Serving in the Shade by Delighting in God

(I ran across this quote this past weekend and had to share it. It’s a journal entry of Hudson Taylor’s that was found after his death. He wrote it when he was 42 and everything in his life was going wrong. His China Inland Mission was at one of it’s lowest points, without the funding and the people that it needed to survive. Taylor had been ridden for months and apparently forgotten by most of his friends. It was encouraging to me, I hope it is to you. His biographer says that this entry gives “a window on his soul, on the true Hudson Taylor who wanted to be like Christ, cost what it might.”)

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“If God has called you to be really like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put on you such demands of obedience that He will not allow you to follow other Christians; and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things that He will not let you do. Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires and work schemes to carry out their schemes, but you cannot do it; and if you attempt it, you will meet such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent. Others may brag on themselves, on their work, on their successes, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing; and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, and that is a helpless dependence on Him, that He may have the privilege (the right) of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury. The Lord will let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants some choice fragrant fruit for His coming glory which can only be produced in the shade. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will let you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time, over which other Christians never seem distressed. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you. He will take you at your word and if you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up with a jealous love and let other people say and do many things which He will not let you say or do.

Settle it for ever that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not deal with others. Now when you are so possessed with the Living God, that you are in your secret heart pleased and delighted over the peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of Heaven.”

(quoted in “Hudson Taylor and China’s Open Century: It Is Not Death to Die” by A.J. Broomhall, pages 516-517)

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