Obedience is "doing the next thing" with no assurance, no guarantee of it bringing visible or immediate results. This does not mean that obedience is not pregnant with purpose - it is. It just means that understanding does not often dawn until after that obedience is undertaken. It is usually after the step has been taken and the act fulfilled, that one sees from a different and much broadened vantage point.
I found out about P.T Forsyth when reading Art Katz. Forsyth was a Scotsman born in 1848. He wrote 25 books, one of which is "The Soul Of Prayer." What a book... worth a second and third and fourth reading.
"We are tempted to treat God as an asset, and to exploit Him. But true prayer, thinking most of the Giver, quells the egoism and dissolves it in praise. What we received came for another end than just to gratify us. It came to carry God to us, and to lift us to Him and to the concert of His glory. The blessing in it transcends the enjoyment of it, and the Spirit of the outgoing God returns to Him not void, but bringing our souls as sheaves with Him." p. 41
" We cannot be true Christians without being original.... For true originality we must be one, and closely one, with God. To be creative we must learn with the Creator." p. 90
William Wordsworth wrote: " Faith is a passionate intuition."
That's true, but I also think it is a daily, gritty, where the rubber meets the road, doggedness.
So strike the chord,
Note that beckons deep to deep.
Rise up now,
My heart, awaken,
Lo, He comes to own, to keep.
Oh the comfort of reading Elizabeth Goudge. It is like that of reading George Macdonald. From the Pilgrim's Inn, p.72:
"This sense of futility ... it's nothing, merely the reverse side of aspiration, and inevitable, just as failure is inevitable. Disregard them both. What can we expect when we aspire as we do, yet remain as we are?
Struggle is divine in itself, but to ask to see it crowned with success is to ask for a sign which is forbidden to those who must travel by faith alone."
A young friend of mine recently wrote her status on facebook as: "Be at rest O my soul for the Lord has been good to you."
Ok, I'm stoked because I recently found out that my nephew has the gift of the muse and the courage not to hide it. So this is the official welcome to all aspiring writers to show your stuff - whatever that stuff may be.
"But the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake: but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.