How To Attain To This Grace
We have striven hitherto to avoid, as much as possible, all technical and theological terms. Suffice it to say, we have been treating in this book of the negative side of entire sanctification; namely, the destruction of inbred sin. When God has accomplished that by a stroke of Almighty power, and the heart has been made clean and pure, then He fills it with His fulness. This latter is the positive side of entire sanctification. This is what Paul exhorted the Ephesian Church to obtain. He says: “Be filled with the Spirit.” The only reason that God does not fill all Christians is, that inbred sin has not been all cast out. Entire sanctification then is the fulness of God dwelling in a pure heart. It remains only now to inquire on what terms God does this work. The way to this full salvation consists of a single step, and a step to that single step.
A step to the step of faith; or, in other words, we must put ourselves on believing ground, and then take the step of faith. When property is for sale, it would be folly for us to believe it was our property unless we had paid the price. It is folly to trust God for a clean heart unless we are willing to let Him have His way in all respects with us. “To be, or not to be; to do, or not to do; to have, or not to have; to suffer, or not to suffer.” In all things to say, “Thy will be done,” regardless of people or circumstances. When we get there — when our will is wholly swallowed up in the will of God, then the step of faith will be as natural and as easy as to breathe; then we can easily trust God for an entirely sanctified heart. “Faithful is He that hath called you, who also will do it.”
To recapitulate, then:
1) Settle once for all and forever, that you will be true to God, by His help, every time and everywhere, up to all the light He gives you, without any mental reservation. This is consecration. This is putting yourself wholly in His hands.
2) Now believe He receives you, and doeth it, not because of any joy or emotion, but simply because He has promised to do the work when you seek Him with all the heart. The results that follow will be these. If you have really been sincere and in earnest, have really made a covenant with God, you will have confidence in your own honesty, and in the faithfulness of God to keep His part of the covenant; and you will believe it and trust Him if He never gives you an emotional blessing as long as you live. You will walk by naked faith. And when God sees that a real faith habit has been established by you, — one that does not depend on a great manifestation of His presence, but on His written agreement, — then He will come, in some way, to your heart. Usually in a deep peace. (This is the usual experience.) This is the normal state of an entirely sanctified heart. But if you expect an experience like some one else, and tease God for that, it is a sure sign that you still lack submission. You want God to save you in your way, and not in His own. Trust that He doeth it, and He will furnish you a certificate when He sees fit, that it is done. At any rate, trust God without any dictation as to how He is to do it. Establish the faith habit, and God will establish Himself in you.