How fitting that this would arrive in my inbox today, barely 12 hours after my Last Post describing my desire to be a "fierce lover of God" in which I wrote: It is the desire of my heart to be a woman such as this. But it will not just "happen." It requires daily surrender. Constant examination of heart and mind. A desire for holiness more than happiness, and an all-consuming knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord of ALL.
I love when the Lord does this! As if His instruction and conviction are not enough in the original delivery, He affirms His orders to drive the point home even further. (And, probably to make sure we are listening!)
If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25
If God has called you to be truly like Jesus - He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience, that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other believers do things which He will not let you do.
Others who seem to be very religious and useful, may push themselves up to be admired, and scheme to carry out their plans - but you cannot. If you attempt it - you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.
Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes - but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so - He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or in having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries - but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold - a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.
The Lord may let others be honored and put forward - while keeping you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit in you, which can only be produced in the shade.
God may let others be great - but He will keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit - but He will make you work and toil without others knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done. This to teach you the message of the Cross and humility.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time - which other Christians never seem 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 - and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.
If you absolutely give yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other Christian people say and do many things which you cannot.
However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely 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 - then you will have found the vestibule of Heaven, the high calling of God.
(George Watson, 1845-1924)