

"A garden enclosed" (Song of Solomon iv. 12).

The figure here is a garden enclosed, not a wilderness. The garden soil is a cultivated soil, very different from the roadside or the wilderness. The idea of a garden is culture. The ground has to be prepared, to be broken up by ploughing, to be mellowed by harrowing, all the stones removed, the roots of all natural growth dug up, for the good things we are seeking are not natural growths and will not grow in our soil. We all start on the old basis and try to improve the old nature, but that is not God's way. His way is to get self out of the way entirely, and let Him create anew out of nothing, so that all shall be of Him; and we must find Jesus the Alpha and Omega.

The thing you want to learn here is to die. There can be no real life till self dies, and don't try to die yourself, but ask God to slay you, and He will make a thorough work of it.

This the secret nature hideth,
Summer dies and lives again,
Spring from winter's grave ariseth,
Harvest grows from buried grain.


Day 6

"I am my beloved's" (Song of Solomon vii. 10).

If you want power you must compress. It is the shutting in of the steam that moves the engine. The amount of powder on a flat surface that sends a ball to its destination when shut up in a gun only makes a flash. If you want to carry the electric current you must be insulated. Stand a man on a glass platform and turn a battery on him and he will be filled with electricity. Let him step off the glass, and the moment he touches earth he loses power.

We must be inclosed by His everlasting Covenant. That holds us and keeps us from falling. He will be a wall of fire round about us. He comes Himself and envelops us round about with the old Shekinah glory, and will be the glory in the midst. He wants us inclosed--by a distinct act of consecration dedicated wholly to Him. Are you inclosed by His fences, His commandments, His promises, His covenant? Is your heart really and only for the Lord?

If not, come to Him now and let Him separate you from all the things that take your life, and let Him separate you unto Himself, the Life Giver.


Day 7

"And the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle" (Ex. xl. 35).

In the last chapter of Exodus we read all the Lord commanded Moses to do, and that as he fulfilled these commands the glory of the Lord descended and filled the tabernacle till there was no room for Moses, and from that time the pillar of cloud overshadowed them, their guide, their protection. And so we have been building as the Lord Himself commanded, and now the temple is to be handed over to Him to be possessed and filled. He will so fill you, if you will let Him that yourself and everything else will be taken out of the way, the glory of the Lord will fill the temple, encompassing, lifting up, guiding, keeping; and from this time your moon shall not withdraw its light, nor your sun go down.

Do you want power? You have God for it. Do you want holiness? You have God for it; and so of everything. And God is bending down from His throne to-day to lift you up to your true place in Him. From this time may the cloud of His glory so surround and fill us that we shall be lost sight of forever.


Day 8

"Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh" (Gal. iii. 3).

Grace literally means that which we do not have to earn. It has two great senses always; it comes for nothing and it comes when we are helpless; it doesn't merely help the man that helps himself--that is not the Gospel; the Gospel is that God helps the man who can't help himself. And then there is another thing; God helps the man to help himself, for everything the man does comes from God. Grace is given to the man who is so weak and helpless he cannot take the first step. That is the meaning of grace--a little of the meaning of it; we can never know the fulness it has. Now, this river is as free as it is full, but you know some people have an idea when they get a little farther on they have got to pay an admission, and reserved seats are very high, and they shrink back from the higher blessings of the Gospel; ordinary Christians scarcely dare to claim them. If I understand the meaning of this, God has not put the higher blessings apart for a separate class who somehow are nearer to Him. God is no respecter of persons.


Day 9

"Cast thy burden on the Lord" (Ps. lv. 22).

Dear friends, sometimes we bring a burden to God, and we have such a groaning over it, and we seem to think God has a dreadful time, too, but in reality it does not burden Him at all. God says: It is a light thing for Me to do this for you. Your load, though heavy for you, is not heavy for Him. Christ carries the whole on one shoulder, not two shoulders. The government of the world is upon His shoulder. He is not struggling and groaning with it. His mighty arm is able to carry all your burdens. There is power in Christ for our sanctification. He is able to sanctify you. Yes, yes, the Lord can sanctify, the Lord can heal, the Lord can do anything. You must have faith in God. If you come to this river this morning, it will take you as your Niagara would take a little boat, and just bear you down--to a precipice? Oh, no, but to the bosom of love and blessing forever.

Oft there comes a wondrous message,
When my hopes are growing dim,
I can hear it thro' the darkness
Like some sweet and far-off hymn.
Nothing is too hard for Jesus,
No man can work like Him.


Day 10

"That we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (I. Cor. ii. 12).

The highest blessings of the Gospel are just as free as the lowest; and when you have served Him ten years you cannot sit down and say, "I have got an experience now and I count on that." How often we do that; we say, "Now I know I am saved, I feel it." And so we are building a different foundation--we are building on something in ourselves. Always take grace as something you don't deserve, something that is freely bestowed. The long, deep, boundless river is free; it is as free at the mouth as it is at the little stream, and free all the way along, and anybody can come and drink, and anybody can come and bathe in its boundless waters. Are you going to believe it?

God has given us His Holy Spirit that we may "know the things that are freely given of us of God." It is a hard thing for the poor child to look in through the window and see a fire, and the happy family sitting around the table when it is starving. What is the good of knowing that there is warmth, and love, and light, if it is not free? God has freely given all the goodness of His grace and love.


Day 11

"For it is God which worketh in you" (Phil. ii. 13).

A day with Jesus. Let us seek its plan and direction from Him. Let us take His highest thought and will for us in it. Let us look to Him for our desires, ideals, expectations in it. Then shall it bring to us exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think. Let Him be our Guide and Way. Let us not so much be thinking even of His plan and way as of Him as the Personal Guide of every moment, on whom we constantly depend to lead our every step.

Let Him also be the sufficiency and strength of all the day. Let us never forget the secret: "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." Let us have Jesus Christ Himself in us to do the works, and let us every moment fall back on Him, both to will and do in us of His good pleasure. Let our holiness be "the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus." Let our health be the "life of Jesus manifest in our mortal flesh." Let our faith be "the faith of the Son of God who loved us." Let our peace and joy be His peace and joy. And let our service be not our works, but the grace of Christ within us.


Day 12

"When ye pray, believe that ye receive" (Mark xi. 24).

Consecration is entered by an act of faith. You are to take the gift from God, believe you have, and confess that you have it. Step out on it firmly, and let the devil know you have it as well as the Lord. When once you say to Him boldly, "I am Thine," He answers back from the heavenly heights, "Thou art Mine," and the echoes go ringing down through all your life, "Mine! Thine!" If you dare confess Christ as your Saviour and Sanctifier He has bound Himself to make it a reality, but you must stand behind His mighty Word. It is the essence of testimony to tell of what Jesus has promised to become to you. It is right to have glorious words of thanksgiving, but these are not exactly testimony. God would have us put our seal on the promises, and lift up our hands and acknowledge them as ours.

Then you are to ignore the old life and reckon it no longer yours if it should come up again. Every time it appears say, "This is from the under world. I am sitting in the heavenly places with Christ."


Day 13

"Even Christ pleased not Himself" (Rom. xv. 3).

Let this be a day of self-forgetting ministry for Christ and others. Let us not once think of being ministered unto, but say ever with Him: "I am among you as He that doth serve." Let us not drag our burdens through the day, but drop all our loads of care and be free to carry His yoke and His burden. Let us make the happy exchange, giving ours and taking His. Let the covenant be: "Thou shalt abide for Me, I also for thee." So shall we lose our heaviest load--ourselves--and so shall we find our highest joy, divine love, the more blessed "to give" than "to receive." Let us do good to all men as we have opportunity. Let us lose no opportunity of blessing, and let us study ingenious ways of service and usefulness. Especially let us seek to win souls.

The Days of Heaven are busy days,
They serve continually,
So spent for Thee and Thine, our days,
As the Days of Heaven would be.
The Days of Heaven are loving days,
As one they all agree,
So linked in loving unity
May our days as Heaven be.


Day 14

"Men ought always to pray" (Luke xviii. 1).

Let this be a day of prayer. Let us see that our highest ministry and power is to deal with God for men. Let us be obedient to all the Holy Spirit's voices of prayer in us. Let us count every pressure a call to prayer. Let us cherish the spirit of unceasing prayer and abiding communion. Let us learn the meaning of the ministry of prayer. Let us reach persons this day we cannot reach in person; let us expect results that we have never dared to claim before; let us count every difficulty only a greater occasion for prayer, and let us call on God, who will show us many great and mighty things which we know not.

And let it be a day of joy and praise. Let us live in the promises of God and the outlook of His deliverance and blessing. Let us never dwell on the trial but always on the victory just before. Let us not dwell in the tomb, but in the garden of Joseph and the light of the resurrection. Let us keep our faces toward the sun rising. Arise, shine. Rejoice evermore. In everything give thanks. Praise ye the Lord.

Lord, give us Thy joy in our hearts which shall lift us to lift others, and fill us so we may overflow to others.


Day 15

"I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine" (Song of Solomon vi. 3).

If I am the Lord's then the Lord is mine. If Christ owns me I own Him. And so faith must reach out and claim its full inheritance and begin to use its great resources. Moment by moment we may now take Him as our grace and strength, our faith and love, our victory and joy, our all in all. And as we thus claim Him we will find His grace sufficient for us, and begin to learn that giving all is just receiving all. Yes, consecration is getting Him fully instead of our own miserable life. There are, indeed, two sides of it. There are two persons in the consecration. One of them is the dear Lord Himself. "And for their sakes," He says, "I consecrate Myself that they also might be consecrated through the truth." The moment we consecrate ourselves to Him He consecrates Himself to us, and henceforth, the whole strength of His life and love and everlasting power is dedicated to keep and complete our consecration, and to make the very best and most of our consecrated life. Who would not give himself to such a Saviour? Surely we will to-day, first give ourselves and then give Him each moment as it comes, to be filled and used.


Day 16

"As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God" (Ps. xlii. 1).

First in order to a consecrated life there must be a sense of need, the need of purity, of power, and of a greater nearness to the Lord. There often comes in Christian life a second conviction. It is not now a sense of guilt and God's wrath so much as of the power and evil of inward sin, and the unsatisfactoriness of the life the soul is living. It usually comes from the deeper revelation of God's truth, from more spiritual teaching, from definite examples and testimonies of this life in others, and often from an experience of deep trial, conflict and temptation in which the soul has found its attainments and resources inadequate for the real issues and needs of life. The first result is often a deep discouragement and even despair, but the valley of Achor is the door of hope, and the seventh chapter of Romans with its bitter cry, "O wretched man that I am," is the gateway to the eighth with its shout of triumph, "The Spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death."


Day 17

"By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb. x. 14).

Are you missing what belongs to you? He has promised to sanctify you. He has promised sanctification for you by coming to you Himself and being made of God to you sanctification. Jesus is my sanctification. Having Him I have obedience, rest, patience and everything I need. He is alive forevermore. If you have Him nothing can be against you. Your temptations will not be against you; your bad temper will not be against you; your hard life, your circumstances, even the devil himself will not be against you. Every time he comes to attack you, he will only root you deeper in Christ. You will become a coward at the thought of being alone; you will be thrown on Jesus every time a trouble assails you. All things henceforth will work together for good to your own soul. Since God is for you nothing can be against you.

My heavenly Bridegroom sought me and called me one glad day, "Arise, my love, my fair one, arise and come away,"

I listened to His pleading, I gave Him all my heart,
And we are one forever and nevermore shall part.


Day 18

"Ye are complete in Him" (Col. ii. 10).

In Him we are now complete. The perfect pattern of the life of holy service for which He has redeemed and called us, is now in Him in heaven, even as the architect's model is planned and prepared and completed in his office. But now it must be wrought into us and transferred to our earthly life, and this is the Holy Spirit's work. He takes the gifts and graces of Christ and brings them into our life, as we need and receive them day by day, just as the sections of the vessel are reproduced in the distant Continent, and thus we receive of His fulness, even grace for grace, His grace for our grace, His supply for our need, His strength for our strength, His body for our body, His Spirit for our spirit, and He just "made unto us of God wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption."

But it is much more than mere abstract help and grace, much more even than the Holy Spirit bringing us strength, and peace, and purity. It is personal companionship with Jesus Himself!

Lord, help us receive from Thee to-day, that grace in all trial that shall mean our perfecting in Thee.


Day 19

"Nevertheless, David took the castle of Zion" (I. Chron. xi. 5).

Many of you have so much fighting to do because you do not have one sharp, decisive battle to begin with. It is far easier to have one great battle than to keep on skirmishing all your life. I know men who spend forty years fighting what they call their besetting sin, and on which they waste strength enough to evangelize the world.

Dear friends, does it pay to throw away your lives? Have one battle, one victory and then praise God. So they had rest from their enemies round about. There is labor to enter in. The height is steep. The way of the cross is not an easy way. It is hard to enter in, but having entered in there is perfect rest. May God help us and give us His perfect rest.

O come and leave thy sinful self forever
Beneath the fountain of the Saviour's blood;
O come, and take Him as thy Sanctifier,
Come thou with us and we will do thee good.
Come to the land where all the foes are vanquished,
And sorrow, sin, disease and death subdued;
O weary soul! by Satan bruised and baffled,
Come thou with us and we will do thee good.


Day 20

"Forget also thine own" (Ps. xlv. 10).

We, too, like the ancient Levites, must be "consecrated every one upon our son and upon our brother," and "forget our kindred and our father's house" in every sense in which they could hinder our full liberty and service for the Lord. We, too, must let our business go if it stands between us and the Lord, and in any case let it henceforth be His business and His alone, pursued for Him, controlled by Him, and its profits wholly dedicated to Him, and used as He shall direct. And, like James and John, you must be willing to give up "the hired servants" too. It will make a great difference in your way of living. It will be a change to give up your ease and luxury, your being waited upon and indulged in every wish, and have to do your own work, to give up the attentions of others, to put with privations, and inconveniences, and humiliations, but it will be easy to do it with Him. He never owned a foot of land. He never rode in a carriage. He never had a hired servant. He lay down at last in a borrowed grave. But He is rich enough now, and so will you be some day if you can only be willing to suffer and to wait.


Day 21

"Look from the place where thou art" (Gen. xiii. 14).

Let us now see the blessedness of faith. Our own littleness and nothingness sometimes becomes bondage. We are so small in our own eyes we dare not claim God's mighty promises. We say: "If I could be sure I was in God's way I could trust." This is all wrong. Self-consciousness is a great barrier to faith. Get your eyes on Him and Him alone; not on your faith, but on the Author of your faith; not a half look, but a steadfast, prolonged look, with a true heart and fixedness of purpose, that knows no faltering, no parleying with the enemy without a shadow of fear. When you get afraid you are almost sure to fail.

Travelers who have crossed the Alps know how dangerous those mountain passes are, how narrow the foothold, how deep the rocky ravines and how necessary to safety it is that you should look up continually; one downward glance into the dizzy depths would be fatal; and so if we would surmount the heights of faith we must look up--look up. Get your eyes off yourself, off surrounding circumstances, off means, off gifts, to the Great Giver.


Day 22

"He that ministereth let us wait on our ministering" (Rom. xii. 7).

Beloved, are you ministering to Christ? Are you doing it with your hands? Are you doing it with your substance and with what you have? Is He getting the best of what is most real to you? Has He a place at your table? And when He does not come to fill the chair, is it free to His representative, His poor and humble children? Your words and wishes are cheap if they do not find expression in your actual gifts. Even Mary did not put Him off with the incense of her heart, but laid her costliest gifts at His feet.

Ye busy women, who work so hard to dress your children and furnish your houses and tables, what have your hands earned for the Master, what have you done or sacrificed for Jesus? "Can you afford it?" was asked of a noble woman, as she promised a costly offering for the Master's work. "No," was her noble reply, "but I can sacrifice it." Let us to-day look around us and see, what we do and give more to the loving Saviour, who gave up His whole life for us.


Day 23

"Bring them hither to Me" (Matt. xiv. 18).

Why have ye not received all the fulness of the Holy Spirit? And how may we be anointed with "the rest of the oil?" The greatest need is to make room when God makes it. Look around you at your situation. Are you not encompassed with needs at this very moment, and almost overwhelmed with difficulties, trials and emergencies? These are all divinely provided vessels for the Holy Spirit to fill, and if you would but rightly understand their meaning, they would become opportunities for receiving new blessings and deliverances which you can get in no other way.

Bring these vessels to God. Hold them steadily before Him in faith and prayer. Keep still, and stop your own restless working until He begins to work. Do nothing that He does not Himself command you to do. Give Him a chance to work, and He will surely do so, and the very trials that threatened to overcome you with discouragement and disaster, will become God's opportunity for the revelation of His grace and glory in your life, as you have never known Him before. "Bring them (all needs) to Me."


Day 24

"The righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us" (Rom. vii. 4).

In our earlier experiences we know the Holy Ghost only at a distance, in things that happen in a providential direction, or in the Word alone, but after awhile we receive Him as an inward Guest, and He dwells in our very midst, and He speaks to us in the innermost chambers of our being. But then the external working of His power does not cease, but it only increases, and seems the more glorious. The Power that dwells within us works without us, answering prayer, healing sickness, overruling providences, "Doing exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the Power that worketh in us."

There is a double presence of the Lord for the consecrated believer. He is present in the heart, and is mightily present in the events of life. He is the Christ in us, the Christ of all the days, with all power in heaven and earth.

And so the Holy Ghost is our wonder-worker, our all sufficient God and Guardian, and He is waiting in these days to work as mightily in the affairs of men as in the days of Moses, of Daniel and of Paul.


Day 25

"He that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God" (Rom. xiv. 18).

God can only use us while we are right. Satan cared far less for Peter's denial of his Master than for the use he made of it afterwards to destroy his faith. So Jesus said to him: "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." It was Peter's faith he attacked, and so it is our faith that Satan contests. "The trial of our faith is much more precious than gold that perisheth."

Whatever else we let go let us hold steadfastly to our trust. "Cast not away, therefore, your confidence," and "hold fast the rejoicing of our hope firm unto the end." And if you would hold your trust, hold your sweetness, your rightness of spirit, your obedience to Christ, your victory in every way.

Whatever comes, regard it as of less consequence, than that you should triumph and stand fast, and accepting every circumstance as God is pleased to let occur, wave the banner of your victory in the face of every foe, and go on, shouting in His name, "Thanks be unto God that always causeth us to triumph in Christ Jesus."


Day 26

"Now mine eye seeth Thee" (Job xlii. 5).

We must recognize the true character of our self-life and its real virulence and vileness. We must consent to its destruction, and we must take it ourselves, as Abraham did Isaac, and lay it at the feet of God in willing sacrifice.

This is a hard work for the natural heart, but the moment the will is yielded and the choice is made, that death is past, the agony is over, and we are astonished to find that the death is accomplished.

Usually the crisis of life in such cases hangs upon a single point. God does not need to strike us in a hundred places to inflict a death wound. There is one point that touches the heart, and that is the point God usually strikes, the dearest thing in our life, the decisive thing in our plans, the citadel of the will, the center of the heart, and when we yield there, there is little left to yield anywhere else, and when we refuse to yield at this point, a spirit of evasion and compromise enters into all the rest of our life. Lord, we take Thee to enable us to will Thy will to be done in all things in our life without and within.


Day 27

"The building up of the body of Christ" (R. V., Eph. iv. 13).

God is preparing His heroes, and when the opportunity comes He can fit them into their place in a moment and the world will wonder where they came from. Let the Holy Ghost prepare you, dear friend, by all the discipline of life; and when the last finishing touch has been given to the marble, it will be easy for God to put it on the pedestal, and fit it into its niche.

There is a day coming, when, like Othniel, we, too, shall judge the nations, and rule and reign with Christ on the millennial earth; but ere that glorious day can be, we must let God prepare us as He did Othniel at Kirjethsepher, amid the trials of our present life, and in the little victories, the significance of which, perhaps, we little dream. At least, let us be sure of this, that if the Holy Ghost has got an Othniel ready, the Lord of heaven and earth has a throne prepared for him.

Is it for me to be used by His grace,
Helping His kingdom to bring,
Is it for me to inherit a place,
E'en on the throne of my King?


Day 28

"Not my will, but Thine" (Luke xxii. 42).

He who once suffered in Gethsemane will be our strength and our victory, too. We may fear, we may also sink, but let us not be dismayed, and we shall yet praise Him, and look back from a finished course, and say, "Not one word hath failed of all that the Lord hath spoken."

But in order to do this, we must, like Him, meet the conflict, not with a defiant, but with a submissive spirit. He had to say, "Not My will, but Thine be done"; but in saying it, He gained the very thing He surrendered. So the submission of Gethsemane is not a blind and dead submission of a heart that abandons all its hope; but it is the free submission that bows the head, in order to get double strength through the faith and prayer.

We let go, in order that we may take a firmer hold. We give up, in order that we may more fully receive. We lay our Isaac on Mount Moriah, and we ask him back, no longer our Isaac, but God's Isaac, and infinitely more secure, because given back in the resurrection life.


Day 29

"My helpers in Christ Jesus" (Rom. xvi. 3).

Christ's Church is overrun with captains. She is in great need of a few more privates. A few rivers run into the sea, but a larger number run into other rivers. We cannot all be pioneers, but we can all be helpers, and no man is fitted to go in the front until he has learned well how to go second.

A spirit of self-importance is fatal to all work for Christ. The biggest enemy of true spiritual power is spiritual self-consciousness. Joshua must die before Jericho can fall.

God often has to test His chosen servants by putting them in a subordinate place before He can bring them to the front. Joseph must learn to serve in the kitchen and to suffer in prison before he can rise to the throne, and as soon as Joseph is ready for the throne, the throne is always waiting for Joseph. God has more places than accepted candidates. Let us not be afraid to go into the training class, and even take the lowest place, for we shall soon go up, if we really deserve to. Lord, use me so that Thou shalt be glorified and I shall be hid from myself and others.


Day 30

"If thou wilt diligently hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God and wilt keep all His statutes" (Ex. xv. 26).

Sometimes people fail because they have not confidence in the Physician. The very first requirement of this Doctor is, that you trust Him, and trust Him implicitly, so implicitly that you go forward on His bare word, and act as if you had received His healing the moment you claimed His promise. But no one would expect to be healed by an earthly doctor as soon as they obeyed his directions.

You must do what the Great Physician tells you, if you expect Him to make you whole.

You cannot expect to be healed if you are living in sin, any more than you could expect the best physician to cure you while you lived in a malarial climate and inhaled poison with every breath. So you must get up into the pure air of trust and obedience before Christ can make you whole. And then, if you will trust Him, and attend to His directions, you will find that there is balm in Gilead, and that there is a Great Physician there.


Day 31

"We were troubled on every side" (II. Cor. vii. 5).

Why should God have to lead us thus, and allow the pressure to be so hard and constant?

Well, in the first place, it shows His all-sufficient strength and grace much better than if we were exempt from pressure and trial. "The treasure is in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

It make us more conscious of our dependence upon Him. God is constantly trying to teach us our dependence, and to hold us absolutely in His hand and hanging upon His care.

This was the place where Jesus Himself stood and where He wants us to stand, not with a self-constituted strength, but with a hand ever leaning upon His, and a trust that dare not take one step alone.

It teaches us trust. There is no way of learning faith except by trial. It is God's school of faith, and it is far better for us to learn to trust God than to enjoy life.

The lesson of faith, once learned, is an everlasting acquisition and an eternal fortune made; and without trust even riches will leave us poor.