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´╗┐Title: 'Jesus Himself'
Author: Murray, Andrew, 1828-1917
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  "Jesus Himself."

  BY
  THE REV. ANDREW MURRAY.
  _Author of "Abide in Christ."_


  FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY.
  NEW YORK CHICAGO TORONTO.
  _Publishers of Evangelical Literature._


  COPYRIGHT 1893 BY
  FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY.



PREFACE.


The following brief messages comprise a revision of two addresses, which
originally appeared in the _South African Pioneer_, the organ of the
"Cape General Mission" (Rev. Andrew Murray, Pres.), and are published by
arrangement, the Mission participating in the proceeds.



"Jesus Himself."

"_Their eyes were opened, and they knew Him._"

I


The words, from which I want to present a simple message, will be found
in the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 24th chapter and the 31st
verse: "_And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him._" Some time
since, I preached a sermon with the words "Jesus Himself" as the text;
and as I went home I said to those who were walking with me: "How
possible it is to have Jesus Himself with us and never to know it, and
how possible to preach of, and to listen to, all the truth about Jesus
Himself and yet not to know Him." I cannot say what a deep impression
was made upon me as I thought over it.

Now these disciples had spent a most blessed time with Jesus, but if
they had gone away before He revealed Himself that evening, they would
never have been sure that it was Jesus, for their eyes were holden that
they should not know Him. That is, alas, the condition of a great
multitude in the Church of Christ. They know that Christ has risen from
the dead. They believe, and they very often have blessed experiences
that come from the risen Christ. Very often in a time of Convention, or
in time of silent Bible reading, or in a time of the visitation of God's
grace, their hearts burn; and yet it can be said of a people whose
hearts are burning within them, that they did not know it was Jesus
Himself.

And now if you ask me what is to be the great blessing to be sought, my
answer is this: Not only should we think about Jesus Himself and speak
about Him and believe in Him, but we should come to the point that the
disciples in the text arrived at, "and they knew Him." Everything is to
be found in that.

If I read that story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus, I get from
it four stages in the Christian life. Just think! How did they begin the
morning that day? With

_Hearts sad and troubled_,

because they thought Jesus was dead. They did not know that He was
alive, and that is the state of very many Christians. They look to the
Cross, and they struggle to trust Christ, but they have never yet
learned the blessedness of believing that there is a living Christ to do
everything for them. Oh! that word of the angel to the women! "Why seek
ye the living among the dead?" What is the difference between a dead
Christ, whom the women went to anoint, and a living Christ? A dead
Christ, I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for
me.

The disciples began the morning with a sad heart. I fancy very possibly
they spent a sleepless night. Oh! the terrible disappointment! They had
hoped that Christ would be the Deliverer of Israel, and they had seen
Him die an accursed death. On the morning of that first day of the week,
they rose with sad hearts--the bitter sadness cannot be expressed. That
is just the life of many Christians. They try to believe in Jesus and to
trust Him, and to hope in Him, but there is no joy. Why? Because they do
not know that there is a living Christ to reveal Himself.

Then there is the second stage. What is that? The stage of which Christ
speaks:

"_Slow of heart to believe._"

They had the message from the women. They told the stranger who walked
with them: "Certain women have astonished us, telling us they have seen
an angel, who says He is alive." And Christ replied to them: "Oh! fools,
and slow of heart to believe." Yes! there are many Christians to-day who
have heard and who know that they must not only believe in a crucified
Christ, but in a living Christ, and they try to grasp it and take it
in, but it does not bring them a blessing, and why? Because they want to
feel it and not to believe it. They want to work for it, and with
efforts get hold of it, instead of just quietly sinking down and
believing, "Christ, the living Jesus, He will do _everything_ for us."
That is the second stage. The first stage is that of ignorance, the
second stage is that of unbelief--the doubting heart that cannot take in
the wonderful truth that Jesus lives.

Then comes the third stage--

_The burning heart._

Jesus came to the two disciples, and after He had reproved them and
said: "Oh! fools, and slow of heart to believe," He began to open the
Scriptures to them, and to tell them of all the wonderful things the
prophets had taught. Then their eyes were opened, and they began to
understand the Scriptures. They saw that it was true that it was
prophesied that Christ must rise. As He talked, there came out from
Him--the living risen One--a mighty influence, and it rested upon them,
and they began to feel their hearts burn within them with joy and
gladness.

You still say perhaps: "That is the stage we want to come to." No; God
forbid you should stop there. You may get in that third stage--the
burning heart--and yet something is still wanting--the revelation of
Christ. The disciples had had a blessed experience of His divine powers,
but He had not revealed Himself, and oh! how often it is that at
Conventions and in churches, and in meetings and in blessed fellowship
with God's saints, our hearts burn within us. These are precious
experiences of the working of God's grace and Spirit, and yet there is
something wanting. What is that? Jesus Himself has been working upon us,
and the power of his risen life has touched us, but we cannot say, "I
have met Him. He has made Himself known to me." Oh, the difference
between a burning heart, which becomes cold after a time, which comes by
fits and starts, and the blessed revelation of Jesus Himself as my
Saviour, taking charge of me and blessing me and keeping me every day!
This is the stage of

_The satisfied heart._

Oh my brother, my sister! It is what I ask for you, and it is what I am
sure you ask for yourself. I ask it for myself. Lord Jesus! may we know
Thee in thy divine glory as the risen One, our Jesus, our Beloved and
our mighty One. Oh! if there are any sad ones who cannot take this in,
and who say, "I have never known the joy of religion yet"--listen, we
are going to tell you how you can. All will center round this one thing,
that just as a little child lives day by day in the arms of its mother,
and grows up year by year under a mother's eye, it is a possibility that
you can live every day and hour of your life in fellowship with the Holy
Jesus.

_He will do it for you._

Come, and let your sad heart begin to hope. Will He reveal Himself? He
did it to the disciples and He will do it to you. Perhaps there are
some who have got beyond the sad heart and who yet feel, "I have not
got what I want." If you throw open your heart and give up everything
but just believing and allowing Him to do what He wants, it will come.
God be praised! it will come.

_Jesus will reveal Himself._

Perhaps you have arrived at the stage of the burning heart, and can tell
of many blessed experiences, but somehow there is a worm at the root.
The experiences do not last, and the heart is so changeable. Oh come, my
beloved! Follow Christ. Say, "Jesus, reveal Thyself that we may know
Thee Thyself. We ask not only to drink of the living water, we want the
fountain. We ask not only to bathe ourselves in the light, we want the
Sun of Righteousness within our hearts. We ask not only to know Thee,
who hast touched us and warmed our hearts and blessed us, but we want to
know that we have the unchangeable Jesus dwelling within our hearts and
abiding with us forevermore."

Now comes the question which I really wanted to put,--What are the
conditions under which our blessed Lord reveals Himself? Or, put it this
way,--To whom is it that Jesus will reveal Himself? We have only to see
how he dealt with these disciples, and we get the answer. What is the
answer? First of all I think I find here that Christ revealed Himself to
those disciples

_Who had given up everything for Him._

He had said to them: "Forsake all and follow Me," and they had done it.
With all their feebleness and all their unfaithfulness they followed
Christ to the end. He said to them: "Ye have continued with Me in My
temptations, and I appoint you a kingdom, as I have received a kingdom
from My Father." They were not perfect men, but they would have died for
Him. They loved Him, they obeyed Him, they followed Him. They had left
all, and for three years they had been following hard after Christ. You
say "Tell me what Christ wants of me, if I am to have his wonderful
presence. Tell me what is the character of the man to whom Christ will
reveal Himself in this highest and fullest way?" I answer: "It is the
one who is ready to forsake all and to follow Him." If Christ is to give
Himself wholly to me, He must know that He has me wholly for Himself;
and I trust God will give grace that these words spoken about the
consecration and the surrender, not only of all evil, but of many lawful
things, and even, if necessary, of life itself, may lead us to
understand what the demand is that Jesus makes upon us.

The motto of the Cape General Mission is,

"_God first._"

In one sense that is a beautiful motto, and yet I am not always
satisfied with it, because it is a motto that is often misunderstood.
God first may mean "I" second, something else third, and something else
fourth. God is thus first in order, but still God becomes one of a
series of powers, and that is not the place God wants. The meaning of
the words, "God first" is really "God all; God everything;" and that is
what Christ wants. To be willing to give up everything, to submit to
Christ to teach him what to say and what to do, is the first mark of the
man to whom Christ will come. Are you not ready to take this step and
say: "Jesus! I do give up everything; I have given up everything; reveal
Thyself."

Oh, brother! oh, sister! do not hesitate. Speak it out in your heart,
and let this be the time in which a new sacrifice shall be laid at the
feet of the blessed Lamb of God.

There is a second thought. There is first the idea of having forsaken
all to follow Him; of having given up everything in obedience to Him,
and living just a life of simple love and obedience. But there is a
second thing needed in the man who is to have this full revelation of
Christ. He must be

_Convicted of his unbelief._

"Oh! fools, and slow of heart to believe what the prophets have said."
Oh! brother, sister, if we could have a sight of the amount of unbelief
in the hearts of God's children, barring the door and closing the heart
against Christ, how we should stand astonished and ashamed! When there
is not unbelief but where there is faith, Christ cannot help coming in.
He cannot help coming where there is a living faith, a full faith. The
heart is opened, the heart is prepared; and as naturally as water runs
into a hollow place, so naturally Christ must come into a heart that is
full of faith. What is the hindrance with some earnest souls, who say:
"I have given myself up to the Lord Jesus. I have done it often, and by
His grace I am doing it every day, and God knows how earnestly and
really I am doing it, and I have the sanction of God upon it, I know God
has blessed me"? They have not been convicted of their unbelief. "Oh!
fools, and slow of heart to believe." Do you know what Christ said about
a man calling his brother a fool? Yet here the loving Son of God could
find no other word to speak to His beloved disciples: "Oh! fools, and
slow of heart to believe." You want the Lord Jesus to give you this full
revelation of Himself? Are you willing to acknowledge that you are a
fool for never having believed in Him? "Lord Jesus, it is my own fault.
There Thou art, longing to have possession of me. There Thou hast been
with Thy faithful promises waiting to reveal Thyself."

Did you ever hear of a man loving another and not longing to reveal
himself? Christ longs to reveal Himself, but He cannot on account of
our unbelief. May God convict us of our unbelief that we may get
utterly ashamed and broken down, and cry, "Oh, my God, what is this,
this heart of unbelief actually throwing a barrier across the door
that Christ cannot step in, blinding my eyes that I cannot see Jesus,
though he is so near? Here He has been for ten or twenty years, from
time to time giving me the burning heart, enjoying the experience of a
little of His love and grace, and yet I have not had the revelation of
Him, taking possession of my heart and dwelling with me in unbroken
continuity." Oh! may God convict us of unbelief. Do let us believe
because all things are possible to him that believes. That is God's
word, and this blessing, receiving the revelation of Jesus, can come
only to those who learn to believe and to trust him.

There is another mark of those to whom this special revelation of Christ
will come, and that is,

_They do not rest until they obtain it._

You know the story. Their hearts were burning as they drew nigh to the
place they were going to, and Christ made as if He were going farther.
He put them to the test, and if they had allowed Him quietly to go on,
if they had been content with the experience of the burning heart, they
would have lost something infinitely better. But they were not content
with it. They were not content to go home to the disciples that night
and say, "Oh, what a blessed afternoon we have had! What wonderful
teaching we have had!" No! The burning heart and the blessed experience
just made them say, "Lord, abide with us," and they compelled Him to
come in. They constrained Him to come in.

It always reminds me of the story of Jacob, "I will not let Thee go,
except Thou bless me." That is the spirit that prepares us for the
revelation of Jesus. Oh! my dear friend, has this been the spirit in
which we have looked upon the wonderful blessing that we have sometimes
heard of? "Oh! my Lord Jesus, though I do not understand it, though I
cannot grasp it, though my struggles avail nothing, I am not going to
let Thee go. If it is possible for a sinner on earth to have Jesus
every day, every hour, and every moment in resurrection power dwelling
in his heart, shining within him, filling him with love and joy,--if
that is possible, I want it."

_Is that your language?_

Oh! come then and say: "Lord Jesus, I cannot let Thee go except Thou
bless me." The question is asked so often: "What is the cause of the
feeble life of so many Christians?" What is really the matter? What is
actually the want?

How little the Church responds to Christ's call! how little the Church
is what Christ would have her to be! What is the cause of all the
trouble? Various answers may be given, but there is one answer which
includes all the other answers, and that is, each believer wants the
personal

_Full revelation of a personal Christ_

as an indwelling Lord, as a satisfying portion. When the Lord Jesus was
here upon earth, what was it that distinguished His disciples from other
people? He took them away from their fish-nets, and from their homes,
and He gathered them about Himself, and they knew Jesus. He was their
Master, and guarded them, and they followed Him. And what is to make a
difference between Christ's disciples--not those who are just hoping to
get to heaven, but Christ's whole-hearted disciples--what is to make a
difference between them and other people? It is this, to be in
fellowship with Jesus--every hour of the day; and just as Christ upon
earth was able to keep those people with Him for three years, day by
day, so

_Christ is able_

in heaven now to do what He could not do when He was on earth--to keep
in the closest fellowship with every believer throughout the whole
world. Glory be to God! You know that text in Ephesians: "He that
descended is the same also that ascended, that He might fill all
things." Why was my Lord Jesus taken up to heaven away from the life of
earth? Because the life of earth is a life confined to localities, but
the life in heaven is a life in which there is no limit and no bound and
no locality, and Christ was taken up to heaven, that, in the power of
God, of the omnipresent God, He might be able to fill every individual
here and be with every individual believer.

That is what my heart wants to realize by faith; that is a possibility,
that is a promise, that is my birthright, and I want to have it, and I
want by the grace of God to say, "Jesus, I will not rest until Thou hast
revealed Thyself fully to my soul."

There are often very blessed experiences in the Christian life in what I
call the third stage--the stage of the burning heart. Do you know what
another great mark of that stage is? Delight in God's word. How did the
disciples get their burning hearts? By that strange opening of the
Scripture to them. He made it all look different,--new,--and they saw
what they had never seen before. They could not help feeling,

_How wonderful_,

how heavenly was that teaching. Oh! there are many Christians who find
the best time of the day is the time when they can get with their
Bibles, and who love nothing so much as to get a new thought; and as a
diamond digger rejoices when he has found a diamond, or a gold digger
when he has found a nugget, they delight when they get from the Bible
some new thought, and they feed upon it. Yet with all that interest in
God's word, and with all that stirring of the heart with joy, when they
go into business or attend to their daily duties, there is still
something wanting.

We must come away from all the manifold and multifarious blessings that
Jesus can bestow from time to time, to the blessed unity of that
one--that Jesus makes Himself known, Jesus Himself is willing to make
Himself known. Oh! if I were to ask, "Is not this just what you and I
want, and what many of us have been longing for?" I am sure you would
answer,

"_That is what I want._"

Think what the blessedness will be that comes from it. You often sing:--

  "Oh! the peace my Saviour gives!
  Peace I never knew before,
  And my way has brighter grown,
  Since I've learnt to trust Him more."

I recently had a letter from some one in the Free State saying what a
wonderful comfort and strength that little verse was in the midst of
difficulties and troubles. Yes; but how can that peace be kept? It was
the presence of Christ that brought the peace. When the storm was
threatening to swallow up the disciples, it was the presence of Christ
Himself that gave the peace.

Oh! Christian, do you want peace and rest? You must have Jesus Himself.
You talk of purity, you talk of cleansing, you talk of deliverance from
sin. Praise God, here is the deliverance and the cleansing, when the
living Jesus comes and gives power. Then we have this resurrection of
Christ, this heavenly Christ upon the throne, making Himself known to
us. Surely that will be the secret of purity and the secret of strength.

Where does the strength of so many come from? From the joy of a personal
friendship with Jesus. Those disciples, if they had gone away with their
burning hearts to the other disciples, could have told them wonderful
things of a man who had explained to them the Scriptures and the
promises, but they could not have said, "We have seen Jesus." They might
have said, "Jesus is alive. We are sure of that," but that would not
have satisfied the others. But they could now go and say,

"_We have seen Himself._

He has revealed Himself to us." We are all glad to work for Christ, but
there is a complaint throughout the Church of Christ, from the ministers
in the pulpit down to the feeblest worker, of lack of joy and lack of
blessedness. Let us try and find out whether this is not the place where
the secret will be discovered--that the Lord Jesus comes and shows
Himself to us as our Master and speaks to us. When we have Jesus with
us, and when we go every footstep with the thought that it is Jesus
wants us to go, it is Jesus who sends us and is helping us, then there
will be brightness in our testimony, and it will help other believers,
and they will begin to understand; "I see why I have failed. I took the
word, I took the blessing, and I took, as I thought, the life, but I was
without the living Jesus."

And if you now ask, "How will this revelation come?" Brother, sister,
that is the secret that no man may tell, that Jesus keeps to Himself. It
is

_In the power of the Holy Ghost_;

Christ, the risen One, entered into a new life. His resurrection life is
entirely different from His life before His death. You know what we
read: "They knew Him." He revealed Himself, and then He passed away. And
was that vision of Christ worth so much? It was lost in a moment. It
was worth heaven, eternity, everything. Why? Because henceforth Christ
was no longer to be known after the flesh. Christ was henceforth in the
power of the Spirit, which fills Heaven; in the power of the Spirit
which is the power of the Godhead; in the power of the Spirit, which
fills our hearts. Christ was henceforth to live in the life of Heaven.

Thank God, Christ can by the power of the Holy Ghost reveal Himself to
each one of us; but oh! brother, it is a secret thing between Christ and
yourself. Take this assurance, "Their eyes were opened and they knew
Him," and believe that it is written for you.

You say, "I have known the other three stages; the stage of the sad
heart, mourning that I knew no living Christ; I have known the stage of
the slow heart to believe, when I struggled with my unbelief; and I know
the stage of the burning heart, when there are great times of joy and
blessedness." You say that? Oh come then and know the fourth stage of

_The satisfied heart_,

of the heart made glad for eternity, of the heart that cannot keep its
joy in, but goes away back to Jerusalem, and says, "It is true. Jesus
has revealed Himself. I know it, I feel it." Oh! brother, oh! sister,
how will this revelation come? Jesus will tell you. Just come to the
Lord Jesus and breathe up before Him a simple child-like prayer, and I,
His servant, will come and take you by the hand and say: "Come, now, my
work is done. I have pointed to the Lamb of God, to the risen One. My
work is done."

Let us enter into the Holy Presence and begin, if you have never yet
sought it before, begin to plead: "Oh! Saviour, that I might have this
blessedness every moment present with me--Jesus Himself, my portion
forever."



"_Jesus Himself._"

"_Lo, I am with you alway._"

II


When I think of all the struggles and difficulties and failures of which
many complain, and know that many are trying to make a new effort to
begin a holy life, their hearts fearing all the time that they would
fail again, owing to so many difficulties and temptations and the
natural weakness of their character, my heart longs to be able to tell
them in words so simple that a little child could understand,

_What the secret is of the Christian life._

And then the thought comes to me, Can I venture to hope that it will be
given to me to take that glorious, heavenly, divine Lord Jesus and to
show Him to these souls, so that they can see Him in His glory? And can
it be given to me to open their eyes to see that there is a Divine,
Almighty Christ, who does actually come into the heart and who
faithfully promises, "I will come and dwell with you, and I will never
leave you?" No; my words cannot do that. But then I thought, my Lord
Jesus can use me as a simple servant to take such feeble ones by the
hand and encourage and help them; to say, Oh, come, come, come, into the
presence of Jesus and wait on Him, and He will reveal Himself to thee. I
pray God that He may use His precious Word. It is simply

_The presence of the Lord Jesus._

That is the secret of the Christian's strength and joy. You know that
when He was upon earth, He was present in bodily form with his
disciples. They walked about together all day, and at night they went
into the same house, and sometimes slept together and ate and drank
together. They were continually together. It was the presence of Jesus
that was the training school of His disciples. They were bound to Him by
that wonderful intercourse of love during three long years, and in that
intercourse they learned to know Christ, and Christ instructed and
corrected them, and prepared them for what they were afterward to
receive. And now when He is going away, He says to them: "Lo, behold, I
am with you always--all the days--even unto the end of the world."

What a promise! And just as really as Christ was with Peter in the boat,
just as Christ sat with John at the table, as really can I have Christ
with me. And more really, for they had their Christ in the body and He
was to them a man, an individual separate from them, but I may have
glorified Christ in the power of the throne of God, the omnipotent
Christ, the omnipresent Christ.

What a promise! You ask me, How can that be? And my answer is, Because
Christ is God, and because Christ after having been made man, went up
into the throne and the Life of God. And now that blessed Christ Jesus,
with His loving, pierced heart; that blessed Jesus Christ, who lived
upon earth; that same Christ glorified into the glory of God, can be in
me and

_Can be with me all the days._

You say, Is it really possible for a man in business, for a woman in the
midst of a large and difficult household, for a poor man full of care;
is it possible? Can I always be thinking of Jesus? Thank God, you need
not always be thinking of Him. You may be the manager of a bank, and
your whole attention may be required to carry out the business that you
have to do. But thank God, while I have to think of my business, Jesus
will think of me, and He will come in and will take charge of me. That
little child, three months old, as it sleeps in its mother's arms, lies
helplessly there; it hardly knows its mother, it does not think of her,
but the mother thinks of the child. And this is the blessed mystery of
love, that Jesus the God-man waits to come in to me in the greatness of
His love; and as He gets possession of my heart, He embraces me in those
divine arms and tells me, "My child, I the Faithful One, I the Mighty
One will abide with thee, will watch over thee and keep thee all the
days." He tells me He will come into my heart, so that I can be a happy
Christian, a holy Christian, and a useful Christian. You say, Oh! if I
could only believe that, if I could think that it is possible to have
Christ always, every hour, every moment with me,

_Taking and keeping charge of me!_

My brother, my sister, it is just literally this that is my message to
you. When Jesus said to His disciples, "Lo, I am with you always," He
meant it in the fullness of the divine Omnipresence, in the fullness of
the divine love, and he longs to-night to reveal Himself to you and to
me as we have never seen Him before.

And now just think a moment what a blessed life that must be--the
presence of Jesus always abiding. Is not that the secret of peace and
happiness? If I could just attain (that is what each heart says) to that
blessed state in which every day and all the day I felt Jesus to be
watching and ever keeping me, oh, what peace I would have in the
thought, "I have no care if He cares for me, and I have no fear if He
provides for me." Your heart says that this is too good to be true, and
that it is too glorious to be for you. Still you acknowledge it must be
most blessed. Fearful one, erring one, anxious one, I bring you God's
promise, it is for me and for you. Jesus will do it; as God, He is able,
and Jesus is willing and longing as the Crucified One to keep you in
perfect peace. This is a wonderful fact, and it is the secret of joy
unspeakable.

And this is also

_The secret of Holiness._

Instead of indwelling sin, an indwelling Christ conquering it; instead
of indwelling sin, the indwelling life and light and love of the blessed
Son of God. He is the secret of holiness. "Christ is made unto us
sanctification." Remember that it is Christ Himself who is made unto us
sanctification. Christ coming into me, taking charge of my whole being;
my nature and my thoughts and my affections and my will; ruling all
things. It is this that will make me holy. We talk about holiness, but
do you know what holiness is? You have as much holiness as you have of
Christ, for it is written, "Both he that sanctifieth and they who are
sanctified are all of one;" and Christ sanctifies by bringing God's life
into me.

We read in Judges, "The Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon." But you know
that there is in the New Testament an equally wonderful text, where we
read, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ," that is, clothe yourself with
Christ Jesus. And what does that mean? It does not only mean, by
imputation of righteousness outside of me, but to clothe myself with the
living character of the living Christ, with the living love of the
living Christ.

_Put on the Lord Jesus._

Oh! what a work. I cannot do it unless I believe and understand that He
whom I have to put on is as a garment covering my whole being. I have to
put on a living Christ who has said, "Lo, I am with you all the days."
Just draw the folds closer round you, of that robe of light with which
Christ would array you. Just come and acknowledge that Christ is with
you, on you, in you. Oh, put Him on! And when you look at one
characteristic of His after another; and you hear God's word, "Let this
mind be in you which was also in Jesus Christ," and it tells you He was
obedient unto the death; and then you answer, Christ the obedient one,
Christ whose whole life was obedience, it is that Christ whom I have
received and put on. He becomes my life and His obedience rests upon me,
until I learn to whisper as Jesus did, "My Father, Thy will be done; lo,
I come to do Thy will."

This, too, is the secret of influence in witness and work. How comes it
that it is so

_Difficult to be obedient_,

and how comes it that I so often sin? People sing, "Oh, to be wholly
Thine," and sing it from their hearts. How comes it then that they are
disobedient again? Where does the disobedience come from? And the answer
comes, It is because I am trying to obey a distant Christ, and thus His
commands do not come with power. Look what I find in God's Word. When
God wanted to send any man upon His service, He first met him and
talked with him and cheered him time after time. God appeared to
Abraham seven or eight times, and gave to him one command after another;
and so Abraham learned to obey Him perfectly. God appeared to Joshua and
to Gideon, and they obeyed. And why are we not obedient? Because we have
so little of this near intercourse with Jesus. But, oh, if we knew

_This blessed, heavenly secret_

of having the presence of Christ with us every day, every hour, every
minute, what a joy it would be to obey! We could not walk in this
consciousness,--My Lord Jesus is with me and around me,--and not obey
Him! Oh, do you not begin to long and say, This is what I must have, the
ever-abiding presence of Jesus! There are some Christians who try not to
be disobedient, who come to their Sunday and week-day duties most
faithfully, and pray for grace and a blessing, and they complain of so
little blessing and power, so little power! And why? Because there is
not enough of the living Jesus in their hearts. I sometimes think of
this as a most solemn truth. There is a great diversity of gifts amongst
ministers and others who speak; but I am sure of this, that a man's
gifts are not the measure of his real power. I am sure of this, that God
can see what neither you nor I can see. Sometimes people feel something
of it; but in proportion as a man has in reality, not as a sentiment or
an aspiration, or a thought, but in reality, the very spirit and
presence of Jesus upon him, there comes out from him an unseen silent
influence. That secret influence is the

_Holy presence of Jesus._

"Lo, I am with you always." And now, if what I have said has sufficed
just to indicate what a desirable thing it is, what a blessed thing it
is to live for, then let me now give you an answer to the question that
arises in more than one heart. I can hear some one say, "Tell me how I
can get this blessed abiding presence of Jesus; and when I have got it,
how I can ever keep it. I think if I have this, I have all. The Lord
Jesus has come very near to me. I have tried to turn away from
everything that can hinder, and have had my Lord very near. But how can
I know that He will be with me always?" If you were to ask the Lord,
"Oh, my blessed Lord Christ, what must I do, how can I enjoy Thy
never-failing presence?" His first answer would be, "Only believe. I
have said it often, and you only partly understood it, but I will say it
again--

_My child, only believe._"

It is by faith. We sometimes speak of faith as trust, and it is a very
helpful thing to tell men that faith is trust: but when people say, as
they sometimes do, that it is nothing else but trust, that is not the
case. It is a far wider word than trust. It is by faith that I learn to
know the invisible One, the invisible God, and that I see Him. Faith is
my spiritual eye-sight for the unseen and heavenly. You often try hard
to trust God, and you fail. Why? Because you have not taken time first
to see God. How can you trust God fully until you have met Him and
known Him? You ask, "Where ought I to begin?" You ought to begin with
first believing; with presenting yourself before this God in the
attitude of silent worship, and asking Him to let a sense of His
greatness and His presence come upon you. You must ask Him to let your
heart be covered over with his holy presence. You must seek to realize
in your heart the presence of an Almighty and all-loving God, an
unspeakably loving God. Take time to worship Him as the omnipotent God,
to feel that the very power that created the world, the very power that
raised Jesus from the dead, is at this moment working in your heart. We
do not experience it because we do not believe. We must take time to
believe. Jesus says, "Oh, my child, shut your eyes to the world, and
shut out of your heart all these thoughts about religion, and begin to
believe in God Himself." That is the first article of the Creed--"I
believe in God."

_By believing I open my heart_,

to receive this glorious God, and I bow and worship. And then as I
believe this, I look up and I see the Lamb upon the Throne, and I
believe that the Almighty power of God is in Jesus for the very purpose
of revealing His presence to my heart. Why are there two upon the
Throne? Is not God enough? The Lamb of God is upon the Throne in your
interest and in mine; the Lamb upon the Throne is Christ Himself, with
power as God to take possession of me. Oh, do not think you cannot get
that realization. And do not think of it as now only within your reach;
but cultivate the habit of faith. "Jesus, I believe in Thy glory; I
believe in Thine omnipotence; I believe in Thy power working within me.
I believe in Thy living, loving presence with me, revealing itself in
Divine power."

Do not be occupied with feelings or experiences. You will find it far
simpler and easier just to trust and say, "I am sure He is all for me."
Get rid of yourself for the time; don't think or speak about yourself;
but

_Think what Jesus is._

And then remember it is believe always. I sometimes feel that I cannot
find words to tell how God wants His people to believe from morning till
night. Every breath ought to be just believing. Yes, it is indeed true;
the Lord Jesus loves us to be just believing from morning to evening,
and you must begin to make that the chief thing in life. In the morning
when you wake, let your heart go forth with a large faith in this; and
in the watches of the night let this thought be present with you--my
Saviour Jesus is round me and near me, and you can look up and say, "I
want to trust Thee always." You know what trust is. It is so sweet to
trust. And now cannot you trust Jesus; this presence, this keeping
presence? He lives for you in Heaven. You are marked with His blood, and
he loves you; and cannot you say, "My King, my King, He is with me all
the days?" Oh, trust Jesus to fulfill His own promises.

There is a second answer that I think Christ would give if we come to
Him believing, and say, "Is there anything more, my blessed Master?" I
think I can hear His answer:

"_My child, always obey._"

Do not fail to understand the lesson contained in this one word. You
must distinctly and definitely take that word OBEY and obedience, and
learn to say for yourselves: "Now I have to obey, and by the grace of
God I am going to obey in everything." At our recent exhibition at the
Cape, Mr. Rhodes, our Prime Minister, went to the gate, thinking he had
got the fee in his pocket. When he got to the gate, however, he found he
had not enough money, and said to the door-keeper, "I am Mr. Rhodes; let
me in and I will take care you do not suffer." But the man said, "I
cannot help that, sir, I have my orders," and he refused to let Mr.
Rhodes in. He had to borrow from a friend, and pay before he could pass
the gate. At a dinner afterward Mr. Rhodes spoke about it, and said it
was a real joy to see a man stick to his order like that. That is it.
The man had his orders, and that was enough to him, and whoever came to
the gate had to pay his fee before he could enter. God's children ought
to be like soldiers, and be

_Ready to say, "I must obey."_

Oh! to have that thought in our hearts--"Jesus, I love to obey Thee."
There must be personal intercourse with the Saviour, and then comes the
joy of personal service and allegiance. Are you ready to obey in all
feebleness and weakness and fear? Can you say, "Yes, Lord Jesus, I will
obey?" If so, then give yourself up absolutely. Then your feeling will
be, "I am not going to speak one word if I think that Jesus would not
like to hear it. I am not going to have an opinion of my own, but my
whole life is to be covered with the purity of His obedience to the
Father and His self-sacrificing love to me. I want Christ to have my
whole life, my whole heart, my whole character. I want to be like Christ
and to obey." Give yourself up to this loving obedience.

The third thought is this: If I say, "My Master, blessed Saviour, tell
me all, I will believe, I do obey, and I will obey. Is there anything
more I need to secure the enjoyment of Thine abiding presence?" And I
catch this answer:

"_My child, close intercourse with me every day._"

Ah, there is the fault of many who try to obey and try to believe; they
do it in their own strength, and they do not know that if the Lord Jesus
is to reign in their hearts, they must have close communion with Him
every day. You cannot do all He desires, but Jesus will do it for you.
There are many Christians who fail here, and on that account do not
understand what it is to have fellowship with Jesus. Do let me try and
impress this upon you: God has given you a loving, living Saviour, and
how can He bless if you do not meet Him? The joy of friendship is found
in intercourse; and Jesus asks for this every day, that he may have time
to influence me, to tell me of Himself, to teach me, to breathe His
Spirit unto me, to give me new life and joy and strength. And remember,
intercourse with Jesus

_Does not mean half-an-hour_

or an hour in your closet. A man may study his Bible or his commentary
carefully; he may look up all the parallel passages in the chapter; when
he comes out of his closet he may be able to tell you all about it, and
yet he has never met Jesus that morning at all. You have prayed for five
or ten minutes, and you have never met Jesus. And so we must remember
that though the Bible is most precious, and the reading of it most
blessed and needful; yet prayer and Bible reading are not fellowship
with Jesus. What we need every morning is to meet Jesus, and to say,
"Lord, here is the day again, and I am just as weak in myself as ever I
was; do Thou come and feed me this morning with Thyself and speak to my
soul." Oh, friends, it is not your faith that will keep you standing,
but it is a living Jesus, met

_Every day in fellowship_

and worship and love. Wait in His presence, however cold and faithless
you feel. Wait before Him and say: "Lord, helpless as I am, I believe
and rest in the blessed assurance that what Thou hast promised Thou wilt
do for me."

I ask my Master once again, "Lord Jesus, is that all?" And his answer
is: "No, my child; I have one thing more." "And what is that? Thou hast
told me to believe, and to obey, and to abide near to Thee: what wouldst
Thou have more?"

"_Work for me my child._

Remember, I have redeemed thee for My service; I have redeemed thee to
have a witness to go out into the world confessing Me before men." Oh,
do not hide your treasure, or think that if Jesus is with you, you can
hide it. One of two things will happen--either you must give all up, or
it must come out. You have perhaps heard of the little girl, who, after
one of Mr. Moody's meetings, was found to be singing some of the hymns
we all know. The child's parents were in a good position in society, and
while singing those hymns in the drawing-room her mother forbade her.
One day she was singing the hymn "Oh, I'm so glad that Jesus loves me,"
when her mother said, "My child, how is it that you sing this when I
have forbidden it?" She replied, "Oh, mother, I cannot help it; it
comes out of itself." If Jesus Christ be in the heart, He must come out.
Remember, it is not only our duty to confess Him; it is that, but it is
something more. If you do not do it, it is just an indication that you
have not given yourself up to Jesus; your character, your reputation,
your all. You are holding back from Him. You must confess Jesus in the
world, in your home; and in fact everywhere. You know the Lord's
command, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every
creature;" "and, lo, I am with you," meaning, "Any one may work for Me,
and I will be with him." It is true of the minister, the missionary, and
every believer who works for Jesus. The presence of Jesus is intimately
connected with work for Him. You say, "I have never thought of that
before. I have my Sunday work, but during the week I am not doing work
for Him." You cannot have the presence of Jesus, and let this continue
to be the case. I do not believe you could have the presence of Jesus
all the week and yet do nothing for Him; therefore my advice is, work
for Him who is worthy, His blessing and His presence will be found in
the work. It is

_A blessed privilege to work for Christ_

in this perishing world. Oh, why is it that our hearts often feel so
cold and closed up, and so many of us say, "I do not feel called to
Christ's work"? Be willing to yield yourself for the Lord's service, and
He will reveal Himself to you.

Christ comes with His wondrous promise, and what He says, He says to all
believers: "Lo, I am with you always; that is My promise; this is what I
in My power can do; this is what I faithfully engage to perform; will
you have it?

_I give Myself to thee, O soul._"

To each of those who have come to Him, Christ says, "I give Myself to
thee, to be absolutely and wholly thine every hour of every day; to be
with thee and in thee every moment, to bless thee and sustain thee, and
to give thee each moment the consciousness of My presence; I will be
wholly, wholly, wholly thine."

And now, what is the other side? He wants me to be wholly His. Are you
ready to take this as your motto now,

"_Wholly for God_"?

O God, breathe Thou Thy presence in my heart that Thou mayest shine
forth from my life. "Wholly for God," let this be our motto. Come let us
cast ourselves on our faces before His feet. Our missionary from
Nyassaland says he has often been touched by seeing how the native
Christians, when they are brought to Jesus, do not stand in prayer; they
do not kneel; but they cast themselves upon the earth with their
foreheads to the ground, and there they lie, and with loud voices cry
unto God. I sometimes feel that I wish we could do that ourselves; but
we need not do it literally. Let us do it in spirit, for the everlasting
Son of God has come into our hearts. Are you going to take Him and to
keep Him there, to give Him glory and let Him have His way? Come now
and say, "I will seek Thee with my whole heart; I am wholly Thine."
Yield yourself entirely to Him to have complete possession. He will take
and keep possession. Come now. Jesus delights in the worship of His
Saints. Our whole life can become one continuous act of worship and work
of love and joy, if we only remember and value this, that Jesus has
said, "Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end of the world."





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