The obedience of a holy heart is a love obedience, glad and quick. To know the Master's will is to hasten to its performance. Bishop Taylor said: "The Lord does not need to give me a second invitation to go with Him to any country or any world," so gladly would he hear His voice and hasten to obey.
This is the impulse of every heart filled with divine love.
But nevertheless, this seems to be one of the special places of the enemy's attack. It seems improbable that the devil would directly suggest disobedience to the child of God. But we feel sure that he does put forth constant effort to cause inattention to the divine call, and to produce slowness of response. We cannot shut our eyes to this effort of the enemy so present in much of our co-operative work and service.
Things are to be done which need the strength of us all; the call is made, and while everyone knows that it is the thing to be done, and to do it needs the united attention and faith and effort of all, yet on the part of many there is a lagging or no response at all. It soon comes to pass that when there is a call for united action, those who had lagged can easily turn away.
We have come to believe that the fatal incipient cause of the loss of spiritual power and life, and the becoming barren and unfruitful, is in the loss of close attention to what the Lord wants of one . . . and the hastening to do it. The failure of quick response to the spirit of testimony or prayer, or personal appeal, leaves the soul with its life impulses blunted, with the loss of care to hear and to quickly obey, until the tenderness of soul and the fullness of love are gone.
We are led to believe that in an aggressive church, where the work is continually pushed, this is a peculiar besetment. A person is liable to become accustomed to the crucial conditions, until, in the midst of the battle, there will be carelessness as to what the Master would have him do. The frequent calls to rally around the altar to pray with those seeking the Lord gives special opportunity for the enemy to suggest that there are enough to go at this time, and a person sits down, or turns to social things, and is no longer a factor in the conflict; and the next time there is not so much solicitude as to the results of the call for men and women to seek the Lord, and a readiness to be out of the thick of the battle.
Quick and constant obedience everywhere is the only way of sustained life and continued victory in the holy way.
Phineas F. Bresee, The Nazarene Messenger, January 16, 1908.
Used with permission from Nazarene Archives for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.