Introductory 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.”

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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