Spirit Force
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"First Place"

I was longing to serve the Master,
But alas I was laid aside
From the busy field of workers
In the harvest field so wide
They were few, yes, few in number
And I could not understand
Why I should be left inactive:
It was not as I had planned.

I was longing to serve the Master
And the need indeed was great.
For me it was easy to labour
But oh, it was hard to wait,
To lie quite still and be silent
While the song was borne to my ear
From the busy field of workers
In the harvest field so dear!

I was longing to serve, just to serve the Master,
But He led to a desert place
And there as we stopped and rested
His eyes looked down in my face,
So full of tender reproaching
They filled me with sad surprise!
Did He think I had grudged my service
Or counted it sacrifice?

Oh, Master, I long to serve, just to serve thee,
There are so few at the best,
Let me off to the fields, I pleaded,
I care not to stay and rest.
I knelt at His feet imploring,
I gazed in His face above.
My child, He said, don't you know
Your service is nothing without your love?

I was longing to serve, to serve my Master,
Oh, this was my one fond thought,
For this I was ever pleading
As His footstool in prayer I sought,
But there in that lonely desert
Apart from the busy scene
It dawned on me slowly and clearly
Where my great mistake had been.

My mind was so full of service, just service,
I had drifted from Him apart,
And He longed for the sweet communion,
That UNION OF HEART WITH HEART!

Well, I sought and I found forgiveness,
While mine eyes with pain were dim.
And NOW, though His WORK is still precious,
The FIRST place is kept for HIM!

32. I'LL NEVER FORGET HOW WE GOT AWAY ONE TIME TO ACTUALLY HEAR FROM THE LORD--to hear God speak through Grandmother. They had all kinds of confusion of tongues, but no interpreter! So we went up into the mountains to listen to the Lord. And they got to praying and shouting and talking in tongues, and on and on they went, and all of a sudden the Lord began to speak. He said something like: Behold the Bride-groom is at the door, and He has bestowed upon you the gifts, and you're so busy playing with them like toys, you have forgotten the Bridegroom! Like the father coming home with gifts for his children. The kids grab the presents, forget to kiss their father and greet him, and sit down on the floor and start playing with the toys!
33. AND THERE ARE A LOT OF CHRISTIANS THAT DO THIS VERY SAME THING--THEY START PLAYING WITH THE THINGS OF GOD, AND NEGLECT GOD HIMSELF! Or like that little story about the Bedroom Slippers: The little girl who took her fellowship time with her father to make him bedroom slippers for his Birthday, and nearly broke his heart. God may appreciate the bedroom slippers you're making for Him, but He'd rather have you! And in fact, you'll probably make a helluva mess out of them, if you neglect Him!
34. ONE OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO LEARN IS TO WAIT FOR THE LORD TO WORK! I know times when I didn't listen to the Lord, and the only way He could get me to look up was to get me flat on my back where that was the only direction I could look--straight up!
35. My mother used to give her testimony of getting so busy with the Lord's Work that the Lord had to slap her down with a malignant cancer so she'd have to give Him her full attention!
36. GOD WILL NOT TAKE SECOND PLACE EVEN TO HIS SERVICE! "I will have no other gods before Me; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God...." That probably is the greatest mistake of sincere Christians: to make a god of God's Service. All this action, all this noise, beating the air, holding a service--and so little of God! We used to sing this little song: "Let go and let God have His wonderful way. Let go and let God have His Way; He'll fill with His Spirit and keep day by day. Let go and let God have His Way." It's a lot easier for you to just let God do it! And you show you're letting go by getting quiet before the Lord! You show that you have faith by stopping your own activity and waiting for God to work! Be still and know that I am God. Study to be quiet. In quietness and confidence shall your strength be. Let all the world keep silence before Me. There was even silence in Heaven on occasion!
37. Someone just handed me this little poem entitled:

"I Didn't Have Time"

I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day!
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn't have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me
And heavier came each task.
"Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered.
He answered, "You didn't ask!"

I tried to come into God's presence
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
"Why, Child, you didn't knock!"

I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on, grey and bleak.
I wondered why God didn't show me.
He said, "But you didn't seek."

I woke up early this morning,
And paused before entering the day,
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray!

38. ONE DAY WHEN MARTIN LUTHER AND HIS CO-WORKER MELANCTHON HAD A PARTICULARLY STRENUOUS AND BUSY DAY AHEAD, Melancthon suggested that they cut their prayer time together at the beginning of the day in half. Luther refused vehemently, and insisted that instead of their regular two hours in prayer, they would today have to spend four hours in the presence of the Lord because they had so much to do!
39. IT USED TO MAKE SOME OF MY FOLKS SO FURIOUS when they got in a big rush to do something and I used to sit them down and make them listen to the Lord for a few hours! And they found out afterwards that usually God had already taken care of the situation.
40. WHEN MOSES WAS A REAL SMART YOUNG MAN 40 YEARS OF AGE, and really thought he knew how to do the job, he made a helluva mess out of it, and he had to run for his life, and it took God 40 years to straighten him out and show him he had to depend on Him!
41. HURRY IS A SIGN YOU'RE AFRAID YOU'RE GOING TO BE LATE--WHICH MEANS YOU HAVE FEAR, WHICH MEANS YOU HAVEN'T GOT FAITH! If you're late, take it easy! Trust the Lord! One reason we hurry when we're late, in the first place, is because it was probably our own fault and we don't want to have to suffer the consequences! That's pride! You don't want people to know you were really late!
42. AND ANOTHER REASON YOU HURRY IS THAT YOU'RE NOT TRUSTING THE LORD! You're afraid. You're afraid if you don't get there you're going to miss something. You can't trust God that He's able to hold up the whole world or stop the sun like Joshua had Him do. I'll never forget when I was rushing around trying to get the train, and the Lord warned me that if I kept up this nervous and physical strain I would kill myself. So I put it in the Lord's hands to stop the train, and I relaxed and took my time! And after I got on the train I sat there for 40 minutes wondering why the always punctual train did not leave the station. I finally asked the Lord, and He told me, "You didn't tell Me you wanted to leave yet."
43. "THE HURRIER I GO, THE BEHINDER I GET!" Just relax; slow down; don't rush; don't be hasty; squeeze--don't jerk;--and the Lord will slow everything else down for you if necessary! No use trying to kill yourself! That's why Jeth gets along so well! He takes it so calmly and doesn't get bothered! That's the only way he has survived. But my children are so high-strung, high-geared, wild horses! But wild horses can kill you--and you've got to learn to rest in the Lord!--And take it easier!
44. ALL THE SAMPLES IN THE BIBLE OF PATIENCE: JOB, MOSES, AND LOOK AT DAVID! He spent 24 years working under that old blunderbuss, King Saul, and the Lord really taught him from looking at Saul! Saul got all up-tight and tried to do things in his own strength, and he found he wasn't strong enough! David learned you have to let God do everything!--and wait for Him!
45. BUT YOU GUYS SOMETIMES REMIND ME OF SAUL! You ask the Lord something, and if you don't hear Him right away, you just go ahead and do the best you can! Look what happened when the prophet didn't show up and Saul went ahead with the battle without waiting for the Lord! And he lost the whole Kingdom as a result!
46. BUT SLOW IT DOWN! STOP! ... LOOK! ... LISTEN! WAIT FOR THE LORD!--ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO AND HAVEN'T HEARD FROM THE LORD YET! Where did John the Baptist show up from--the big city of Jerusalem--is that where he got his education, his anointing, his great power--The First San Hedrin Cemetery? No!--He came out of the desert--out of the woods--out of the wilderness!--So he'd have time to get away from the mob and hear from the Lord! And when he came, he sure had something to say!
47. JESUS SPENT 30 YEARS OF HIS LIFE IN PREPARATION, and only a little over three years in His public ministry! We're in such a hurry! If we don't give these out-going teams any other preparation, let's at least teach them how to get their orders from the Lord!
48. YOU DON'T HEAR MUCH ABOUT JOHN THE BELOVED--a little about him being with the Lord, etc. John wrote the Gospel of John--it must have taken some time with the Lord to do it! But his greatest masterpiece was written by the Lord in exile on an island. His biggest work was just letting God do all the directing and all the showing and the whole shebang! Let's slow it down! Stop! ... Look! ... Listen!, or you're going to get run over.
49. THE WORLD IS ALWAYS IN A HURRY! THAT'S THE DEVIL'S OWN MACHINERY: TO SPEED UP THE WORLD--anything to make everything move faster! God created the earth 6,000 years ago and it hasn't hardly varied in its speed since then! God never got in a hurry.--It's still revolving the same rate every day! God hasn't speeded up the seasons or the years any. Man is speeding it up--hell-bent for destruction! Slow it down: Squeeze--don't jerk! But most of all: Stop! Look! Listen! And wait! You see signs like this at dangerous places--crossings,--intersections--places of crisis--an interruption of your routine--an interruption of your way--your road--your highway! Otherwise you might get out there and get hit by an express train!
50. BUT YOU SAY, "I DON'T HAVE TIME TO STOP AND TO LOOK AND TO LISTEN!" If you don't you may never make it! Better late than never! Which is easier: to try to beat the train, to try to plough through the train, jump over the train or just to stop, watch it go by, wait another couple of minutes and it'll be out of your way and you can go peacefully on your way! Trying to force the situation and push your way through just won't work!
51. I'VE FOUND OUT THAT NO MATTER WHAT I DO, THE LORD'S WORK WILL GO ON--life will go on--the camp will go on! If it's God's Work, nothing will stop it--not even my absence! Praise the Lord? So it doesn't pay to rush around and fret and fume and try to get someplace to do something when you're supposed to be waiting on the Lord to find out for sure just where He wants you to be and what He wants you to do!
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