“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you…… For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:11,14)
Major W. Ian Thomas of England was a soldier in all respects that you would think a soldier should be. He served in an infantry battalion in Belgium at the outset of World War II and took part in the evacuation at Dunkirk after the British, and French were soundly defeated by the Germans in 1940. He went on to serve with his unit in combat in France, Italy, Greece, and elsewhere during this long and bloody war. He found that the Lord Jesus was sufficient to carry him through many a difficult and arduous task during the conflict.
Born into a middle class home he grew up in church and had a life changing experience as a 12-year old boy attending a Bible study offered by the Crusaders Union and he asked the Lord to save him. At the age of 15 he decided to give his life completely to the service of his Savior and he told God he would be a missionary. To fulfill this promise he enrolled in a college in London at the age of seventeen to become a doctor so that he could go and serve in Africa.
At college he became very active as a leader in Inter-Varsity Fellowship and spent every spare moment he could when he was not studying to be in a whirlwind of activity for the next two years. By the young age of 19 he was already burned out and was in a state of complete exhaustion spiritually. He went to the Lord in prayer one night and after hours of crying out and reading Scripture here is what Major Thomas says God told him:
“It just came from every area of God’s Word, and very kindly and very lovingly the Lord seemed to make it plain to me that night, through my tears of bitterness: ‘You see, for seven years, with the utmost sincerity, you have been trying to live for Me, on My behalf, the life that I have been waiting for seven years to live through you. I have been there the whole time. All the things you have been pleading for, all the things for which you have been asking, have been yours since the day seven years ago, at your request and invitation, that I came into your heart…: but you see, although you have given mutual assent to the truth that I have been in your heart, and have accepted it as theory, you have lived totally ignoring the fact. You have been busy trying to do for Me all that only I can do through you.’ (They Found the Secret by F. Raymond Edmond, pp167-168)
That night Ian Thomas says that he discovered the secret of the adventurous life. “He said: With nothing to support the theory and without the testimony of any other known Christian to the facts, I simply said to the Lord Jesus Christ that night, ‘Well, it is that or nothing! If this is true, then I am going to thank Thee for it in sheer cold-blooded faith, with no other evidence to support it, and nothing but a history of failure behind me! I am going to thank Thee that if Thou art my life, and this is true, then Thou art my victory; Thou art my strength, Thou art my power, Thou art my future! Thou art the One Who is going to go out now, clothed in me to do all that I so hopelessly have been trying to do in the past seven years!’ Then I went to sleep!
“I got up the next morning to an entirely different Christian life, but I want to emphasize this: I had not received one iota more than I had already had for seven years! I had had the Lord Jesus, equal to all my need in whom I had been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly things, for the whole of those seven years; but I stepped out on my way to the university that morning with a new song in my heart. I was saying, ‘Lord Jesus I thank Thee for the first time in my life, this is Thy day! I no longer have the burden of running my own life. At last I have a governor capable of governing!’” (Ibid, p171)
As he walked to class he thought about the boys Sunday School class he was to teach the next Sunday. “I said, ‘Well Lord, thou art going to speak to that boys class isn’t wonderful? Yesterday I thought I was going to, but Thou art going to now! I thank Thee dear Lord , for the boys that thou are going to save.’” (Ibid, pp. 171-172)
That Sunday 90 boys showed up for his class. He invited any to come back in the afternoon if they would like to be saved after he had spoken very simply about the Lord Jesus Christ. 30 boys came back! It did not just happen once, God came through day after day after day! It seemed that every person he bumped into that week wanted to know about Jesus! He had been bumping into all the wrong people for 7 years. More were saved in next weeks Sunday School class also and he became a new man being used by God because he had finally learned to abide in Christ and let Him do all the work!
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
1. Dear precious Jesus, thank You that You are the One who does it all. My job is just to abide in You and be obedient to go where You want me to go and do what You want me to do.
2. Lord help me this day to remember first thing in the morning that this day belongs to You and my job is to allow you to use me for Your agenda.Thank you Jesus for being my branch and keep me attached to you throughout this day and the next and the next so that Your name will be glorified and others will see that I belong to You.