Yes, clasp this [divine] side, the not-self side, of the Scripture promises. Fear not lest the legitimate action of self, of you, should be unduly eliminated. With the heart that asks the questions we have supposed, that is the last risk, and the least. What you need is to look away to this eternal Person undertaking for you, even before you ask in any detail what He says about His mode of action.
Read again, all through your Bible, your infallible Bible, the places that give you this [loving, powerful] view of Him. Are they trite to you, are they passe? In honesty with yourself, have you to own that “the glory is departed from them” which once, perhaps, shone so richly from them? Believe me, if heart answereth to heart, I know the reason. It is because you have ceased to expect them to act. It is because you have been willing to put your own conventional gloss upon them. It is because you have assumed words to refer wholly to an indefinite future, and another order of things, which are meant to be “words of eternal life” for the experience of today. What is meant to be your [floating] plank at this moment in the deep flood, you have taken to be only the distant shore to which, practically unaided, you are to swim, half-drowned.
O my God, I will remember THEE. Thou art not myself. Thou knowest me far better than I know myself. I cannot deal with that self; but Thou art able. I cannot manipulate the springs of thought and will; but Thou art able. Though I can indeed, with the powers Thou hast given me as man, do certain things in modification of action, yet I cannot, no, I cannot, break habits decisively and at their root. But Thou art able . Thou knowest all that besets me; Thou knowest my circumstances; Thou ‘knowest where I dwell’; Thou art acquainted with every element in my character, my temperament, that responds to the besetments of my position (Rev. 2:13). And Thou, infinitely real and truly personal, art able to handle me throughout, in some wonderful way of Thine own, with a divine personal influence, to which it must indeed be blessed to submit. Take Thou me in hand. I am indeed a difficult problem, insoluble to myself, but not to Thee. The more baffling the moral difficulty, the more inveterate the habit, the more will be shown Thy skill in dealing with it. Be THOU magnified in my body, and in my spirit, which are Thine. I yield myself to Thee.
Yes, our deepest need, when the heart is alive with desire, and conscious of impotence [weakness], is first to realize, and then to submit to, Him of whom “it is witnessed that He liveth” (Heb. 7:8).
“He that sitteth upon the throne saith, ‘Behold, I make all things new'” (Rev. 21:5). That is true not for the Universe only, nor for the Church only, but for the individual, for thee; and not for the eternal future only, but for the present; for the disorder of the soul, of thy soul, today. It is the KING who speaks, sitting on the throne. See Him as such, come to Him as such and expect to find, in the depths of being, and even now, that God is true, and God is able.
(Part 2 of 2) This article is adapted from chapter 3 of Thoughts on Christian Sanctity, London Seeley & Co, 1888. (Emphasis added – JBW.) H. C. G. Moule was Principal of Ridley Hall, and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was one of the theological voices in England’s Keswick Convention.