When Jesus calls us to Himself, as those who have ears hear His voice, we must go, go, go! Daily and forever go to, and return to, Him Who is Owner and Decider of all…Lord of all!
Spurgeon exhorts us below…
“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.” – Mark 3:13.
HERE was sovereignty. Impatient spirits may fret and fume, because they are not called to the highest places in the ministry; but reader be it thine to rejoice that Jesus calleth whom He wills. If He shall leave me to be a doorkeeper in His house, I will cheerfully bless Him for His grace in permitting me to do anything in His service. The call of Christ’s servants comes from above. Jesus stands on the mountain, evermore above the world in holiness, earnestness, love and power. Those whom He calls must go up the mountain to Him, they must seek to rise to His level by living in constant communion with Him. They may not be able to mount to classic honours, or attain scholastic eminence, but they must like Moses go up into the mount of God and have familiar intercourse with the unseen God, or they will never be fitted to proclaim the gospel of peace. Jesus went apart to hold high fellowship with the Father, and we must enter into the same divine companionship if we would bless our fellowmen. No wonder that the apostles were clothed with power when they came down fresh from the mountain where Jesus was. This morning we must endeavour to ascend the mount of communion, that there we may be ordained to the lifework for which we are set apart. Let us not see the face of man to-day till we have seen Jesus. Time spent with Him is laid out at blessed interest. We too shall cast out devils and work wonders if we go down into the world girded with that divine energy which Christ alone can give. It is of no use going to the Lord’s battle till we are armed with heavenly weapons. We must see Jesus, this is essential. At the mercy-seat we will linger till He shall manifest Himself unto us as He doth not unto the world, and until we can truthfully say, “We were with Him in the Holy Mount.”
It is fear of falling into the hands of God that makes us so eager to get things reduced to a formula. We feel that if we can learn the “secret” of salvation or the “steps” into the blessed life, we can control our future and (though we would not admit it) control God Himself to a large degree. This saves face and preserves our self-confidence, but it also mutes the voice of power in the gospel and weakens the operations of God in the soul. Only the despairing heart can know the inward witness.
In the final analysis, no one can lead another to God. All he can do is to lead the inquirer to the door of the kingdom and urge him onward. Between God and the returning soul there is a zone of obscurity through which he cannot see. It is the light that no man can approach unto and past which no one can go on his feet or by means of reason or theological knowledge. There faith must make its leap of pure trust into the arms of God crying with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15), or with Newton, “O Lord, I trust in Thee completely, and if I go to hell I’ll go down standing on Thy Word.”
It is this utter desperation that brings the witness, and yet I cannot tell anyone how to reach such a state. All I can do is to urge everyone to repent and believe on Jesus Christ. If the repentance is genuine and the faith real, all human confidence will come crashing down and the humbled soul will be forced to make its leap of faith alone.
The reader that cannot find his way from here is in all probability still impenitent. And let him beware of seeking cheap comfort from a text jockey who will cry, “‘Peace, peace,’. . . when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). He had better by far take his Bible and retire to the secret place to seek God alone. If there’s hope for him, he’ll find it there. But he’ll find it nowhere else.
Undoubtedly God goes along with us as far as He can in this weak and one-sided treatment of the Holy Scriptures, but He cannot be pleased with this way of doing. Our Heavenly Father takes pleasure in seeing us develop and grow up spiritually. He does not want us to live entirely on a diet of sweet stuff. He gives us for our encouragement Isaiah 41, but He gives us also Matthew 23 and the book of Jude, and He expects us to read it all. The eighth chapter of Romans is one of the most elevating passages in the entire Bible, and its popularity is well deserved; but we need Second Peter as well, and we should not neglect to read it. When reading Paul’s epistles, we should not stop with the doctrinal sections but should go on to read and ponder the bracing exhortations that follow. We should not stop with Romans 11; the rest of the epistle is also important, and if we would treat our souls fairly, we must give it the same attention we gave to the first ten chapters.
Briefly, the health of our souls requires that we take the whole Bible as it stands and let it do its work in us. We cannot afford to be selective with anything so important as the Word of God and our own eternal future.
When the Bible says “Awake to righteousness and sin not,” it indicates the possiblity of a sudden awakening, like when an alarm clock going off rouses you out of sleep. There is such a thing as being asleep and suddenly being wakened, and this is surprising to people. People often say, “You know, I was living a life displeasing to God. I was a church member, but though I didn’t know it, I was displeasing to God. My life wasn’t right. Then suddenly I was wakened by God. It was a surprise.” . . . People who are awakened from moral sleep say, “Well, what’s the matter with me? I’ve been living a life that’s been displeasing to God, and I simply did not know it. “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it. . . . This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven'” (Genesis 28:16-17). Jacob must have been rather disconcerted when he awoke and found that he had been in the presence of God all the time, but he had been asleep. He was not morally dead; he was not cut off from the covenant–he was merely asleep.
“Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus, being powerful in the Scriptures…This one having been taught in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things about the Lord,…proving through the Scriptures Jesus to be the Christ.”
This man was so moved by the Holy Spirit of God and he so loved and devoured anything spoken by God. He became powerful in the Scripture, the written words that God has spoken from eternity into time. O for men and women so thirsty for God! Who have embraced the Son of God, the Holy Spirit and anything God is speaking. O for those who will hear the calling of God and respond, and forsake the temptations of sin and the so-called “treasures” of this world, and detach their hearts from them, that they may be attached to God and God’s purposes and plans! Respond, you who have ears! Have ears to hear when that Precious One speaks and calls you aside unto Himself! Father God let it be so I ask in Jesus’ Name.
All by the grace and mercy and peace of God. In loving tenderness and genuine affection toward all.
I don’t want to see you captured by the world
when its face can seem so beautiful
don’t let them tell you it’s OK
to keep a little for your own
it’s a trap that some will never overcome
Oh, you’ve been set free
with blood that cries mercy
Oh, at such great cost
the Father’s very Son