Is God’s Will My Will?

This is the will of God, your sanctification . . . —1 Thessalonians 4:3

Sanctification is not a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me— is it my will? Am I willing to let God do in me everything that has been made possible through the atonement of the Cross of Christ? Am I willing to let Jesus become sanctification to me, and to let His life be exhibited in my human flesh? (see 1 Corinthians 1:30). Beware of saying, “Oh, I am longing to be sanctified.” No, you are not. Recognize your need, but stop longing and make it a matter of action. Receive Jesus Christ to become sanctification for you by absolute, unquestioning faith, and the great miracle of the atonement of Jesus will become real in you.

All that Jesus made possible becomes mine through the free and loving gift of God on the basis of what Christ accomplished on the cross. And my attitude as a saved and sanctified soul is that of profound, humble holiness (there is no such thing as proud holiness). It is a holiness based on agonizing repentance, a sense of inexpressible shame and degradation, and also on the amazing realization that the love of God demonstrated itself to me while I cared nothing about Him (see Romans 5:8). He completed everything for my salvation and sanctification. No wonder Paul said that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ, and in Him one with God, and it is accomplished only through the magnificent atonement of Christ. Never confuse the effect with the cause. The effect in me is obedience, service, and prayer, and is the outcome of inexpressible thanks and adoration for the miraculous sanctification that has been brought about in me because of the atonement through the Cross of Christ.

by Oswald Chambers

Living Triumphantly

Matthew 4:18-20

The man who stepped forward to preach at Pentecost was flawed and known to be impetuous. Peter had not only disagreed with Jesus but had even denied knowing Him. Yet he’d developed into a man whose impact for the kingdom surpassed his impulsiveness.

When studying Peter’s life, believers often focus on his negative actions—the doubt that nearly drowned him when he walked on water, and his aforementioned rebuke and denial of Jesus. But Peter is also an example of triumphant living. An uneducated fisherman who likely had few other skills, Peter put down his nets and followed Jesus the instant he was asked. He was the first to acknowledge Christ as the Son of God (Matt. 16:16). And after the Lord’s resurrection, Peter’s spontaneous nature led him to leap into the water and swim for shore when he noticed his Savior waiting there (John 21:7). The disciple’s devotion cannot be questioned.

Peter is an inspiration for us today. God does not choose servants who are solid rocks with no cracks or crevices. Instead, He selects people who have weaknesses, failures, and a need to be forgiven repeatedly. The Lord looks for believers who are teachable, willing to repent, and prepared to surrender to God’s greater will—folks who are a lot like Peter.

Too many Christians have already decided how much the Lord can do with them, based on education, personality, or talent. But God isn’t interested in qualifications. He seeks willing followers who echo Isaiah’s call, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isa. 6:8). That’s triumphant living.

Renewing of the Holy Spirit

“. . . the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:5)

The Holy Spirit’s eternal impacts on our lives (regeneration and renewal) are brought together in this text in a rather unique way. To begin with, the Greek words are unusual—“regeneration” being used only twice in the New Testament and “renewal” only five times in various forms. They come together only in this passage.

“Regeneration” (paliggenesia) means to “birth again.” The connection to our salvation is well established and does not need much explanation here. “Renewal” (anakainosis) in its variations is a bit more difficult to describe—especially since there is the possible linguistic connection to the “washing” (bath) of regeneration. That is, the section could be translated “the Holy Spirit’s bath of regeneration and renewing”—thus equating the two terms. Most translations, however, treat the terms as separate actions or conditions for which the Holy Spirit is responsible. This fits best with the rest of the biblical data.

Perhaps the most well-known passage focusing on renewal is Romans 12:1-2. In this precious reference, we are commanded to present (yield) our bodies as holy and acceptable living sacrifices, and to refuse to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed (metamorphoo = “permanent change”) by the renewing of our mind. The instrument by which the transformation comes about is the new mind (intellect)—a grace-gift imputed at salvation by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:16; Hebrews 10:16). This renewal takes place in the “inward man” (2 Corinthians 4:16) which “is renewed in knowledge” (Colossians 3:10) according to the image of the Creator. Thus, the renewal comes about intellectually, through the ministrations of the Holy Spirit, as we seek, study, store, and obey the magnificent Word of God. HMM III

My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning

My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.—
Psalm 130:6.
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.—Psalm 18:28.

A SOUL that is patient waits with calm endurance for light before acting, and in virtue of this calm and patient endurance suffers no pain or anxiety, because the soul possesses herself and waits for light; and when the mind waits patiently for light, sooner or later it is sure to come. Trials of mind affect us more deeply than pains of body, and if we give way to anxiety such trials become troubles, and are immensely increased. But this cannot happen to those patient souls, who feel that they are in the hands of God, and are encircled with His fatherly providence, and that all things are in His disposal. When we see not our way through some
trial or difficulty, we have only to look to God, and to wait in patience, and in due time His light will come and guide us. This very attitude of waiting, this very patience of expecting, will dispose the mind to receive, and the will to rightly use, the needful light. Whenever you are perplexed as to what course you should take, if you go blindly into action you will be sure to repent it. Wait for light, wait with patience, and light will not fail you. WILLIAM BERNARD ULLATHORNE.

The Lord thy God accept thee

The Lord thy God accept thee. 2 Samuel 24:23

Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. — There is none righteous, no, not one. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood. To declare … at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Accepted in the Beloved. —Ye are complete in him.

Micah 6:6-8. Isaiah 64:6. Romans 3:10, 23-26. Ephesians 1:6. Colossians 2:10.

I delight in the law of God after the inward man

I delight in the law of God after the inward man. Romans 7:22

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. — Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart. — I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. — I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. — My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure enlightening the eyes. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. — Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.

Psalm 119:97. Jeremiah 15:16. Song of Songs 2:3. Job 23:12. Psalm 40:8. John 4:34. Psalm 19:8,10. James 1:22,23.