Ripened Fruit

A.B. Simpsonby A.B Simpson

Grow up into him in all things —Ephesians 4:15

Harvest is a time of ripeness. Then the fruit and grain are fully developed, both in size and weight. Time has tempered the acid of the green fruit. It has been mellowed and softened by the rains and the heat of summer. The sun has tinted it into rich colors, and at last it is ready and ripe to fall into the hand.

So the Christian life ought to be. There are many things in life that need to be mellowed and ripened. Many Christians have orchards full of fruit, but the fruit is green and sharp to the taste. There is a great deal in these Christians that is good, but it is incomplete-very sharp and sour. Perhaps something goes wrong in their domestic lives. They become flustered and cross and lose their confidence in God, and then, of course, their Christian joy. These things produce regret and all kinds of misery.

Every day there are things for which we are sorry. We know we are not ripe and mellow and that we cannot become so by trying. We cannot bring the sweetness in. It must be wrought out from within.
by A.B. Simpson

Holiness or Hardness Toward God?

Oswald Chambersby Oswald Chamber

 

He…wondered that there was no intercessor… —Isaiah 59:16

The reason many of us stop praying and become hard toward God is that we only have an emotional interest in prayer. It sounds good to say that we pray, and we read books on prayer which tell us that prayer is beneficial— that our minds are quieted and our souls are uplifted when we pray. But Isaiah implied in this verse that God is amazed at such thoughts about prayer.

Worship and intercession must go together; one is impossible without the other. Intercession means raising ourselves up to the point of getting the mind of Christ regarding the person for whom we are praying (see Philippians 2:5). Instead of worshiping God, we recite speeches to God about how prayer is supposed to work. Are we worshiping God or disputing Him when we say, “But God, I just don’t see how you are going to do this”? This is a sure sign that we are not worshiping. When we lose sight of God, we become hard and dogmatic. We throw our petitions at His throne and dictate to Him what we want Him to do. We don’t worship God, nor do we seek to conform our minds to the mind of Christ. And if we are hard toward God, we will become hard toward other people.

Are we worshiping God in a way that will raise us up to where we can take hold of Him, having such intimate contact with Him that we know His mind about the ones for whom we pray? Are we living in a holy relationship with God, or have we become hard and dogmatic?

Do you find yourself thinking that there is no one interceding properly? Then be that person yourself. Be a person who worships God and lives in a holy relationship with Him. Get involved in the real work of intercession, remembering that it truly is work— work that demands all your energy, but work which has no hidden pitfalls. Preaching the gospel has its share of pitfalls, but intercessory prayer has none whatsoever.
by Oswald Chambers