TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

FANATICISM

“Rightly did Jonathan Edwards affirm, ‘Many have been the mischiefs that have arisen from that false and delusory notion of the witness of the Spirit, that it is a kind of inward voice, suggestion, or revelation from God to man, that he is beloved of Him, and that his sins are pardoned—sometimes accompanied with, sometimes without, a text of Scripture; and many have been the false and vain (though very high) affections that have arisen from hence.  It is to be feared that multitudes of souls have been eternally undone by it.’  Especially was this so in the past, when fanaticism made much of the Spirit witnessing to souls” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p138).

Samuel Chadwick defines this as ‘will-worship.”  “…a kind of will-worship, by which man substitutes his own enthusiasms for the will of God” (ref#195, p126).  These thoughts came from a spirit all right, but it was an unholy spirit and not the HOLY SPIRIT.

“…They tripped over what little they knew about him [JESUS] and fell, sprawling….” (Mark 6:3 MSG).

“He who is seldom with Jesus in private will only exhibit, in all that he does for Jesus publicly, the fitful movements of a mind urged on by a feverish and unnatural excitement” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 17th).

“Man-made enthusiasm and emotionalism is superficial and cheap.  In real revival emotion is not produced or manipulated by man.  It is a response to the unsought, unexpected, but powerful working of God’s Spirit upon the inner depths of people’s souls” Wesley Duewel (ref#341, p12).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

ABIDE IN CHRIST AND NOT IN SELF

“They that are convinced of their own sin and misery do commonly first think to tame the flesh…to make their corrupt nature to be better-natured and inclined to holiness by their struggling and wrestling with it…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p191).

“…they endeavor to reform their old state, and to be made perfect in the flesh, instead of putting it off and walking according to the new state in Christ….they trust to Christ to help them in this carnal way; whereas true faith would teach them that they are nothing, and that they do not labour in vain” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p191).

The Apostle Paul accuses the Galatian church of this very thing: “O foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you?…Are you so foolish?  Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh” (Gal 3:1,3 ESV)?

FATHER, for many years now You have impressed upon me that “The world will never believe in a religion in which there is no supernatural power” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p89).

“The answer is in the demonstration of a supernatural religion, and the only way to a supernatural religion is in the abiding presence of the Spirit of God” Samuel Chadwick (ref#161, p190).

You have thoroughly convinced me that my own efforts to be righteous does not stand out in supernatural righteousness at all.  My efforts leave me only prideful, with short-lived joy.  No wonder You call my acts filthy rags (Isa 64:6).  “…self must fail…” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p58).

“The…greatest enemy in the abiding life, is SELF….it refuses to give up its will…by its working, it hinders God’s work.  Unless this life of self, with its willing and working, be displaced by the life of Christ, with His willing and working, to abide in Him will be impossible….Are you ready…to give up self entirely to its death of the cross, to be kept there until it be wholly destroyed?…Am I prepared to say that the old self shall no longer have a word to say; that it shall not be allowed to have a single thought, however natural—not a single feeling, however gratifying—not a single wish or work, however right” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p187)?

FATHER, I desire to “live in Your acts of kindness and enjoy Your smiles” Barnes Notes (ref#16, [Ps 89:15]).

PRAYER

UNANSWERED PRAYER  I

“Surely God does not hear an empty cry…” (Job 35:13 ESV).

“Every one that asketh receiveth’…Yet…there are conditions and limitations….The unrestricted promises are hedged about with conditions….It is possible to ask and not receive (Ps 66:18; James 4:2-3)” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p126).

“There may be cases in which the answer is a refusal, because the request is not according to God’s Word, as when Moses asked to enter Canaan.  But still, there was an answer: God did not leave His servant in uncertainty as to His will” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIFTH LESSON).

“…there are burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off, He wants us to roll them back on Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, April 13th). “…prayer is God’s answer to our poverty, not a power we exercise to obtain an answer” Oswald Chambers (ref#23, p397).

FATHER, this quote propels me to see that when I cry to You in my sympathies I cry to You in pride.  “I” want to be the one who moves You to answer my request.  All my prayer requests must be out of contriteness—praying because I can do nothing to answer the need.  Sin entangles me so that I forget that I am the needy creature and You are the providing Creator.  I thank You for Your longsuffering grace to teach me.  Praise befits You.

“God commands us to pray specifically for our desires, but our desires cannot command him” (Ps 37:4-5; Phil 4:6)” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p109).

“God does not delay to hear our prayers, because he has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, he may give us the more largely” Anselm of Canterbury (ref#65, p96).

PRAYER

UNABLE TO PRAY ARIGHT 

“…so depraved is the saint that in the hour of need he is incapable of asking God aright to minister unto him.  Sin has so corrupted his heart and darkened his understanding that, left to himself, he cannot even discern what he should ask God for….In nothing do the saints more need the Spirit’s presence and His gracious assistance than in their addresses of the Throne of Grace” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p145).

LORD, send “the [Holy] Spirit…in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication…” (Rom 8:26 AMPC).

“…because we are so blinded by self-love…we are unable to discern what will be most for God’s glory, what will best promote the good of our brethren…and what will advance our own spiritual growth” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p146-147).

“We are poor, and needy, and ignorant, and blind…But in the midst of our feebleness we may look to God for the aid of his Spirit, and rejoice in his presence, and in his power to sustain us in our sighings, and to guide us in our wanderings” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Rom 8:27]).

“…the Spirit of God makes intercession for the saints, not by supplication to God on their behalf, but by directing and qualifying their supplications in a proper manner, by his agency and influence upon their hearts…” Adam Clarke’s Commentary (ref#15, [Rom 8:27]).

“He [the SPIRIT] instructs and inspires all true prayer.  There is no truer word than that ‘we know not what we should pray for as we ought.’  There is no realm in which we so soon come to the end of what we know as in that of prayer.  Our petitions urge wants that are immediate, obvious, and urgent.  We cannot see deep enough or far enough to know what is our real need.  Most people would like good health, home comfort, congenial conditions, happy friendships, a little more money, and better success…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p60, brackets mine).

PRAYER

IMPORTUNITY IN PRAYER

“I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence…he will get up and give him as much as he needs.  So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.  For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened” (Luke 11:8-10 AMP).

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:16 ESV).  “…pray…day and night, continually.  Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD” (Isa 62:6 NLT).

The definition of importunity in prayer is: “…the condition of being troublesome or persistent because of a deep sense of urgency” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Nov 13th).  “…the earnest, persistent, believing prayer that will not take no for an answer…” Ruben Archer Torrey (ref#212, p89).  “…an importunity that persists and insists in spite of discouragement…with strong cries and tears” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p107).

“…it is very much for our interest to be constantly supplicating him; first, that our heart may always be inflamed with a serious and ardent desire of seeking, loving, and serving him…secondly, that no desires, no longing whatever, of which we are ashamed to make him the witness, may enter our minds, while we learn to place all our wishes in his sight, and thus pour out our heart before him…” John Calvin (ref#113, p564-565).

“Of all the mysteries of the prayer world, the need of persevering prayer is one of the greatest.  That the Lord, who is so loving and longing to bless, should have to be supplicated time after time, sometimes year after year, before the answer comes, we cannot easily understand.  When after persevering supplication, our prayer remains unanswered, it is often easiest for our slothful flesh…to think that we must now cease praying, because God may have His secret reason for withholding His answer to our request. It is by faith alone that the difficulty is overcome….When…faith has taken its stand upon God’s word, and the Name of Jesus…it need not be discouraged by delay” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SIXTEENTH LESSON).

“The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Feb 19th AM).

PRAYER

INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD

“The wonder is not that God hears prayer, but that He is our Father” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p63).

“Though we have God’s promises in the Bible and full liberty to take them, the spiritual power is lacking unless God himself speaks them to us” Andrew Murray (ref#11, p72).

“Prayer that comes as holy fire from God, and that rises as holy incense to God; prayer that takes me, with every want and infirmity, with every sin and sorrow, to the arms of the Father through the smitten hands of the Son; prayer that sweetens my solitude, calms my agitated spirit, weakens the power of sin, nourishes the desire for holiness, and transports the soul through anticipation beyond the region of winds and storms and tempests into the presence of God, where all is sunshine and peace—oh, what a wondrous privilege is this” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 3rd)!

“…when we are in His immediate presence and behold Him in all the glory of His throne of grace.  There, surely is the place for the child to trust its Father…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p32).

“There is nothing secret about communion with God.  If we live a holy life before God, broken of our pride and self-will, crying out for grace, then we will be in communion with God.  It is really that simple” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p247).

FATHER, I think of being in communion with You only when I pray.  But, of course we are together every moment that I am working out my salvation by making the effort to allow You to work Yourself into my actions which takes broken pride, self-will and crying out for grace.  Thank You for initiating constant communion.

“Hearts must be pure and hands clean that dare shut the door and be alone with God” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p29).

PRAYER

ABIDING IN CHRIST  I

“The great need of God is for intercessors” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p114).  “God looks for men who will stand in the gap (Ezek 22:30)” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p82).

“Because of what prayer really is, prayer is not natural for us.  It’s not natural for us to embrace our sin, weakness, and failure.  It’s not natural for us to be comfortable depending on the mercy of another.  It’s not natural for us to surrender our hope and dreams to the better vision of another.  It’s not natural for us to surrender our wisdom and control to someone greater than us.  It’s not natural for us to think that we need grace” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, March 3rd).

“And it is this the Father wills: He seeks daily intercourse with His children in listening to and granting their petitions.  He wills that I should come to Him day by day with distinct requests…” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIFTH LESSON).

“The rightness of the asking goes down to the rightness of the asker….Patriarchs and Psalmists fall back on their integrity as an argument with God, and their plea is admitted….It is the praying of the righteous man that is of great force.  Faith is no substitute for right living….There is no condemnation, but an assurance in the will of God that gives ‘boldness toward God…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p107).

“It is no use praying unless we are living as children of God” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 24th).

“If the name of Christ is to be wholly at my disposal, so that I may have the full command of it for all I will, it must be because I first put myself wholly at His disposal, so that He has free and full command of me.  It is the abiding in Christ that gives the right and power to use His name with confidence” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p138).  “…the abiding in Christ teaches the believer in prayer only to seek the glory of God” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p137).

PRAYER

INTERCESSION

“Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.  To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people)” (Eph 6:18 AMP).

“However living and sympathetic we try to be, however sound our psychology, however frank and open our behavior, we cannot penetrate the incognito of the other man, for there are no direct relationships, not even between soul and soul.  Christ stands between us, and we can only get into touch with our neighbours through him.  That is why intercession is the most promising way to reach our neighbours, and corporate prayer, offered in the name of Christ, the purest form of fellowship” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p98).

“In intercession you bring the person, or the circumstance that impinges on you before God until you are moved by His attitude towards that person or circumstance….put yourself in God’s place” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 13th).

“Let converting, sanctifying, restraining grace be the one constant petition presented at the footstool of mercy…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 13th).

“His delivering mercy depends upon intercessors—people who will put their shoulders under the burdens of others” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p109).

“You don’t realize to what extent you prevail with God for the prevention of national judgments.  When other means fail, prayer may yet prevail” John Collins (ref#225, Dec 13th).

PRAYER

SHORT PRAYERS ARE LONG ENOUGH

“…God is in heaven and you are on earth.  Therefore let your words be few” (Eccl 5:2 ESV).

“When you pray, rather let your heart be without words, than your words be without heart.” John Bunyan

“…prayer is fundamentally counterintuitive, we need grace to rescue us from our self-oriented religious meanderings so that, with humble hearts we may acknowledge God as the Redeemer-King and cast ourselves on his gracious care” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 3rd).

“Begin in silence.  Speak with simplicity.  Listen in meekness.  Never leave without a conscious season of real communion” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p74).  “…silence is the best speech and listening is the best part of praying” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p38).

“Short prayers are long enough….Not length but strength is desirable.  A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity.  If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing, they would be all the better.  Verbiage is to devotion as chaff is to wheat” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 14th PM).

“…the prayer of the upright that delights God comes from a heart that at first feels precarious in the presence of God.  It trembles at the hearing of God’s Word, because it feels so far from God’s ideal and so vulnerable to his judgment and so helpless and so sorry for its failings….The first thing that makes a prayer acceptable to God is the brokenness and humility of the one who prays…what makes prayers pleasing to God is a felt awareness of our tremendous need for mercy….The other thing that marks the upright heart is trust in the willingness and power of God to give the mercy we need” John Piper (ref#220, p214).

PRAYER

PRAYERS IN JESUS’ NAME  II

“To pray in the name of Christ is to pray as one who is at one with Christ, whose mind is the mind of Christ, whose desires are the desires of Christ, and whose purpose is one with that of Christ” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p54).

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:12-13 ESV).

“…so intimate the communion effected by him between heaven and earth, that, while his disciples pray on earth in his name, he in heaven will act for them…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p88).

“…The works that I do…refers to those miracles like their Lord’s…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p85).  “…the conversion of sinners to God is a greater work…than mere bodily cures” Charles Ross (ref#241, p86).

“…the comparison is drawn between the limited sphere…of Christ’s work upon earth, and the…work by His servants’ witnessing work.…the…Christian who can go to a brother’s soul, and by word or life can draw that soul to …Christ…does a mightier thing than it was possible for the Master” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:13]).

“Praying in the name of Jesus is…declared to be the disciples’ part in these greater works” Charles Ross (ref#241, p86).  “Making their requests known to the Father in the name of the Son was the means God had ordained of supplying their needs in His service” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p61).  “’in My name’…means praying and working as Christ’s representatives in the same spirit in which Christ prayed and worked” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:13]).

“Prayers offered in the name of Christ are scrutinized and sanctified by His nature, His purpose, and His will.  They are endorsed by Him” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p55).