When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught,
and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight,
but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed,
your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse
to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but
take in all in patient, loving silence.
When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity,
any impunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to-
face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and
endure it as Jesus endured.
When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate,
any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God.
When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to
record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when
you can truly love to be unknown.
When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and
can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor
question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate
When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature
than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly,
finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.
Are you dead yet? In these last days, the Spirit would bring us
to the cross.
If God has called you to be really like Jesus, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.
Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.
Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin 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 may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.
The lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may 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 still more precious, He may let others get credit for the work which you have done, and thus make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.
The Holy Spirit 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 Christians never feel distressed over. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings with you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be his love slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle.
Settle it forever, then, that you are to deal directly with the
Holy Spirit, and that He must have the right to tie your tongue,
or chain your hand, or close your eyes, in ways that He does not
seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the
living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted
over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and
management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found
the vestibule of Heaven.