BY: LARRY HODGES
“By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him but I found him not.”
– Songs of Solomon 3:1
As Jesus walked along a road in Israel, speaking with question-filled disciples, He said to them what He has said to many of us, “I have many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.“ – John 16:12 God simply does not answer many of our questions but instead leaves them for the day when, in our experience with God, with the heart of God, with the purpose of God, when the dealings of God shall have rendered the questions answers.
The Teacher knew the best way to teach His disciples – by experience. Most of us have heard the saying, “Time is a wonderful teacher.” Fewer have heard what some wag has added: “… but it eventually kills all of its students.” It is not time which teaches but rather, experience. One may spend prodigious amounts of time without learning anything at all, but in a comparatively short time one may learn much through an experience. The killing thing is that experience often requires time. If there is one thing we humans have an innate enmity with, it is time. We don’t mind so much waiting if we are in charge of the schedule and can set the end of it. It’s when we are at the mercy of something that has taken years to unfold and we don’t know how many years we have yet to go, that gnaws at us, challenges our patience and more or less shreds it.
Do you remember how it was when you first set upon this Pilgrim’s Way? The sun was brightly shining, the birds were all singing in complete accord with your spirit, there was not a cloud in your sky nor any upon the distant horizon, the gentle breeze was at your back, the road was level and clear of obstacles, and right by your side was the new-found Friend/Teacher with whom you had so recently made acquaintance and you found that you loved Him better than life itself – Jesus! How often in those days had you exclaimed, “It just doesn’t get any better than this?” This, no doubt was said as you walked happily along whistling your favorite soul-comforting hymn, eyes closed in a bliss, which nothing could disturb.
All along the way your Teacher was reassuringly speaking to you almost constantly. Almost any question was answered without hesitation. Admittedly, those questions were quite basic and not the ones which would later, after you had reached some maturity, occur to you. During this time of basking in the sunshine of His glory and presence you made many vows born of zeal and fervor that you later could not believe you had uttered. But it didn’t matter. God was near and all was well in your heaven. It was all quite satisfying, wasn’t it?
Then something happened. You have never been quite certain when it was or just what it was that occurred, but you knew that things had changed. Somewhere at some point along the way, Jesus was not quite so available and near as He had once been. Sure, He had said that He will never leave you nor forsake you and He has not, but the sense of His presence is just not the same as it once was. His answers to your questions no longer come without hesitation. In fact, some answers are not forthcoming at all. The road has begun to incline slightly upward now, so that the way is somewhat more difficult and the sun is no longer shining so the birds had stopped their melodious symphony. The whole environment has shifted and changed until things can be at times quite disheartening.
There are still many questions to be answered, some of which have never been asked. Like the one most often asked these days, “Lord, what has happened? Why do You now seem so distant and why do your answers now take so long in coming, if they come at all?” No answer. Just silence. Just killing silence. After some fitful bouts and a few bawling tantrums, which brought no results from Him, you searched the Word to see if you might discover what had taken place in your relationship with Him whom your soul loved. You didn’t find out what had happened, but you did find that God never changes, that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. You found that “The just shall live by faith,” and that without faith it is impossible to satisfy God. So you decided that even if you never felt anything again, you would serve Him as if you did.
Then you began looking around and noticed that others were still hearing from the Lord just the way you were once accustomed to hearing from Him. All this did was to cause the nagging question, “What did I do to bring this on myself?,” to once again raise its persistent ugly head.
Dear friend of mine, you did nothing to bring this upon yourself! What you are now undergoing is but the usual, customary, and I might also add, infinitely loving, treatment of a son. If Jesus learned obedience through the things which He suffered, how then shall we expect that we shall be exempted from it? What many of us are experiencing is the drinking of the cup of His sorrows, but only those who are willing to drink of His cup are able to share in His glorious resurrection and subsequent throne of dominion.
Sharing His throne with Him throughout the next thousand years is not, in spite of popular opinion, due to a vast amount of knowledge on the subject of son-ship, or being able to explain the ins and outs of the intricacies of kingdom protocol, or of being able to put into words or into print the deep things concerning the purposes of God. At the very core of the kingdom message is a little understood and as little discussed condition to kingdom rule. It is relationship! It is not relationship and… anything. It is relationship with Him! Yet if what one observes taking place on an alarming scale were any indication of truth, one might be led to believe that revelation is the key! Revelation is indeed important. That none can deny. But I have watched others who were prominent in their day, to whom God had given a voice or had made a voice, and saw them gradually shift from seeking the Revelator to seeking merely revelation. In each and every instance of which I have been personally aware, there has also been a gradual shift from dedication to Him to dedication to some long-cherished ambition which eventually dealt a death blow to the individual.
As I have sadly taken into account the fall of each of these individuals, considering the height from which they have fallen, I could not help but be impressed with the truth that they were much higher than I, and yet they fell. It helped to produce a sober appreciation for the Shepherd-ship of Jesus Christ over me. It helped to create in me more of a dependency upon Him to keep me, since I cannot keep myself–especially when we remember that Adam fell from Paradise – and that he fell when his relationship with his Father had taken an inferior place than it had once held.
In the bosom of every man (or woman) is, I believe, the secret hope of being somebody – of amounting to someone counted as significant among his peers. Brother, sister, I must tell you with all seriousness, that until that thing has certainly and surely died, there is no hope of becoming a son in joint heir-ship with Christ in the kingdom of God. Let me say it even more clearly. I do not mean that there is less chance. I mean that there is absolutely no chance whatever of it. The prayer from the heart of a son is not, “Thy kingdom come, our will be done…” The heart of a son has only the will of the Father at heart and is willing to gladly count all things but dung that he might be found in Him not having his own righteousness or his own will. Even if that will is to suffer that killing silence which makes even the faithful to doubt at times. Even if that will means that they must walk, for who knows how long, through dry and desolate places, without an occasional encouraging word from Him, until their soul hungers and vehemently thirsts after Him and nothing else, until they arrive at the place where they are willing never again to hear from Him whom their soul loves… if that is what He wills and desires! And make no mistake about it, my weary fellow traveler, it must indeed eventually come to just that. The yielding of one’s will is no simple or easy thing. If it were, then we could be expected to do it without God’s help or grace.
What makes so much of all this so killing and so devilishly difficult is that, without fail, when you begin to recognize what it is that you are in the midst of, you automatically begin to look around at what others are doing, and they aren’t doing it! You look at those with whom, until now have been “of like faith,” and find that either God is not dealing with them at this time the way He is dealing with you or, what might seem more likely, you are missing God and are just becoming fanatical. So you are thus brought to a crisis, a decision, a turning point, by the Spirit. If you are to proceed from this point according to the heart and mind of God, you will do so only by faith. He has seen to it that you will find no support or confirmation from any outside source. He alone will confirm it to you and you will get no assistance from anyone else.
The reason for much of this is that what you are called to, and are therefore being prepared for, others are not at this time called to. If you seek to join with the rest in order to placate the “herd instinct” still alive in you, and seek to follow them, then you will find an inexplicable emptiness and an unexplained dissatisfaction until you back up, retrace your steps and take your direction based upon an inner conviction which is according to faith. Only then will you find the peace you have sought in the matter. Even then, you may very well not understand it altogether, and you may still have very serious doubts and misgivings in spite of the strange inner peace that now abides.
Please hear what I am about to say. I do not advocate that we all leave our jobs and “trust God” to take care of us, or cancel our bank accounts, or cease visiting doctors, or cancel our medical insurance or health insurance or even that you should stop taking medicine or supplements. You must hear what I say now by the Spirit or you could do irreparable damage to your faith and your credibility as well.
We stand at a juncture in the history of mankind wherein God will move in a way and on a scope that He has never moved previously. He is about to bring forth something about which we have only heard. His sons! This is not merely an improved version of Pentecostal power, it is an entirely New Creation! There has never been anything like it other than the person of Jesus. Because of this, God will put some through paces that look for all the world to others as mere fanaticism, but which are in fact a very necessary part of what they must conform to if they are to really be that people who have no will but His.
Remember, this is to be a people who serve God only! Not God and . . . This is to be a people peculiar from all others. A people whose only hope and aspiration is God. They will not be dependent upon the medical profession, the insurance companies, the banking system, or the system of Babylon in any of its many-faceted world-wide conglomerate. All their trust is vested solely in the Lord. To this we all breath a hearty “Amen.” But to get there the amens are not so easily breathed. God will not wave some magic wand in order to produce in a people what He is ultimately after in them. He will do what He has always and persistently done. He will employ what I call the killing technique of gradualism. After all it has taken 6,000 years to bring us thus far! He is in no hurry.
At what point is this people to begin trusting God only? Some believe that God must place us in a situation wherein all choice in the matter is removed and we must trust God. I’m sure that will prove to be the case with some, but not with God’s sons-in-training. To suggest that it might be the will of God for some to leave their jobs, seems equivalent to heresy and is to them an utterly ridiculous suggestion. But this is so only because God is not so leading them presently. And if they haven’t heard a word from God on the matter, then they cannot have faith for it, for faith comes by hearing a word from God. Nor should they by any means seek to attempt such a thing.
But there are nevertheless those to whom God is speaking such things and they therefore do have faith to proceed on that word, even though, upon looking around, they should find no one doing what they feel God is speaking to them. Reason is of absolutely no use in this matter, for it will never stand for God’s interest in spiritual things but will rather cite scripture and verse (out of context and with false meaning) as to why you really ought not continue in the course on which God has placed you. Usually reason will speak to you through others to whom God has not spoken as He has to you and it will sound similar to this: “What? Have you altogether lost your mind? Trust God!? Why, who on earth do you think you are? Some celebrated saint who has a right to expect that God will meet his needs? Why you’re nobody, an absolute nothing! Why would God treat you the way He treated His sinless Son? And another thing. Who else of all your friends and associates do you see venturing out upon so treacherous a ground as trusting God only? Do you even see any among the ministry doing such a silly, insane thing?”
If, after entertaining the reasoning mind, either in yourself or in another, for any length of time, you still have any faith at all in which to continue, then you are indeed to be commended. If you inquire of another about whether this could be God, whether a godly minister or not, you will more than likely meet with the same objections as from the reasoning mind, for God will see to it that you do. If you do it, you will do it by faith alone!
In answer to the questions asked by the reasoning mind, why should it be a thing thought to be so incredible that one might believe and trust in God only? It is in perfect and total agreement with everything we profess to believe. It seems that it is perfectly alright to trust in man, whether he be doctor, lawyer or minister. But to trust in God is viewed as something just short of sanity, isn’t it?
From whence comes the idea that so many have which implies that one must be of such a high and exalted status in order to have the right to trust God for their needs? Such a theory is not to be found in the Bible! You may search for it but you will not find such a notion in your Bible. What you will find, though, is the sure and settled word of God that says you have the right to His tender loving care and guardianship by right of your heavenly birth! Because God is our Father we have the right to expect Him to watch over and see to our needs, but not because we are more righteous than other men.
Why would God treat us the way He treated His sinless Son? Because we are the members of that sinless Son! Everything that accrues to the Son in His person is accounted to Him in His members. It is upon that basis alone that we come to our Father anyway. It is in the righteousness of Christ Jesus that we stand or by which we ask anything of our Father. And it was no less than Jesus who said to us, “Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened, seek and ye shall find.“ – Matthew 7:7 Again, in Matthew He says to us seven times to “take no thought” and the word for thought is the Greek word, meri, and carries the meaning of being anxious or careful about. Six of these seven times are listed together in the 6th chapter of Matthew. He makes the same statement in at least four other places in Luke and once more in Mark.
Himself is the perfect example of “taking no thought.” He gave the purse to a thief, knowing that he was a thief. But to whom did He turn when He needed food to feed the multitudes? To Judas who had the purse, or to His Father? To whom did He turn when He needed money to pay His and Peter’s taxes? To Judas who had the purse, or to His Father? To whom did He turn when He needed an ass upon which to enter Jerusalem? To Judas who had the purse, or to His Father? To whom did He turn when He needed a room in which to eat the “last supper?” To Judas who had the purse, or to His Father? Folks He didn’t even have a tomb in which to be laid after His death and He certainly didn’t consult with the man who finally betrayed Him about this matter. He took no thought! We often seek to excuse ourselves from such a need to trust God so entirely by saying, “Well, what do you expect? He was the divine Son of God, you know.” Yes, He was, but He was also a man who was in many ways just like every one of us. Otherwise He would not have been a suitable sacrifice. The thing which set Him apart was the relationship He had with His Father. We can have it also.
How many times have I watched brethren struggle with something about which they said God was speaking to them. It could have been about leaving their job for the ministry or anything else; it never seems to matter; it always seems the same. I have watched as they have struggled with the matter of following either reason or the Spirit. Sometimes, perhaps even a prophetic word has come that was in complete agreement with what they professed God had already shown them, with the added word that He would bless them. It has often sadly been the case that if they just did not want to do what the Lord had been speaking to them about, they have not been able to acquiesce even after an overt word from the Lord. Even with word after word through various vessels. They were not helped by another word of prophecy until they heard a word that agreed with what they wanted to do in the first place, and that word will always come if you wait long enough for it. God will see to it.
I must say that I am very cautious about words of prophecy concerning one’s work, about moving, about marriage or about anything of such consequence. Such a word should only confirm what one already knows. It should never be used as the only thing by which one makes such a decision.
Does God speak to people leading them to leave their job? Indeed He does. Does He speak to people leading them to cease all medical help, as well as medicine and even vitamins? Indeed He does. Does He speak to people to close out their checking and savings accounts as well as their insurance policies? Indeed He does. Should we therefore do these things? Not on your life! God does indeed speak to people about these things but they and they alone are the only ones who should act upon what God is dealing with them about!
God will have a people who are able to trust Him for their all, who shall have right to reach into His infinite basket and store in order to satisfy any need that should arise. But it must be kept in mind that at no time when Jesus turned to His Father for food to feed the multitudes, for tax money, for an ass upon which to enter Jerusalem, or for a room in which to entertain His disciples, did He have an alternative waiting in the wings just in case His Father didn’t come through this time. God is waiting for a people who so trust Him that they “take no thought” and are willing to completely and entirely jeopardize themselves and thoroughly fail if He does not meet them in the crisis. He does not meet us on any other basis. No miracle is ever worked except on this basis.
I am reminded of the miracle wrought by Foster Bat during the Alamogordo Meeting held last July by Elwin Roach. Foster deliberately painted himself into a corner when he announced how much was needed and that he wanted “only those to whom God had already spoken, to give into this offering.” God had said nothing to me about such a miracle and frankly, I had no faith regarding it. When I saw what had been placed in the hat that was passed, I remember thinking, “Well, that doesn’t look like $4,000.00 dollars to me. I wonder what he’s going to say to explain his way out of this.” When it was counted and he was told that the amount was $3720.00, only $280.00 short of the stated figure, I thought to myself, “That’s close enough! He should be satisfied with that.” The problem was that God had not spoken to me about it, but He had indeed spoken to Foster about it and he knew therefore that God would provide the figure needed. He said, “That’s not right! Count it again. And here comes the miracle!” Sure enough , when they counted it the next time it amounted to $5,500! One of the ladies counting the offerings had worked in a bank, so she was no stranger to counting money. Had he taken the usual Pentecostal approach to receiving an offering that we have so often seen, he may still have gotten the needed amount, but it would not have been a miracle.
Two essential and indispensable ingredients in any miracle, whether wrought by Jesus or anyone else, seems to be that God had clearly and plainly spoken, and equally as important, there was not an alternative upon which to fall back if God did not meet the need of the occasion.
Have you ever considered what it must have cost Jesus to live the life He lived? He was the elder son of a mother who, to all appearances, had lost her husband and provider. That meant that upon Jesus fell the legal responsibility to see to the needs of His family, which included His mother, sisters and brothers. But He walked away from the sure income and security of a trade in which He had until then made His living. He lived in a society of very law-minded people. If it was His responsibility to take care of His family and their needs then they would hold Him to it. Can you imagine the slander and slurs that must have followed Him when He set out to “be about His Father’s business?”
“There goes that shiftless son of poor Mary and her deceased husband Joseph, wandering around the countryside with his insane ideas again. Joseph would turn over in his grave if he knew! He should get a job and support his family. The very idea!”
From what we read in Scripture, I’m not so sure that Mary was any more convinced about what Jesus was doing than I was about Foster Bat’s miracle in Alamogordo. After all, she had heard nothing from God since the words from the angel who had so long ago spoken with her, so she could not be faulted for being without faith. But God had a Son! He had a Son who could be tempted in the wilderness (not a paradise) and still hold true. He overcame in the worst of conditions where the first son had failed in the best of conditions.
Yes, part of the reason He overcame is because He was the divine God-man, but that was by no means the only reason He overcame or that because of Him, we can also overcome. It is indeed important to take into account that Jesus was divine, but if we forget that He was also just as much a man as any one of us, then we lose a very important and essential reason for our being able to overcome the same things He overcame. It is Jesus’ humanity, not His divinity, which includes us in His redemption! We sometimes, I fear, look at Jesus as some all-knowing, all-powerful being who could not have failed, and the case just is not so. There were a number of things about which Jesus knew apparently nothing. He even stated as much on several occasions. I am sure that Jesus, being the Word of God, knew much about where things were going, but much of it was only revealed to Him as it unfolded.
There is no doubt in my mind that He knew who He was and what His mission on earth was. We have ample evidence of that provided through the gospels. But at the core of His actions and faith was one thing which more than anything else served to undergird Him at all times–His present and ongoing relationship with His Father! It must be thus with all His sons.
This is not an article bidding or enticing anyone to stop their work and launch out into a “life of faith,” trusting God for everything. It is merely meant to confirm to those with whom God has already been speaking that He will indeed take care of them if they trust Him and Him alone for it. But He must have already spoken to you about it and it must not be merely presumption. Going to work at the plant or office or truck can be every bit as much a life of faith as not working at such a job, if it is what God has spoken or shown us we are to do. Having heard from God can be just as spiritual as preaching if it is what God has chosen for you to do and you are doing it in obedience. It is not what one does that makes it spiritual. It is whether one is doing what they do in response to the will of God. That, and that alone is what makes for spirituality.
But when God has spoken to you and you know in your heart of hearts that God wants you to quit your job and now trust Him to meet all your needs, then, what was once a spiritual activity because it was in obedience to God’s will, now becomes quite unspiritual, because to continue after God has spoken otherwise is to be found in disobedience. Incomplete obedience is disobedience.
In all that our Teacher has taught us, probably one of life’s hardest lessons for us humans to learn is how to let go and lose control. We feel that we must be in control and that if we are not in control then everything is out of control. It’s that way with everything. How many of us with children have sought to influence our children even after they have left home? We should influence them to some extent but not to an extreme. Most of us remember how Mom and Dad tried to hold on to us when the time for us to leave home had arrived. In every family that functioned as it should have, it was a heart-wrenching experience on both sides. That is, it was as hard for the parent as it was for the young adult leaving home and stepping out into what could be described in no other terms than “uncertainty.” Things were not made easier by the attempts to preserve the “apron strings.”
Sometimes the apron strings are not cut and problems arise from this. Problems that affect one’s marriage, one’s children and their upbringing, one’s career moves and just about anything in one’s life. The apron strings must be cut if one is to become a man (or woman). As sure as this is true in the natural, it is also true spiritually on every level.
Something I heard in Alamogordo struck me as so true. It had to do with coming of age and leaving the realm of “little children.” Jesus actually walked this out in His life, for if He is the Word then everything He does, and not just what He says, is an expression of the Word. It was said that in ancient, patriarchal times the family tent was constructed in a manner much resembling the tent of the tabernacle of Moses. That is, a partition or curtain hung in the center of the tent dividing it into two compartments. On one side was the place where the mother and all the “little children” (both girls and boys) dwelt. On the other side was father and the older boys. During that time when the child needed the nourishing of mother’s breast, the lad stayed with “momma.” Eventually the time came when the boy must leave momma and be joined with his father.
Mothers find this especially hard to understand on any level. When Jesus was found missing and Mary and Joseph sought Him only to find Him in the temple listening and asking questions, she was surprised and asked Him, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.“ –Luke 2:48 Jesus’ response was, “How is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father’s (not father’s) business?” They did not understand and neither do they to this day understand when a child comes to the stage in his life when mother’s milk can no longer nourish and the child must seek and find answers as of his Father in the temple.
There comes a time in all our lives when we must leave that side of the tent called “the Holy Place” and move into Father’s side of the tent called “the Most Holy.” Almost never is this understood by “mother church.” Her whole existence is for one thing – to nourish and give milk and bread to her little children. If there is anything she definitely wishes to avoid it is that her dear little ones should grow up and leave her breasts. But when they have outgrown her they must leave. Many have heard the call of the Father saying to them, “Come ye out of her!” and have failed to obey because they could not seem to get an answer to the question, “Come out to what?” To many the answer, “Come unto Me,” has not seemed sufficient, so they have stayed and have become what amounts to teenagers shamefully nursing still at mother’s often very dry breast.
There is little wonder that they have no capacity for the meat and the deeper things of God which pertain to the feast of Tabernacles and to going on behind the veil. “Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts.“ – Isaiah 28:9 (Emphasis mine) Milk is fine… when we’re still of the age that milk is needed. But to continue nursing at “momma’s” breast after we have matured past the milk stage indicates that something is seriously wrong. To continue speaking like a baby after we have grown out of the baby stage indicates some kind of retardation. It is not normal and is just cause for concern.
To move from Momma’s side of the tent to Father’s side often leaves momma and the rest of her little children with questions for which they cannot easily find answers. There is a brother with whom I once went to momma’s house who has but one question every time I see him. It is not, “Hello, how are you?” Or, “Hello, it’s good to see you.” His question for me is, “Where are you going to Church?” So far as he is concerned, if you have a relationship with the Father it must be through momma/church. You cannot have a relationship directly with the Father. In fact, you must leave the Father and go back to mother/church. Such are like Jesus’ mother when she sent word to Him while He was busy with the affairs of His Father’s kingdom. He was told, “Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.“ – Matthew 12:47″ His answer was, “Who is my mother? Who are my brethren? Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother.“ – Matthew 12:48-50
Mother does not understand and therefore resists losing control over her children, even after they have come of age. When a child begins to try out his new-found wings she is quick to call such a thing into question. She may even seek him out, wherever he may be engaged in what the Father has him doing, to say to him, “Son, come away from there! We need you at home. Now you come away from there. The first thing you know, your brothers and sisters will be copying your foolishness!” She just does not understand that he must leave and that his place will be taken by other children which she is yet to bring forth. Even though the Scripture clearly tells us that we are to honor and obey our parents (mother and father), it must be done in the Lord or not at all.
I spoke with a dear woman by phone recently. When I told here that most of the folks I minister to don’t go to Church and just come together when there is a minister coming through their area, she was incredulous. “But we have to go to Church! – don’t we?” she asked in a shocked tone. From whence comes such a mind-set that makes it so devilishly difficult to leave momma? It comes not from the counsel of the Holy Spirit. It undoubtedly finds its origin with that system of religion called the Roman Catholic Church, the Momma of harlots. We have so focused upon the Mother that we have almost overlooked the fact that any human organization, anything over which resides a human head is a repudiation of Christ and is a very harlot daughter of the original Mother of harlots. Christ is the Head of the Church, not some man. Paul says to the Corinthian church, “For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” – II Corinthians 11:2 If, “The husband is head, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body.” and if, “Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:23-24), then that people, church or person which elects a human head to govern it has placed itself in exactly the same position as the wife who has chosen another man and thereby rejects her own husband. She is an adulteress!
It is so on the larger scale of the relationship between the local church and Christ; it is so on the yet larger scale of the whole true Ecclesia and Christ and it is also true in the microcosm of the individual and Christ. Christ is the head of every man (this includes every woman). The dealings of our Teacher are all directed toward and aimed at getting us from one side of the tent to the Father’s side. They are meant to get us from being little children to young men to fathers of full and mature age.
My dear fellow pilgrim, there are some things that you and I will learn in no other way than in and through sufferings. We Americans hate and detest suffering of any kind for any length of time. We avoid it like we would a tornado. But the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering and His members have a certain amount of the same suffering to endure if they are to be conformed to His death. There are many kinds of suffering. There is mental anguish, there is emotional suffering of the highest degree, and there is bodily suffering. All of it accomplishes the indispensable factor of bringing about in us that complete detachment from all but Himself. It severs the umbilical cord between us and the old creation life as we learn to allow Christ, who is our life, to actually be our life. Our Teacher knows how best to teach.
TEACHER, THE [Larry Hodges] 1