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.”

Starting Soon: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? Choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

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