Published in the Pentecostal Evangel, November 10, 1934.
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death… I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-14.
What a wonderful word! This surely means to press on to be filled with all the fullness of God. If we leak out here we shall surely miss God, and shall fail in fulfilling the ministry He would give us.
The Lord would have us preach by life, and by deed, always abounding in service; living epistles, bringing forth to men the knowledge of God. If we went all the way with God, what would happen? What should we see if we would only seek to bring honor to the name of our God? Here we see Paul pressing in for this. There is no standing still. We must move on to a fuller power of the Spirit, never satisfied that we have apprehended all, but filled with the assurance that God will take us on to the goal we desire to reach, as we press on for the prize ahead.
Abraham came out from Ur of the Chaldees. We never get into a new place until we come out from the old one. There is a place where we leave the old life behind, and where the life in Christ fills us and we are filled with His glorious personality.
On the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus was apprehended by Christ. From the first he sent up a cry, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” He desired always to do the will of God, but here he realized a place of closer intimacy, a place of fuller power, of deeper crucifixion. He sees a prize ahead and every fiber of his being is intent on securing that prize. Jesus Christ came to be the firstfruits; the firstfruits of a great harvest of like fruit, like unto Himself. How zealous is the farmer as he watches his crops and sees the first shoots and blades. They are the earnest of the great harvest that is coming. Paul here is longing that the Father’s heart shall be satisfied, for in that first resurrection the Heavenly Husbandman will see a firstfruits harvest, firstfruits like unto Christ, sons of God made conformable to the only begotten Son of God
You say, “I am in a needy place.” It is in needy places that God delights to work. For three days the people that were with Christ were without food, and He asked Philip, “From whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?” That was a hard place for Philip, but not for Jesus, for He knew perfectly what He would do. The hard place is where He delights to show forth His miraculous power. And haw fully was the need provided for. Bread enough and to spare!
Two troubled, baffled travelers are on the road to Emmaus. As they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and He opened up the Word to them in such a way that they saw light in His light. Their eyes were holden that they could not recognize who it was talking with them. But, o how their hearts burned within as He opened up the Scripture to them. And at the breaking of bread He was made known to them. Always seek to be found in the place where He manifests His presence and power.
The resurrected Christ appeared to Peter and a few more of them early one morning on the shore of the lake. He prepared a meal for the tired, tried disciples. That is just like Him. Count on His presence. Count on His power. Count on His provision. He is always there just where you need Him.
Have you received Him? Are you to be found “in Him”? Have you received His righteousness, which is by faith? Abraham got to this place, for God gave this righteousness to him because he believed, and as you believe God He puts HIs righteousness to your account. He will put His righteousness right within you. He will keep you in perfect peace as you stay your mind upon Him and trust in Him. He will bring you to a rest of faith, to a place of blessed assurance that all that happens is working for your eternal good.
Here is the widow’s son on the road to burial. Jesus meets that unhappy procession. He has compassion on that poor woman who is taking her only son to the cemetery. His great heart had such compassion that death had no power—it could no longer hold its prey. Compassion is greater than suffering. Compassion is greater than death. O God, give us this compassion! In His infinite compassion Jesus stopped that funeral procession and cried to that widow’s son, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” And he who was dead sat up, and Jesus delivered him to his mother.
Paul got a vision and revelation of the resurrection power of Christ, and so he was saying, “I will not stop until I have laid hold of what God has laid hold of me for.” For what purpose has God laid hold of us? To be channels for His power. He wants to manifest the power of the Son of God through you and me. God help us to manifest the faith of Christ, the compassion of Christ, the resurrection power of Christ.
One morning about eleven o’clock I saw a woman who was suffering with tumor. She could not live through the day. A little blind girl led me to the bedside. Compassion broke me up and I wanted that woman to live for the child’s sake. I said to the woman, “Do you want to live?” She could not speak. She just moved her finger. I anointed her with oil and said, “In the name of Jesus.” There was a stillness of death that followed; and the pastor, looking at the woman, said to me, “She is gone.”
When God pours in His compassion it has resurrection power in it. I carried that woman across the room, put her against a wardrobe and held her there. I said, “In the name of Jesus, death come out.” And soon her body began to tremble like a leaf. “In Jesus’ name, walk,” I said. She did and went back to bed.
I told this story in the assembly. There was a doctor there and he said, “I’ll prove that.” He went to the woman and she told him it was perfectly true. She said, “I was in heaven, and I saw countless numbers all like Jesus. Then I heard a voice saying, ‘Walk, in the name of Jesus.’ ”
There is power in the name of Jesus. Let us apprehend it, the power of His resurrection, the power of His compassion, the power of His love. Love will break the hardest thing—there is nothing it will not break.