Editor's note:

In this excerpt on grow­ing in grace, Phoebe Palmer is in the mid­dle of a sto­ry that a girl is telling her broth­er about how there is a short­er way” to holi­ness — not through spir­i­tu­al short­cuts,” but rather through ready and com­plete obe­di­ence to God. That is, the long wait­ing and strug­gling with the pow­ers of dark­ness is not nec­es­sary” when one is enabled, through grace, to resolve, with firm­ness of pur­pose, that entire devo­tion of heart and life to God should be the absorb­ing sub­ject of the suc­ceed­ing pil­grim­age of life.”

Here she writes of the grace of wait­ing on the Lord in all the con­fi­dence of being his beloved child. 

—Renovaré Team

Excerpt from Spiritual Classics

So far from hav­ing those over­whelm­ing per­cep­tions of guilt, on which she after­ward saw she had been too much dis­posed to place reliance, as some­what mer­i­to­ri­ous, she was con­stant­ly and con­scious­ly grow­ing in grace dai­ly — yea, even hourly her heav­en­ward progress seemed marked as by the fin­ger of God.

No gloomy fears that she was not a child of God dimmed her spir­i­tu­al hori­zon, pre­sent­ing fear­ful antic­i­pa­tions of imped­ing wrath. There had been a peri­od in her expe­ri­ence, some time pre­vi­ous to that under present con­sid­er­a­tion, from which she had not one lin­ger­ing doubt of her accep­tance with God, as a mem­ber of the house­hold of faith (see Eph. 2:19). But, [she was] con­scious that she had not the wit­ness of entire con­se­cra­tion to God, nei­ther the assur­ance that the great deep of her heart, the foun­tain from whence action emanates, was pure, which at this time stood before the vision of her mind as two dis­tinct objects (yet which, as she after­ward per­ceived, most clear­ly merged in one), and impelled onward also by such an intense desire to be fruit­ful in every good work (see Col. 1:10) … Con­scious that she had sub­mit­ted her­self to the dic­ta­tions of the Spir­it, a sacred con­vic­tion took pos­ses­sion of her mind that she was being led into all truth.

Stand still and see the sal­va­tion of God” (see Exod. 14:13), was now the lis­ten­ing atti­tude in which her soul eager­ly wait­ed before the Lord, and it was but a few hours after the above encour­ag­ing admo­ni­tion had been spo­ken to her heart that she set apart a sea­son to wait before the Lord, espe­cial­ly for the bestow­ment of the object, or rather the two dis­tinct objects pre­vi­ous­ly stated.

When first kneel­ing, she thought of resolv­ing that she would con­tin­ue to wait before the Lord until the desire of her heart was grant­ed, But the adver­sary, who had stood ready to with­stand every pro­gres­sive step, sug­gest­ed, Be care­ful, God may dis­ap­point your expec­ta­tions, and sup­pose you should be left to wres­tle all night; ay, and all the mor­row, too?” …

And here most emphat­i­cal­ly could she say, she was led by a way she knew not” (see Josh. 3:4); so sim­ple, so clear­ly described, and urged by the word of the Lord, and yet so often over­looked, for want of that child­like sim­plic­i­ty which, with­out rea­son­ing, takes God at his word. It was just while engaged in the act of prepar­ing the way, as she deemed, to some great and unde­ni­able exer­cise, that the Lord, through the medi­um of faith in his writ­ten word, led her aston­ished soul direct­ly in the way of holi­ness,” where, with unut­ter­able delight, she found the com­pre­hen­sive desires of her soul blend­ed and sat­is­fied in the ful­fill­ment of the com­mand, Be ye holy.”

It was thus, wait­ing child of Jesus, that this trav­el­er in the King’s high­way was direct­ed onward, through the teach­ings of the word of God and induced so con­fi­dent­ly to affirm, in reply to the broth­er, There is a short­er way.”

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