Temptations Peculiar To The Sanctified – Part II
Impatience With Others
Because of the clarified vision and increased light, and the new impetus and accelerated movement that has resulted from the new-found experience of entire sanctification, there is likely to come a temptation to feel impatience with the dullness and sluggishness of such as have not yet sought and found the same experience; and unless the soul is watchful there will be a temptation to become critical and censorious, impugning the motives, and doubting the sincerity of such as do not immediately “walk in the light,” (which was given to you) and press into the experience. And then we have the sad spectacle of holiness people seeking to promote the beautiful experience of holiness in an unholy way.
At such times it is well to remind one’s self of the dullness and density we were in, for many long years, before we sought and found the experience; and that the matter was never fully understood and appreciated by us until after there had been given to us an inward illumination and revelation by the Holy Spirit, resulting in a personal heart experience. The “light” we have thus received may yet be darkness to those about us; Not until the Holy Spirit thus illuminates their hearts and minds, even as He did us, can they have a proper appreciation of that which has become so wonderful and glorious to us.
There is need of constant care and watchfulness at this point. A critical, fault-finding, censorious spirit is injurious and detrimental to the promotion and experience of entire sanctification. The good shepherd “goeth before” his sheep to lead them; not to drive them in the way they should go.
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The Suggestion To Compromise
Another challenge and temptation will soon come as a result of the aloofness and withdrawal of sympathy — ofttimes resulting in complete ostracism — on the part of such as were formerly your friends; and because of the furtive glance of the eye, the significant shrug of the shoulder and the secret whisper among those whom you love and long to help, because of the insistent misrepresentations and reproaches there will come a feeling of loneliness, and then the suggestion that you compromise just a little so as to prove to them that you are not an “old fogy,” an “extremist” or a “fanatic,” as they had supposed.
The temptation to become a little more liberal and broader in your views, so as to become more useful, and thus be enabled to win others for Christ, is such a subtle and plausible suggestion that even some who were supposed to be mature Christians have been deceived and beguiled thereby; Compromise is the sure way to defeat.
It should be remembered that the way of holiness never was a popular way; and in the very nature of the case, true holiness can never become popular in this world — seeing it runs directly counter to all the customs, fads and fashions, of this world. “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15); “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4). There can be no truce nor temporizing, here; In order that Jesus might “sanctify the people with his own blood,” He must needs go outside the gate; and he who would enjoy this rich experience must “go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Heb. 13:12,13). There is no other way.
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Resting In A Past Experience
Another danger point lies in the temptation to feel, now that you have been sanctified, you are all right, and have it all, and therefore you can rest on your oars, and take it easy; and thus through a lack of persevering vigilance and prayer, and a failure to observe the necessary means of grace — such as secret prayer, reading the Word, family devotions, attendance of public services, seasons of quiet meditation and self-examination and waiting upon the Lord — there will soon come weakness and spiritual leanness; and although still subscribing to the doctrine, and professing to be “saved and sanctified,” the experience is largely a memory, and lacks the freshness and unction that formerly characterized the same: and soon it will simply be an “empty profession,” and “ancient history.” While no outward sin has been committed, the grace of perfect love has leaked out, because of “fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness” (Ezek. 16:49).
It requires just as much diligence and vigilance to retain the experience of sanctification as it did to obtain it.
Instead of consecration being merely an act, it must become an attitude, to be worked out in daily life: not an occasional matter, but a daily practice. Nor does it work itself out automatically, but requires a real heart purpose and a fixed determination to press on. There is no such thing as “getting it all;” and every experience in grace should be regarded as a stepping stone to higher altitudes of grace, and never as a finality.
It will help a person to remember that the best things are still ahead. “It is better farther on.” Instead of relaxing, and feeling content with present attainments, we should ever seek to redouble our pace, and press forward with renewed vigor. It was after Joshua was old, and had been in Canaan a number of years, that the Lord said to him, “There remaineth yet very much land to be possessed” (Josh. 13:1). “Onward” should be our motto. “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18). “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith” (Col. 2:6, 7).