A new, expanded, revised compilation based on, and inspired by, the writings of Andrew Murray.
Copyright © 2008 by Robert Woeger.
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important notices about permitted uses.
Unauthorized duplication, modification or distribution of this work is prohibited.
Publisher: Robert Woeger
This is a new, extensively revised and expanded collection of God's powerful truths. It is useful for Christian study, teaching, preaching, and also as a daily devotional aid. This work is inspired and derived from Andrew Murray's writings, including the book God's Best Secrets, originally published in 1923 and 1928 by the Biola Book Room.
All Scripture references in this writing are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number TX0006854893. Registered on 07/01/2008.
Robert Woeger's Introduction
Sometimes it is better to combine two heads to express solutions to a problem, rather than to speak only for yourself. While Andrew Murray died in 1917, and I am writing this new book in 2008, over 91 years after he left this life, I feel a closeness to him and to his words. He didn't have access to computers or to the Internet, but he did write about Christ, and about people's need and hunger for Christ. God's truth does not change.
What Andrew Murray was expressing in his words and in his Introduction to his book, God's Best Secrets, was a concern for people falling away from a true and devoted faith in God, which fruit we are now seeing.
I am thankful to Andrew Murray for writing his various books, including God's Best Secrets, which was first published in the U.S.A. by the Biola Book Room in Los Angeles, CA in 1923, and was revised and expanded in a 1928 printing. No copyright renewal records have been recorded for either the original book or the 1928 edition. Many publishers have reprinted the original book, without including any copyright notice, including Zondervan in the 1950s through the 1970s. I decided to use the 1928 edition as the basis for this new writing.
I first attempted to do as little changes as possible, but this unfortunately left the work hard to understand for the modern reader. I realized that a major rewrite, with the adding of much new text, would be required to have this wonderful book "come alive" to this generation. I endeavored to replace all Bible translations used in the original writing with Scripture references from the King James Version. I replaced old or outdated language used in Andrew Murray's writings with reasonable modern equivalents, and expanded the text. I also substituted day numbering for the calendar system. Note that partial Scripture quotations may be used, instead of the full Scripture text, for readability, and to emphasize the particular subject in the devotional.
I encourage all people to read Andrew Murray's Introduction, which follows this introduction, as he rightly explains his reasoning for writing this work, and I agree wholeheartedly with the statements he makes in his introduction, such as, "Many of God's children long for a better life, but do not realize the need of giving God time day by day in their inner chamber for His Spirit to renew and sanctify their lives."
Andrew Murray sums it up well with his words, "The feeble state of my spiritual life is mainly due to the lack of time day by day in fellowship with God."
There is a personal responsibility expected by God of everyone who calls themselves a Christian, or follower of Christ, to have a daily and continual walk in uncompromising faith, communion, and seeking after God. We must walk out our own salvation with both fear and trembling, before an unlimited, omniscient God.
I have written about 30 Christian writings inspired by God through the Holy Spirit, as of the time I began work on revising, expanding, and editing this classic work by Andrew Murray. I gave it a new title, to better reflect the purpose of this new writing, which is Daily Discovering God. This work, combined with my other writings, are designed to help you have a better, closer relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.
May you be blessed in your continual learning and your search for Him,
Robert Woeger, Author and Editor of this New and Expanded Work
July 2008, Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A.
Andrew Murray's Introduction
The more I think of and pray about the state of religion in this country, and all over the world, the deeper my conviction becomes that the low state of the spiritual life of Christians is due to the fact that they do not realize that the aim and object of conversion is to bring the soul, even here on earth, to a daily fellowship with the Father in heaven. When once this truth has been accepted, the believer will perceive how indispensable it is to the spiritual life of a Christian, to take time each day with God's Word and in prayer, to wait upon God for His presence and His love to be revealed.
But how can Christians be taught this lesson, and live in obedience to it? The first thing is that they must be convinced of the great need of daily fellowship with God. They must be brought under the impression that it is not enough at conversion to accept forgiveness of sins or even to surrender themselves to God. That is only a beginning. The young believer must understand that he has no power of his own to maintain his spiritual life. No, he needs each day to receive new grace from heaven through fellowship and communion with the Lord Jesus. This cannot be obtained by a hasty prayer or a superficial reading of a few verses from God's Word. He must take time quietly and deliberately to come into God's presence, to feel his weakness, and his need, and to wait upon God through His Holy Spirit, to renew the heavenly light and life in his heart. Then he may rightly expect to be kept by the power of Christ throughout the day, and all its temptations.
It has been my aim in writing this book to help Christians to see the absolute necessity of communion and fellowship with the Lord Jesus. Without this, the joy and power of God's Holy Spirit in daily life cannot be experienced. Many of God's children long for a better life, but do not realize the need of giving God time day by day in their inner chamber for His Spirit to renew and sanctify their lives.
Meditate on this thought: The feeble state of my spiritual life is mainly due to the lack of time day by day in fellowship with God. New life will dawn in many a soul as a result of time spent in prayer alone with God.
To any reader who has found a blessing in reading this book--I pray you share the blessing with others. If you have accepted the message that the Lord Jesus will from day to day grant you His presence and love--pass it on to others. However weak and impotent you feel, your faith will be strengthened as you help others to realize the need of fellowship with Jesus daily.
As we think of the need of our country and Church, as we think of souls around us, as we think of the extension of God's Kingdom, we ask you, O Christians, to help us find volunteers, who, as true soldiers of the Cross, will persevere continually in prayer till God pour out His blessing upon us,--
Your Servant in the love of Christ and in prayer,
From Day To Day
"The inward man is renewed day by day." - 2 Corinthians 4:16.
There is one lesson that all Christians should learn, namely this--the absolute necessity of fellowship with Jesus each day. This lesson is not always taught at the beginning of the Christian life, nor is it always understood by each one who desires to follow Christ. The person should realize that the grace they have received of the forgiveness of sins, of acceptance as God's child, of joy in the Holy Ghost, can only be preserved by the daily renewal in fellowship with Jesus Christ Himself.
Many Christians backslide because this truth of daily fellowship with Jesus is not clearly taught. They are unable to stand against the temptations of the world or that of their old nature. They strive to do their best to fight against sin, and to serve God, but they have no strength. They have never really grasped the secret: The Lord Jesus will every day from heaven continue His work in me. But on one condition--the soul must give Him time each day to impart His love and His grace. Time alone with the Lord Jesus each day is the essential and indispensable condition for Christian growth and power.
Read Matthew 11:25-30. Listen to Christ's word: "Come unto 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30.
The Lord will teach us just how meek and humble He is, so we can be likewise. Bow before Him, tell Him that you long for Him and His love, and He will let His love rest on you. This is a thought not only for young Christians, but for all who love the Lord, and this book is designed to help those who desire to live this life of fellowship with Christ. I will try to put the message as clearly, as lovingly, and as urgently as possible.
For Christ's sake, in order to please Him, and for my own sake, to enable me to enjoy this blessed experience each day, I will learn the lesson, to spend time each day--without exception--in fellowship with my Lord. So will my inner man be renewed from day to day. May your spirit be daily refreshed by the Lord as you decide to spend quality time with Him meditating upon His Word.
Fellowship With God
"He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." - John 14:21.
The Three Persons in the Godhead are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
God desires to reveal Himself as a Person. Each one of us is an individual, and we each come to know God in a distinct, personal way. We each have different life experiences and relate to God based upon who He has revealed Himself to be to us. God will reveal Himself to us as a Person, and delights in being discovered and found by us. It is our holy calling to enter into fellowship with Him.
God greatly desires this relationship with man. But sin has come between man and his God. Even in the Christian, who thinks that he knows God, there is often great ignorance, and even indifference, to this personal relationship of love towards God.
People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven, and that they should try to do God's will. But the idea is strange to them, that even as a father and his child on earth have pleasure in fellowship, so they may and must daily have this blessed fellowship with God.
God gave Christ His Son to bring us to Himself. But this is only possible when we live in close fellowship with Jesus Christ. Our relationship to Christ rests on His deep, tender love towards us. We are not able of ourselves to render Him this love. But the Holy Spirit will do the work in us. For this, we need to separate ourselves each day from the world, and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus, that He may shed abroad His love in our hearts, so that we may be filled with a great love towards Him.
Dear soul, meditate quietly on this thought. Read the words of Christ in John 14:21, "...he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." Take time to believe in this personal fellowship. Tell Him of your love.
Say to Him: "Lord, Thou hast loved me dearly; most earnestly do I desire to love Thee above all."
"Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." - Matthew 1:21.
As the Lord Jesus was a person, He had His own individual name.
His mother, His disciples, all His friends called Him by this name--Jesus. But they probably thought little of what that name meant. And how little do the majority of Christians know what a treasure is contained in that name--Jesus--"He shall save his people from their sins."
Many think of His death on the cross, they think of His work in heaven as Intercessor, but do they, or do we, realize that He is a living Person in heaven, who thinks of us each day, and longs to reveal Himself? And He desires us each day to bring Him our love and adoration.
Christians pray to Christ to save them from their sins, but they know very little how the blessed work is done. The living Christ reveals Himself to us, and through the power of His love the love of sin is expelled. It is through personal fellowship with Him that Jesus saves us from our sins. I must come as an individual, with my heart and all the sin that is in it, to Jesus as an Almighty personal Savior, in Whom God's holiness dwells. And as He and I commune together in the expression of mutual love and desire by the work of His Holy Spirit in my heart, His love will expel and conquer all the sin.
O Christian, learn the blessedness of each day in fellowship with Jesus finding the secret of happiness and holiness. Your heart will long for the hour of prayer as the best hour of the day. Remove all distractions from your life and concentrate on Him. As you learn to go apart with Him alone each day, you will experience His presence with you, enabling you all through the day to love Him, to serve Him, and to walk in His ways. Through this unbroken fellowship, you will learn the secret of the power of a truly godly life.
The Inner Chamber
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet" - Matthew 6:6.
Have you ever thought what a wonderful privilege it is that everyone, each day and each hour of the day, has the liberty of asking God to meet him in the inner chamber, and to hear what He has to say? We should hope and pray that every Christian uses such a privilege gladly and faithfully.
"But thou, when thou prayest," says Jesus, "enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;" That means two things. Shut the world out, withdraw from all worldly thoughts and occupations, and shut yourself in alone with God, to pray to Him in secret. Let this be your chief object in prayer, to realize the presence of your heavenly Father. Focus on the words: Alone with God.
This is only the beginning. I must take time to realize His presence with me, and pray to my Father who seeth in secret, in the full assurance that He knows how I long for His help and guidance, and will incline His ear to me.
Then follows the great promise: "and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." My Father will see to it that my prayer is not in vain. All through the occupations of a busy day, the answer to my prayer will be granted. Prayer in secret will be followed by the secret working of God in my heart.
As the Lord Jesus has given us the promise of His presence, and shows us the way to the inner chamber, He will assuredly be with us to teach us to pray. It is through Him that we have access to the Father. Be childlike and trustful in your fellowship with Christ. Confess each sin, bring your every need. Offer your prayer to the Father in the name of Christ. Prayer in fellowship with Jesus cannot be in vain.
"Only believe." - Mark 5:36.
We have here a lesson of the greatest importance. When we are alone in the inner chamber, we must send up our petitions trusting implicitly in the love of God and in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Take time to ask yourself the question: Is my heart full of a great and steadfast faith in God's love? If this is not the case, do not begin to pray at once. Faith does not come of itself. Consider quietly how impossible it is for God to lie. He is ready with infinite love to give you a blessing. Take some text of Scripture in which God's power, faithfulness, and love are revealed. Appropriate the words, and say: "Yes Lord, I will pray in firm faith in Thee and in Thy great love."
It is a mistake to limit the word "faith," to the forgiveness of sins, and to our acceptance as children of God. Faith includes far more. We must have faith in all that God is willing to do for us. We must have faith each day according to our special needs. God is infinitely great and powerful. Christ has so much grace for each new day, that our faith must reach out afresh each day according to the need of the day.
When you enter into the inner chamber, even before you begin to pray, ask yourself: "Do I really believe that God is here with me, and that the Lord Jesus will help me to pray, and I may expect to spend a blessed time in communion with my God?"
Jesus often taught His disciples how indispensable faith was to true prayer. He will teach us this lesson too. Remain in fellowship with Him, and ask Him to strengthen your faith in His Almighty power. Christ says to you and to me as to Martha: "--Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" (John 11:40).
The Word Of God
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." - Matthew 4:4
The illustration that our Lord uses, in which the Word of God is compared to our daily bread, is most instructive.
Bread is indispensable to life. We all understand this. However strong a person may be, if he takes no nourishment, he will grow weaker, and life will become extinct. Even so with the Word of God. It contains a heavenly principle, and works powerfully in them that believe.
Bread must be eaten. I may know all about bread. I may have bread, and may give it to others. I may have bread in my house and on my table in great abundance. But that will not help me, if through illness I am unable to eat it, I shall die. And so, a mere knowledge of God's Word, and even the preaching of it to others, shall not benefit me. It is not enough to think about it. I must feed on God's Word, and take it into my heart and life. In love and obedience, I must appropriate the words of God, and let them take full possession of my heart. Then they will indeed be words of life.
Bread must be eaten daily. And the same is true of God's Word. The Psalmist says: "Blessed is the man-his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." (Psalm 1:1-2) and, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." (Psalm 119:97). To secure a strong and powerful spiritual life God's Word every day is indispensable.
When on earth the Lord Jesus learned, loved, and obeyed the word of the Father. And if you seek fellowship with Him, you will find Him in His Word. Christ will teach you to commune with the Father, through the Word, even as was His custom. You will learn, like Him, to live solely for the glory of God and the fulfillment of His Word.
How To Read God's Word
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." - Psalm 1:1-2.
Here are some simple rules for Bible reading.
Read God's Word with great reverence. Meditate a moment in silence on the thought that the words come from God Himself. Bow in deep reverence. Be silent unto God. Let Him reveal His Word in your heart.
Read with careful attention. If you read the words carelessly, thinking that you can grasp their meaning with your human understanding, you will use the words superficially, and not enter into their depths. When a person tries to explain anything wonderful or beautiful to us, we give our entire attention to try to understand what is said. How much higher and deeper are God's thoughts than our thoughts. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9). We need to give our undivided attention to understand even the superficial meaning of the words. How much harder to grasp the spiritual meaning?
Read with the expectation of the guidance of God's Spirit. It is God's Spirit alone that can make the Word a living power in our hearts and lives. Read Psalm 119. Notice how earnestly David prays that God will teach him, and open his eyes, and give him understanding, and incline his heart to God's ways. As you read, remember that God's Word and God's Spirit are inseparable.
Read with the firm purpose of keeping the Word day and night in your heart and in your life. The whole heart and the whole life must come under the influence of the Word. David said: "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." (Psalm 119:97). And so in the midst of his daily work, the believer can cherish God's Word in his heart and meditate on it. Read Psalm 119 again, until you accept God's Word with all your heart, and pray that God may teach you to understand it and carry out its precepts in your life.
The Word And Prayer
"Quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word." - Psalm 119:107.
Prayer and the Word of God are inseparable, and should always go together in the quiet time of the inner chamber. In His Word God speaks to me; in prayer I speak to God. If there is to be true communication, dialogue, and intimacy, God and I must both take part.
If I simply pray, without using God's Word, I am likely to use my own words and thoughts. When I take God's thoughts from His Word, and present them before Him when I pray, this gives the prayer its power. Then I am enabled to pray according to God's Word. How indispensable God's Word is for all true prayer!
When I pray, I must seek to know God properly. It is through the Word that the Holy Spirit gives me right thoughts of Him. The Word will also teach me how wretched and sinful I am. It reveals to me all the wonders that God will do for me, and the strength He will give me to do His will. The Word teaches me how to pray--with strong desire, with a firm faith, and with constant perseverance. The Word teaches me not only what I am, but what I may become through God's grace. And above all, it reminds me each day that Christ is the great Intercessor, and allows me to pray in His Name.
O Christian, learn this great lesson, to renew your strength each day in God's Word, and so pray according to His will.
Then we turn to the other side that is prayer. We need prayer when we read God's Word--prayer to be taught of God to understand His Word, prayer that through the Holy Spirit I may rightly know and use God's Word,--prayer that I may see in the Word that Christ is all in all, and will be all in me.
Blessed inner chamber, where I may approach God in Christ through the Word and prayer. There I may offer myself to God and His service, and be strengthened by the Holy Spirit, so that His love may be shed abroad in my heart, and I may daily walk in that love.
"Obey my voice...and I will be your God:" - Jeremiah 11:4.
God gave this command to Israel when He gave them the law. But Israel had no power to keep the law. So God gave them a "new covenant," to enable His people to live a life of obedience. We read, "--I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." Jeremiah 31:33, "--I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." Jeremiah 32:40, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Ezekiel 36:27. These wonderful promises gave the assurance that obedience would be their delight.
Let us listen to what the Lord Jesus says about obedience. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." John 14:21. "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:23. And in John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." These words are an inexhaustible treasure. Faith can firmly trust Christ to enable us to live such a life of love and of obedience.
No father can train his children unless they are obedient. No teacher can teach a child who continues to disobey them. No general can lead his soldiers to victory without prompt obedience. Pray God to imprint this lesson on your heart: the life of faith is a life of obedience. As Christ lived in obedience to the Father, so we too need obedience for a life in the love of God.
Alas, the thought is too common: "I cannot be obedient, it is quite impossible." Yes, impossible to you, but not to God. He has promised "to cause you to walk in His statutes." (see Ezekiel 36:27). Pray and meditate on these words, and the Holy Spirit will enlighten your eyes, so that you will have power to do God's will. Let your fellowship with the Father and with the Lord Jesus Christ have as its one aim and object--a life of faith and belief in Christ which has at its root: quiet, determined, unquestioning obedience.
Confession Of Sin
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9.
Too often the confession of sin is superficial, and often it is quite neglected. Few Christians realize how necessary it is to be in earnest about the matter, or feel that an honest confession of sin gives power to live the life of victory over sin. In fellowship with the Lord Jesus we need to confess with a sincere heart every sin that may be a hindrance in our Christian lives.
Listen to what David says, "I acknowledge my sin unto thee... I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin... Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance..." Psalm 32:5-7. David speaks of a time when he was unwilling to confess his sin. "When I kept silence... thy hand was heavy upon me." (Psalm 32:3,4). But when he had confessed his sin, a wonderful change came.
Confession means not only that I confess my sin with shame, but that I hand it over to God, trusting Him to take it away. Such a confession implies that I am wholly unable to get rid of my guilt, but by an act of faith I depend on God to deliver me. This deliverance means in the first place that I know my sins are forgiven, and secondly, that Christ undertakes to cleanse me from the sin, and keep me from its power.
O Christian, if you are seeking to have fellowship with Jesus, do not fear to confess each sin in the confident assurance that there is deliverance. Let there be a mutual understanding between the Lord Jesus and yourself that you will confess each sin, and obtain forgiveness. Then you will know your Lord as Jesus Who saves His people from their sin. Believe that there is great power in the confession of sin, for the burden of sin is borne by our Lord and Savior.
The First Love
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." - Revelation 2:4.
In Revelation 2:2-3, eight signs are mentioned showing the zeal and activity of the Church at Ephesus. But there was one bad sign, and the Lord said: "...I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." (Revelation 2:5). And what was this sign? "...thou hast left thy first love." (Revelation 2:4).
We find the same lack in the Church of the present day. There is zeal for the truth, there is continuous and persevering labor, but that which the Lord values most is wanting, the tender, fervent love to Himself.
This is a thought of great significance: a church, a community, or a Christian, may be an example in every good work, and yet the tender love to the Lord Jesus in the inner chamber is missing. What a pity!
There is no personal daily fellowship with Christ, and all the many activities with which people satisfy themselves are as nothing in the eyes of the Master Himself.
Dear brother and sister, this book speaks of the fellowship of love with Christ in the inner chamber. Everything depends on this. Christ came from heaven to love us with the love wherewith the Father loved Him. He suffered and died to win our hearts for this love. His love can be satisfied with nothing less than a deep, personal love on our part.
Christ considers this of the first importance. Let us do so too. Many ministers and missionaries and Christian workers confess with shame that in spite of all their zeal in the Lord's work, their prayer life is defective, because they have left their first love. I pray you, write this down on a piece of paper, and remember it continually:--The love of Jesus must be all--in the inner chamber, is all my work, in my daily life.
The Holy Spirit
"He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." - John 16:14.
Our Lord, in the last night that He was with His disciples, promised to send the Holy Spirit as a Comforter. Although His bodily presence was removed, they would realize His presence in them and with them in a wonderful way. The Holy Spirit as God, would so reveal Christ in their hearts, that they would experience His presence with them continually. The Spirit would glorify Christ, and would reveal the glorified Christ in heavenly love and power.
How little do Christians understand and believe and experience this glorious truth. We should fail in our duty as ministers, if in a little book like this, or in our preaching, we encouraged Christians to love the Lord Jesus, without at the same time warning them that it is not a duty they can perform in their own strength. No, that is impossible; it is God, the Holy Spirit alone, who will shed abroad His love in our hearts, and teach us to love Him fervently. Through the Holy Spirit we may experience the love and abiding presence of the Lord Jesus all the day.
But let us remember that the Spirit as God must have entire possession of us. He claims our whole heart and life. He will strengthen us with might in the inner man, so that we have fellowship with Christ, and keep His commandments, and abide in His love.
When once we have grasped this truth, we will begin to feel our deep dependence on the Holy Spirit, and pray the Father to send Him in power into our hearts. The Spirit will teach us to love the Word, to meditate on it and to keep it. He will reveal the love of Christ to us, that we may love Him with a pure heart fervently. Then we will begin to see that a life in the love of Christ, in the midst of our daily life and distractions, is a glorious possibility and a blessed reality.
"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy..." Psalm 16:11.
For more about the essential need for the Holy Spirit, see the writing Presence Of God by Robert Woeger.
Christ's Love To Us
"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." - John 15:9.
In relationships between friends and family members, everything depends on their love to each other. Of what value is abundance of riches, if love is lacking between husband and wife, or parents and children? And in our religion, of what value is all knowledge and zeal in God's work without the knowledge and experience of Christ's love? (See 1 Corinthians 13:1-3). O Christians, the one thing needful in the inner chamber is to know by experience how much Christ loves you, and to learn how you may abide and continue in that love.
Think of what Christ says: "As the Father hath loved me," -- what a Divine, everlasting, wonderful love! "...so have I loved you." It was the same love with which He had loved the Father, and that He always bore in His heart, which He now gave into the hearts of His disciples. He yearns that this everlasting love should rest upon us, and work within us, that we may abide in it day by day. What a blessed life! Christ desires every disciple to live in the power of the self-same love of God that He Himself experienced. Dear precious one, do you realize that in your fellowship with Christ in secret or in public, you are surrounded by and kept in this heavenly love? Let your desire be to reach out to this everlasting love. The Christ with whom you desire fellowship longs unspeakably to fill you with His love.
Read from time to time what God's Word says about the love of Christ. Meditate on the words, and let them sink into your heart. Sooner or later you will begin to realize: The greatest happiness of my life is that I am beloved by the Lord Jesus. I may live in fellowship with Him all the day long.
Let your heart continually say: His love to me is unspeakable, He will keep me abiding in His love.
Our Love To Christ
"...Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." - 1 Peter 1:7-9.
What a wonderful description of the Christian life! People who had never seen Christ, and yet truly loved Him and believed on Him, so that their hearts were filled with unspeakable joy. Such is the life of a Christian who really loves his or her Lord.
We have seen that the chief attribute of the Father and of the Son, is love to each other and love to man. This love should be the chief characteristic of the true Christian. The love of God and of Christ is shed abroad in the Christian's heart, and becomes a well of living water, flowing forth as love to the Lord Jesus.
This love is not merely a blessed feeling. It is an active principle. It takes pleasure in doing the will of the beloved Lord. It is joy to keep His commandments. The love of Christ to us was shown by His death on the cross. Our love must be exhibited in unselfish, self-sacrificing lives. Oh, that we understood this: In the Christian life, love to Christ is everything!
Great love will produce the growth of great faith, which includes faith in His love to us, faith in the powerful revelations of His love in our hearts, and faith that He through His love will work all His good pleasure in us.
The wings of faith and love will lift us up to heaven, and we shall be filled with joy unspeakable. The joy of the Christian is an indispensable witness to the world of the power of Christ to change hearts, and fill them with heavenly love and gladness.
O ye lovers of the Lord Jesus, take time daily in the inner chamber with Him anew to drink in His heavenly love. It will make you strong in faith, and your joy will be full. Love, joy, faith, these will be our life each day through the grace of our Lord Jesus.
Love To The Brethren
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." - John 15:12, John 13:34.
The Lord Jesus told His disciples that as the Father had loved Him, even so He loved them. And now, following His example, we must love one another, with the same love. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35). Jesus had prayed: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 17:21). If we exhibit the love that was in God toward Christ, and in Christ to us, the world will be obliged to confess that our Christianity is genuine and from above.
This is what actually happened. The Greeks and Romans, Jews and heathen, hated each other. Among all the nations of the world there was hardly a thought of love to each other. The very idea of self-sacrifice was a strange one. When the heathen saw that Christians from different nations, under the powerful workings of the Holy Spirit, became one, and loved one another, even to the point of self-sacrifice in time of plague or illness--they were amazed and said: "Behold how these people love one another!"
Amongst professing Christians there is a certain oneness of belief and feeling of brotherhood, but Christ's heavenly love is often lacking, and we do not bear one another's burdens, or love others heartily.
Pray that you may love your fellow-believers with the same love with which Christ loved you. If we abide in Christ's love, and let that love fill our hearts, supernatural power will be given us to take all God's children unto our hearts in love. As close as is the bond of love between the Father and the Son, between Christ and His followers, so close must the bond of love be between all God's children.
Love To Souls
"Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." - James 5:20.
What a wonderful thought!--that I may save a soul from everlasting death. How can this be? If I convert him from the error of his ways. This is the calling not only of the minister, but of every Christian-to work for the salvation of sinners.
When Christ and His love took possession of our hearts, He gave us this love that we might bring others to Him. In this way Christ's Kingdom was extended. Everyone who had the love of Christ in his heart was constrained to tell others. This was the case in the early Christian church. After the Day of Pentecost, people went out and told of the love of Christ, which they had themselves experienced. Heathen writers have told us that the rapid spread of Christianity in the first century was due to the fact, that each convert, being filled with the love of Christ, tried to bring the good news to others.
What a change has come over the Church! Many Christians never try to win others to Christ. Their love is so weak and faint that they have no desire to help others. May the time soon come when Christians will feel constrained to tell of the love of Christ. In a revival in Korea a few years ago, the converts were filled with such a burning love to Christ that they felt bound to tell others of His love. It was even taken as a test of membership that each one should have brought another to the Lord before being admitted to the church.
Examine yourself, and pray that in fellowship with Christ, you may think, not only of your own soul, but having received the gift of God's love, you may pass it on to others. You will then know true happiness, the joy of bringing souls to Christ.
Let us pray earnestly to be so filled with God's love that we may wholeheartedly surrender ourselves to win others for Him.
The Spirit Of Love
"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." - Romans 5:5.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love..." - Galatians 5:22.
The thought sometimes arises, as we consider Christ's love to us, our love to Christ, our love to the brethren or to souls around us:--the demand is too great, it is unattainable, it is impossible for a Christian to live this life of love, and to show it to the brethren and to needy souls. And because we deem it impossible, and because of our unbelief and lack of faith in God's promises, we make little progress in this spirit of love.
We need to continually remind ourselves that it is not in our own strength, or even by serious thought, that we can attain to the love of Christ. We must realize the truth that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, and will daily afresh be poured out by the Spirit of God. It is only as we are wholly surrendered to the leading of the Spirit that we will be able to live according to God's will. When the inner life of love is renewed from day to day we shall feel compelled to work for souls.
Here is a prayer that you can offer: "I bow my knees unto the Father, that He would grant you, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge." You may be rooted and grounded in this love, and know the love that passeth knowledge--but on one condition--you must be strengthened by the Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your heart. Then you will indeed be rooted and grounded in love.
Christian, take this message from God's Word, and let it influence your life. Unless you wait upon God daily on your knees, for His Spirit to be revealed in your heart, you cannot live in this love. A life of prayer will make a life in the love of Christ, in the love of the brethren, in love to souls, a blessed reality in your experience.
Put your confidence each day in secret in the Holy Spirit--the Spirit of love which God will give to those who ask in faith.
Rivers Of Living Water
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." - John 7:38.
Our Lord, in His conversation with the Samaritan woman, said: "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14b). In our text, the promise is even greater: rivers of living waters flowing from him, bringing life and blessing to others. John says further that this refers to the Holy Ghost, who should come when Christ had been glorified, for the Holy Spirit was not yet poured out. The Spirit of God was mentioned in the Old Testament, but the Holy Spirit had not yet been given. Christ must first be offered through the eternal Spirit (on the cross) (Hebrews 9:14), and raised from the dead by the spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4), and receive from the Father power to send forth the Holy Ghost. Then only would the Christian be able to say: Now the Holy Spirit of Christ is in me.
What do we need in order to experience these two wonderful promises of the well of water and the rivers of living water? Just one thing--the inner attachment to Christ, and the unreserved surrender to fellowship with Him, and the firm assurance that His Spirit will work in us what we cannot do. In one word: He that believeth on Me. We need a faith that rejoices in the divine might and love, and depends on Him day by day to grant us grace that living water may flow forth from us.
We can truly agree that the river of God is so full of life, and also has the power to revive us. As we drink from its water, it causes us to hunger and thirst for the deeper things of God and become alive through Christ. Jesus Christ calls it living water. We need to take this living water and spread it to others, so that they may be revived and come to believe on Christ.
If the water from a reservoir is to flow into a house all day, one thing is necessary, which is the connection must be perfect, and then the water passes through the pipe of its own accord. So the union between you and Christ must be uninterrupted. Your faith must accept Christ, and depend and believe upon Him, to sustain the new life.
Let your faith rejoice that Jesus Christ gives us the Holy Spirit, and may you have the assurance that the Holy Spirit is within you as a fountain of blessing.
The Glory Of God
"Unto him be glory...throughout all ages... Amen." - Ephesians 3:21.
God Himself must reveal His glory to us. Then alone are we able to know and glorify Him.
There is no more wonderful image in nature of the glory of God than we find in the starry heavens. The telescopes, which are continually made more powerful, have long proclaimed the wonders of God's universe. And by means of computer imaging, new wonders of that glory have been revealed. A computer imaging sensor attached to the telescope will reveal millions of stars, which could never have been seen by the naked eye through the best telescope. Man must step aside and allow the glory of the heavens to reveal itself. The stars, at first wholly invisible, and at immense distances, will leave their image upon the sensor.
What a lesson for the soul that longs to see the glory of God in His Word. Put aside your own efforts and thoughts. Let your heart be as an imaging sensor that waits for God's glory to be revealed. The sensor must be rightly prepared and clean. Let your heart be prepared and purified by God's Spirit. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8. The sensor must be immovable--let your heart be still before God. The telescope and its digital sensor must properly focus on, and receive the complete impression of, the farthest stars. Let your heart take time in silent waiting upon God, and He will reveal His glory.
If you keep silence before God and give Him time, He will put thoughts into your heart that may be of unspeakable blessing to yourself and others. He will create within you desires and inclinations that will indeed be as the rays of His glory shining in you.
Put this to the test this morning. Offer your spirit to Him in deep humility, and have faith that God will reveal Himself in His holy love. His glory will descend upon you. You will feel the need to give Him the full time to do His blessed work.
"But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him." Habakkuk 2:20.
"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." Psalm 62:5.
"For God...hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6.
"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10.
"...men ought always to pray, and not to faint;" - Luke 18:1.
"Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;" - Romans 12:12.
"Pray without ceasing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
One of the greatest drawbacks to the life of prayer is the fact that the answer does not come as speedily as we expect. We are discouraged by the thought: "Perhaps I do not pray right," and so we do not persevere in prayer. This was a lesson that our Lord taught often and urgently. If we consider the matter, we can see that there may be a reason for the delay, and the waiting may bring a blessing to our souls. Our desire must grow deeper and stronger, and we must ask with our whole heart. God puts us into the practicing school of persevering prayer, that our weak faith may be strengthened. Do believe that there is a great blessing in the delayed answer to prayer.
Above all, God would draw us into closer fellowship with Himself. When our prayers are not answered, we learn to realize that the fellowship and nearness and love of God are more to us than the answers of our petitions, and we continue in prayer. What a blessing Jacob received through the delay in the answer to his prayer! He saw God face to face, and as a prince he had power with God and prevailed.
Christians, listen to this warning. Be not impatient or discouraged if the answer does not come. Continue in prayer. "Pray without ceasing." You will find it an unspeakable blessing to do so. You will ask whether your prayer is really in accordance with the will of God, and the Word of God. You will inquire if it is in the right spirit and in the Name of Christ. Keep on praying. You will learn that the delay in the answer to prayer is one of the most precious means of grace that God can bestow on you. You will learn, too, that those who have persevered often and long before God, in pleading His promises, are those who have had the greatest power with God in prayer.
The Prayer Meeting
"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication..." "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost..." - Acts 1:14, 2:4.
"Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:19-20.
Great is the value of a genuine prayer meeting. There God's children meet together, not as in church, to listen to one speaker, but to lift up their hearts unitedly to God. By this means Christians are drawn closer to each other. Those who are weak are strengthened and encouraged by the testimony of the older and more experienced members, and even young Christians have the opportunity of telling of the joy of the Lord.
The prayer meeting may become a great power for good in a congregation, and a spiritual help to both minister and members. By means of intercession, God's blessing is poured out at home and abroad.
But there are also dangers to be considered. Many attend, and are edified, but never learn to pray themselves. Others go for the sake of social and religious fervor, and have a form of godliness, but do not know the hidden life of prayer. Unless there is much and earnest prayer in the inner chamber, attendance at a prayer meeting may be a mere form. There should be hearty love and fellowship between the members. It is well to ask: What constitutes a living prayer meeting?
The leaders should realize how great the influence of such a meeting may be, with its roots nourished by the life of prayer in the inner chamber. Prayer should include God's people and His church all over the world. And above all, as on the Day of Pentecost, there must be waiting on God for the filling with the Holy Spirit.
Dear reader, this book aims at helping you in your spiritual life. But remember, you do not live for yourself alone, but you are part of the Body of Christ. Your prayer must include, in its intercession, all Christians. As the roots of the tree hidden deep in the earth, and the branches spread out to heaven, are one, so the hidden prayer life is inseparably bound up with united prayer. Prayer is a privilege, that, unfortunately, far too few Christians avail themselves of.
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" - Ephesians 6:18.
What an unspeakable blessing there is in intercession. That one should pray down heavenly gifts on himself is a wonder of grace, but that he should bring down blessings on others is indeed an inconceivable honor. Will God indeed make the pouring out of blessing on others dependent on our prayers? Yes, He makes us His remembrancers and fellow-workers. He has taken us into partnership in His work. If we fail in doing our part, others will suffer, and His work will suffer unspeakable loss.
God has appointed intercession as one of the means by which souls shall be saved, and saints and ministers of the Gospel are edified and built up in the faith. Even the ends of the earth will receive life and blessing through our prayers. Should we not expect God's children to strive joyfully and with all their powers, by means of intercession, to bring down blessing on the world?
Christian, begin to use intercession as a means of grace for yourself and for others. Pray for your neighbors. Pray for souls, with the definite desire that they may be won for Christ. Pray for your minister, for all ministers and missionaries. Pray for your country and people, for rulers and subjects. Pray for all men, women, and children worldwide. If you surrender yourself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and live a life wholly for God, you will realize that the time spent in prayer is an offering well-pleasing to God, bringing blessing to yourself, and power into the lives of those for whom you pray.
Yes, pray always with all prayer and supplication, watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. And in so doing, you will learn the lesson that intercession is the chief means of winning souls and bringing glory to God.
Prayer And Fasting
"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief...Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." - Matthew 17:20-21.
Our Lord here teaches us that a life of faith requires both prayer and fasting. That is, prayer grasps the power of heaven, fasting loosens the hold on earthly pleasure.
Jesus Himself fasted to get strength to resist the devil. He taught His disciples that even as with prayer and almsgiving, fasting should be in secret, and the Heavenly Father would reward openly. Abstinence from food, or temperance in taking it, helps to strengthen the soul for communion and communication with God.
Let us learn this great lesson that abstinence, temperance, and self-denial in temporal things, is a help to the spiritual life. After having partaken of a hearty meal, one does not feel much desire to pray. To willingly sacrifice our own pleasure, or bodily enjoyment, and to subdue the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, will help to set our minds more fully on heavenly things. The very exertion needed in overcoming the desires of the flesh will give us strength to take hold of God in prayer.
This great lesson is this. Our dullness in prayer comes from our fleshly desire of comfort and ease. Those who are in Christ have crucified the flesh and its desires. Prayer is no easy work. It may easily become a mere form. For the real practice of prayer, and taking hold of God, and having communion with Him, it is necessary that all that can please the flesh must be sacrificed and given over to death.
Beloved Christian, do believe that it is worth any trouble to deny ourselves daily, in order to meet the Holy God, and receive from Him heavenly blessings.
The Spirit Of Prayer
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." - Romans 8:26.
"And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." - Romans 8:27.
The Spirit makes intercession for the saints.
Prayer is not our work, but God's work, that He works within us by His almighty power. As we think of this, our attitude should be one of silent expectation that as we pray, the Holy Spirit may help our infirmities, and pray within us with groanings that cannot be uttered.
What a thought! When I feel how defective my prayer is, when I have no strength of my own, I may bow in silence before God in the confidence that His Holy Spirit will teach me to pray. The Spirit is the Spirit of prayer. It is not my work, but God's work in me. My very desire is a sign that God will hear me. When God would grant our requests, He first works the desire in our hearts, and the Spirit will perfect the work, even in our weakness. We see this in the story of Jacob. The same One who wrestled with him, and seemed to withhold the blessing, was in reality strengthening him to continue and to prevail in prayer. What a wondrous thought! Prayer is the work of the Triune God: the Father, who wakens the desire, and will give all we need; the Son, who through His intercession, teaches us to pray in His Name; and the Holy Spirit, who in secret will strengthen our feeble desires.
We have spoken of the Spirit of truth who will glorify Christ in us, and of the Spirit of love, who will shed this love abroad in our hearts. And now we have the Spirit of prayer, through whom our life may be one of continual prayer. Thank God. The Spirit has been given from heaven to dwell in our hearts, and to teach us to pray.Christian, listen to the leading of the Spirit. Obey His voice in all things. He will make you an instrument of prayer. You will then realize the glory of your calling as intercessor, asking great things of God for those around you, for the church, and for the whole heathen world.