The Agora
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Others may; you cannot

If God has called you to be really like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other believers, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Other believers may push themselves forward, pull strings, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it; and attempting it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely repentant.

Others may brag on themselves, on their work, on their successes, on their writings, but the power of God's Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing; and if you try it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or having an inheritance left to them, or in having luxuries, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold: a helpless dependence on Him, so that He may supply your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.

The LORD will let others be honored, and put forward, but He will keep you hidden away in obscurity, because He wants to produce fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

He will let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him, and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work more precious still, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done. He will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time, which other believers never seem distressed about.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle you in His dealings with you. He will take you at your word; and if you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things that you cannot say or do. Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with Him, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not use with others.

And then, when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted with this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management by God's Spirit in your life... then, and only then, will you have found the key to the Kingdom of God.

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