The best trait of the best child, is implicit obedience to parental authority.
And the clearest test of conversion, is implicit obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The trouble with us, is that we so often pick and choose just what we will obey...
And how much we will obey...
And whom we will obey...
All the most striking cases of obedience mentioned in the Bible...
Abraham laying his son on the altar...
Daniel braving the king's lions...
Naaman going straight to the Jordan...
The leper hastening to the priest and being healed as he went...
The paralytic stretching out his withered arm...
All these have the quality of promptness to do just as they were directed.
Issues and results are left with God...
Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward!
To march into the Red Sea belonged to Moses; to divide the Red Sea and make a dry pathway for his people was God's prerogative.
If there be any one beautiful trait in healthy-hearted childhood, it is the trait of cheerful submission to the will of father and mother.
Submission to the clearly ascertained will of God, whatever it may cost us, or however it may cross us...is one of the most genuine evidences of true conversion.
I doubt if there be any higher attainment in the Christian life, than for any of us to be able to say honestly, "I pray God that I may never find my own will again as long as I live."
Let us understand, however, just what kind of submission we are to practice.
We are bound to submit to God's distinct orderings, and to such trials as he lays upon us for our spiritual discipline.
Payson wisely said that "no man is fit to rise up from a bed of suffering and labor again for Christ...until he is made willing to lie still and suffer as long as his Master pleases."
But there are obstacles often found in our pathway that are just to test our faith, our courage, and our loyalty to the right.
Many a Hill Difficulty is encountered on our road to heaven, to sinew our strength by the tough climb.
Apollyon is allowed sometimes to stride right across our path with the defiant threat, "You shall go no farther, and here will I spill your soul!"
He is a puny Christian, who has no such battles with the devil.
Our Heavenly Father puts some things in our way as prohibitions; and we do ourselves deadly harm, if we try to remove them or get around them.
Other things are placed there to test our spiritual might and our loyalty; the only right course is for us to lay hold of them and hurl them out of our way.
When the youthful David discovered the lion and the bear attacking his flocks he did not say, "Providence sent these animals, and I must submit to them."
If there were any providence in it...the object might rather be to develop his grit.
In this whole great matter of submission to the will of God, it is exceedingly important to discriminate wisely.
God may sometimes seem to turn a deaf ear to our prayers.
His silence or failure to answer should teach us "to pray and not to faint."
That earnest woman on the coast of Canaan would have made an awful mistake, if she had given over her praying simply because Christ kept her for a while at arm's length.
Her persistence carried the day...as the Master meant that it should.
God often says "no" to little faith and lazy hands...
He loves to say "yes" to sturdy faith and hard work.
Sometimes my Heavenly Father lays heavy afflictions on me and tells me all the while, "those whom I love...I chasten."
Then let me submit.
At other times he lays, or permits to be laid, great obstacles in my path, and then the voice to me is, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed...this mountain shall be removed.
My grace is sufficient for you.
The line of correct distinction between the two opposite errors, seems to be this...
A sinner submits to unrighteous demands...
The true Christian never does...
The sinner refuses to submit to God's just and holy demands, and to his orderings in providence...
The childlike Christian submits without a murmur...
Not as I will Father...but as you will.
God's wise government is the solidest ground of my confidence and joy; it is the rock-bed that underlies all my theology.
To fight against God means...hell.
To obey God and sweetly submit to him...is the prelude of heaven.
The late Thomas Skinner was one of the godliest men I ever knew.
When a circle of eminent ministers met at his house one Saturday evening he requested them to join in singing Schmolke's beautiful hymn: "My Jesus...as you will!
Oh, may your will be mine.
Into your hand of love...I would my all resign.
On the next Saturday evening that same circle of brethren joined in paying loving tribute to his memory!
The noble veteran had yielded up every wish to his Lord and Redeemer, and was sweetly surprised into heaven.