The Most Exalted Calling

Proverbs 11:30

Truly the profession of a soul-winner is the most exalted one spiritually, and therefore one which is surrounded by the greatest temptations. The higher the peak we climb, the greater our danger of wounds and bruises if we fall; and the higher the spiritual summit to which we aspire, the more awful our spiritual loss and disgrace should we prove untrue.

A soul-winner must be devoted to the salvation of souls. There must be something more than a mere enthusiasm which can shout through a hearty meeting and work like a slave by fits and starts when the Spirit’s power is wonderfully manifest. There must be a devotion for souls.

Jesus Christ’s pattern, described in the words, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me,” (John 4:34 KJV) is of a kind that will sacrifice time, rest, strength, human affections and even life itself. It is of a kind that has so completely achieved the mastery over self and pride in every form that it is willing not to hang back by reason of its unfitness. But, in the midst of others who excel in natural gifts and powers, it is willing to go forward and even have the appearance of foolishness if only it may have a share in giving forth the saving message.

Oh to remember to what a perilous height we shall have to climb if we are to tread in the footsteps of Jesus, the world’s Savior. But if, having already become engaged in this great war, we do not yet see things in this light, what shall we do? First let us remember God will not suddenly make us fit for this work without any effort of our own. Just as for any earthly undertaking a man has to put forth his own determination, and study, labor and strain himself into fitness for it, so must we for this heavenly warfare. We must labor to bring our souls into sympathy—first with the awful need of the dying world, and second with the spirit, character, and message of Him whom we are trying to represent to those who know Him not.

For this purpose let us shut our ears to the earth, and listen to the despairing cries of the lost. Let us accustom our eyes to look into the darkness of the abyss of despair till earth’s sights grow strange to us. Then let us kneel at Calvary’s cross and look into the suffering face of Him who hangs there, until the burning unquenchable love of that Man of Sorrows flows into and fills our soul. Then indeed we shall need no spur to urge us forth to the most desperate needs for the world’s salvation.

Catherine Bannister, The Practice of Sanctification

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