The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Consecration and Reliance on God's Help

In the full conviction that no efforts or purposes of our own will be available without divine assistance, we should make the consecration of ourselves to God in reliance upon divine strength; recognizing, on the one hand, our own entire weakness; and at the same time fully believing, on the other, in the willingness and readiness of God to aid, and deliver us in every time of temptation and trial.

A consecration, made without a distinct recognition of our own insufficiency, and without the expression and the reality of reliance on God alone as our only hope; would be wanting in the most essential element. It would necessarily fail of the divine blessing; and could not result in any good. "Lay it down to yourself as a most certain principle," says Dr. Doddridge, "that no attempt in religion is to be made in your own strength. If you forget this, and God purposes finally to save you, he will humble you with repeated disappointments, till he teach you better."

A consecration, thus deliberately made, including all our acts, powers, and possessions of body, mind, and estate, made without any reserve either in objects, time, or place; embracing trial and suffering as well as action, never to be modified, and never to be withdrawn, and which contemplates its fulfillment in divine and not in human strength, necessarily brings one into a new relationship with God, of the most intimate, interesting, and effective nature. It is not easy to see, how a soul, that is thus consecrated, can ever be deserted. Divinity is pledged in its behalf. And in all times of temptation and trial, when clouds and storms hang darkly and heavily around, there will always be a redeeming power, a light in the midst of shadows, the shining of the bow of promise.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition 1844) Part 1, Chapter 4.

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