When you look at the altar of God, the Cross of Calvary, does it invite you to come closer? Would you dare ask to be bound to it, that you may never be able to turn back from an attitude of consecration? There are times when life is full of dim grey light, and we choose to turn to the Cross; at other times, when the sky is blue, we choose to turn from it. It is good to be bound to the altar of God, the sacred place where the unblemished Lamb of God was offered as a living sacrifice for our sins to reconcile us unto God.
When Jesus draws us to Him, our intellectual will immediately challenge us—will I react on the revelation which He gives me—will I come to him? Discussion of spiritual matters between you and God with anyone other than God is inappropriate if you really believe God. Belief is not an intellectual act; belief is a moral act whereby I deliberately commit myself. Will I turn myself over completely to God and act on what He says? If I will, I will discover that I am living my life based on a reality that is as sure as God’s heavenly throne.
The story is told of a hard-working Southern man who, at a camp meeting, tried to give himself to God. Every night at the altar he would present himself for dedication to the Lord; but every night before he left the meeting, the devil would come to him and convince him that he did not feel any different and therefore he was not consecrated. Again and again he was beaten back by the adversary.
Finally, one evening he came to the meeting with a hammer and a big stake. After consecrating himself, he drove the stake into the ground at the very spot he had knelt. As he was leaving the building, the devil came to him as usual and tried to make him believe that it was all a sham. At once he went back to the stake and, pointing to it, said, “Look here, Mr. Devil, do you see that stake? Well, that’s my witness that God has forever accepted me.” Immediately the devil left him, and he had no further doubts on the subject.
Belief must be the will to believe. There must be a total surrender of the personal will, not a surrender to persuasive power or voices, but a deliberate stepping forward on God and what He says. You must be willing to believe, and this can never be accomplished without a violent effort on your part to remove yourself from your old ways of looking at things, and by turning your whole-self over to Jesus. Friends, if you are tempted to doubt the finality of your consecration, drive a stake down somewhere and let it be your witness before God and even the devil that you have settled the question forever.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Once you have done this you are introduced into a relationship with Jesus by the miracle of God and your own will to believe. Then you will begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transaction that has taken place between you and the one on the Cross. Like the man in the story, choose to listen to the still small voice of God instead of the contradictory voice of the adversary. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ