By Rev. John Wilbur Chapman
Our Father in Heaven never intended that we, who are his children by regeneration, should live anything else than a life of perfect obedience and trust; for we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. This means more to us than we may at first realize. In his explanation of the miracle of Pentecost, Peter said (Acts 2:33): "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."
Since therefore upon our head, Jesus Christ, God hath poured forth the Holy Ghost, whatsoever the head has received is in trust for the body; and we are the body of Christ and members in particular.
All that the head has obtained, I may claim. A life of unrest dishonors Him, for He said in Matthew 11:28,29: "Come onto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." He surely must be grieved If we have disregarded His promise.
A life devoid of peace discredits His word, for He said (John 14:27): "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Peace is just the opposite of unrest, and no child of God ought to be without it, for it is his birthright in Christ.
A life of failure brings reproach on His cause, for what the Apostle found to be true may also be realized in your experience and mine (Philippians 4:13): "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"; and may also be the testimony of every child of God. A life without power is contrary to His plan for you and me, for one of the last words of Jesus Christ is recorded in Acts 1:8: "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."
And since He is no respecter of persons, this power must be yours for the claiming. This blessing of a "Life of Privilege," or a "Victorious Life," or a "Surrendered Life," is not only the privilege of every Christian, but it is the birthright of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ; and if we have not claimed it, the responsibility can be placed on none other than ourselves. "God would and ye would not." These words tell the sad story of the defeat, the discontent, the soul-hunger of many a life to-day.
I believe there is no better illustration of this subject than the history of the Children of Israel, and I am not alone in this view, for Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians in speaking of the Israelites (I Corinthians 10:11):
"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
The marginal reading for the word "ensamples" is "types"; so God must have intended that we should study their failures and take warning, that we should behold their victories and not lose hope. These words were spoken by Jeremiah concerning Israel:
"For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear."
Alas! the same might be spoken concerning God's children to-day. God would, and ye would not!
I ask a careful reading of this little book, the thoughts of which are expressed in the simplest language. Dear reader, if you are able to subscribe to the few conditions herein stated, I believe you may enter at once upon the enjoyment of your birthright privilege as a child of God, and lead a fully surrendered life.
J. Wilbur Chapman