Writings of Elizabeth A. Fenley – Part1

Real repentance means forsaking sin; it means consideration, conviction, and turning about.

Believe, and you are saved. But be a sin great or small, it can not damn a man once he has found God. You may kill and hang for it, you may rob or rape; the moment you truly repent and set yourself to such atonement and reparation as is possible there remains no barrier between you and God. Directly you cease to hide or deny or escape, and turn manfully towards the consequences and the setting of things right, you take hold again of the hand of God. Though you sin seventy times seven times, God will still forgive the poor rest of you. Nothing but utter blind-ness of the Spirit can shut a man off from God. There is nothing one can suffer, no situation so unfortunate that it can shut off one who has the thought of God, from God. If you but lift up your head for a moment out of the stormy chaos of madness and cry to Him, God is there; God will not fail you a convicted criminal, frankly penitent, and neither obdurate nor object, whatever the evil of his yesterdays, may still die well and bravely on the gallows to the glory of God. He may step straight from that death into the immortal being of God. This persuasion is the very essence of the religion of the true God. There is no sin, no state that, being regretted and repented of can stand between God and man.

We know what Christ said about lukewarmness. Let’s get closer to Him and learn of Him and live like Him, and very soon that sinning brother, neighbor or friend will be anxious and willing to yield his life to Christ. Let us go to Him with all our cares, worries, and troubles, and He will solve them for us, as He did for the Israelites in the wilderness when they were willing to trust Him alone, first, last, and always.

Go thou thy way and I go mine

Apart but not afar.
Only a thin veil hangs between
The pathway’s where we are;
And God keep watch tween thee and me.
This is my prayer.
He looks thy way – He looketh mine,
and keeps us near.
I sigh sometimes to see thy face
But since this may not be,
I leave thee to the love of Him
Who cares for thee and me.

“I’ll keep ye both beneath my wings.” This comforts – dear.

One wing o’er thee – and one o’er me,
So we are near.
And though our paths be separate
And thy way – not mine,
Yet coming to the mercy seat
My soul shall meet with thine,
And God keep watch tween thee and me.
I’ll whisper there
He blesses me – He blesses thee
And we are near.

If we can fill a man’s head full of gospel and truth it will soak down into his heart and break out on his face and change his whole life. Now I see the real leadings of God all along the line. There were a number of years that He seemed to be hid from me, but I did want to do right at all times, but I have realized the last few years that God is real near. When I got the consent of my mind to let Him save me, He was there to save me.

But you say there is nobody that can live where you live and live a sanctified life. Well, I believe it, because you are living in the kingdom of sin. Move over into the Kingdom of grace and you will talk differently. But you say, “I never saw one that lived it.” Well, my neighbor, that proves that you have been keeping awfully bad company. If you will change crowds, you will see things differently.

“The great courage that is worth while before God, ” is the courage to run away from the temptation to be unclean, It is the only time you have the right to be a coward. That sort of coward is the true courage.

To have sought the highest goal and failed is better than never to have sought at all. So long as life lasts, no failure is forever; It is always to arise and return to the path. And the fall should call forth the charity of the beholder, leading him closer to God.

Poor sad souls! We should pity them and not condemn! God condemns nothing – because in everything there is a portion of Himself. And when man presumes to condemn and persecute his fellow men, he is guilty of likewise condemning his Maker.

I know quite well there is a God, or these blessings could not be. For if there were only chance and a man to manage the universe, a pretty muddle we should have of it!

We find the Bible the Book of Life and Inspiration, when we study it in this spirit, feeling God’s presence and knowing it is His Book. The Holy Spirit surely will open to us the Scripture. What new light comes! What joy and deepening faith! “While I was musing the fire burned.” “Watch your step” and “Safety.” Without God we are always on dangerous ground. With God we are always on a safe foundation.

Fill your souls with noble aims and generous impulses and enthusiasms, and the time will come, when the devils that trouble you today, will be powerless to harm you. We have God on our side, and God is power, and don’t you forget it! We are sure to win, if we keep on the side of right, and seek the help of the Almighty.

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God.” Without steady Bible study, it is hard to see how any Christian can maintain, fresh and pure, the deep springs of the spirit. It is Bread of Life to the hungry, and living water for the weary man or woman, struggling along life’s dusty highway. This Bible of ours is a gospel which holds the very power of God unto salvation. It is the message for every soul, in every land in all coming ages. It is the impregnable Rock from whose heart will ever flow those fountains of spiritual helpfulness, that minister to the deeper needs of the human soul.

Pressing on! “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching unto those things which are before.” One can dwell with doctrines until he knows nothing else and they enslave him. Doctrines are necessary, but even they must retreat into the background, for our personal acquaintance with Jesus. Knowledge and likeness to Him is the ultimate object. If one travels back and forth over the same teachings and definitions, they become husks of emptiness. Doctrines appeal to the intellect, but “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” One can dwell with his victories and his joys until the memories absorb him, and he is at a standstill. And how apt is he to think that the past implies present perfection, and to have a feeling of pride. Living in the past is not going forward! To become wiser and better, one must grasp new truths, and have new victories. If one broods over his past errors and imperfections, his step will slacken, and he will sit and mourn. He is unheeding of the race and
of the declining day.

Mourning will not atone for injuries to others or repay their damages. It drains one’s enthusiasm, chills his hopes, and brings defeat. Does one repent? the fruit of repentance will be a change in life. Overflowing mercy and grace will bring joy and vision of triumph. “The fruit of the spirit is joy and peace.” So to your feet, mourning one! Run forgetting the past, eager for the future!

That God in His goodness may so guide us in our spiritual struggle that we may trust all the past to His mercy and forgiveness in Christ Jesus and keep “eyes front,” and our entire attention riveted on the race before us.

We are the offspring of God. God is not a person who dwells in any particular place, nor can he be worshiped by man-made idols. He is the infinite and eternal energy, the one source of life, the supreme will, out of which all things proceed. Instead of being in a distant spot, he is really closer to us than our own bodies. In him we live and move and have being.

No man is wise enough, good enough, or great enough, to sit in judgement upon the motives of another man’s faith. God made the conscience free, and He never intended that any man or combination of men should ever enslave it.

Jesus alone can satisfy the longings of the human heart for peace and quietude. He who spoke peace to the stormy billows of Galilee will speak the word of peace for every trusting soul. With Him we can have peace in our hearts every day, regardless of all external confusion, trouble, and strife, regardless of whatever adverse circumstances may surround us. No matter how fierce the tempest, every soul who turns to Jesus with the cry, “Lord save me,” will find deliverance. It is the spirit within that makes us happy, the spirit of Christ.

Faith in God, and “The fruits of The Spirit” will add charm to any earthly life and give hope for the future life. “Think of thyself, trouble grows. Think of God, trouble goes.”

“We treat God with irreverence,” said this master teacher, “By banishing him from our thoughts, not by referring to his will on slight occasions.” In the thought of Ruskin, God delights to be “troubled” with our small things. We honor God by asking his guidance in the smallest and the simplest matters. We dishonor him by doing these smaller things without any thought of Him.

What Is Conversion? The right answer to this question does not come from natural processes of thinking or reasoning. It is a spiritual secret told not to the mind but to the heart. It goes to the rock bottom in human experience and human destiny. Paul’s own account of his conversion gives the right answer. What a moment was that when he put to death every Christian he could find, he was so changed as to say he would be glad to suffer any persecution, even to die, to make any soul any where on earth know Jesus, the savior from sin. Therefore, as long as one searches for religious truth in the Bible with an open heart to God, he is on the right road.

Until Christ be formed in the heart, the person is morally dead, and like Lazurus, needs a Christ to speak that he may arise. So the sinner being fully awakened, repents of his sins and forsakes them; promises to obey God’s moral law; believes in his heart, and the “Spirit witnesses to his spirit that he is a son of God.” He is engrafted into Christ the true vine; is delivered from the bondage of sin and corruption and made alive. He is now a member of the body of Christ.

If there are sins between you and the Lord, give them up, confess them, press right through until you can touch him by faith. To keep sanctified, keep the conditions with which it was necessary to comply to get the experience in the beginning.

Don’t Do Anything Wrong. In order to get saved, it is necessary to give up wrong-doing. One who goes back to it, commits sin, and “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”(Ez. 18:4) My one who holds on to wrong-doing cannot get saved, and anyone who goes back to wrong-doing cannot keep saved; and it is certain that if he cannot keep saved, he cannot keep sanctified.

Keep Away From Doubtful Things. Do not do anything you are not sure is right. You need not run into sin. If you know a thing is right, go ahead and do it; but if you have any doubt about it being right, don’t do it. If you do, you will be condemned. For, “He that doubteth is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith, and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”(Rom. 14:23) The whole thing sums itself up in this: Do right as far as you know; and if anything comes up that you are not sure is right, no difference what others may do, don’t do it.

Keep Yourself On The Altar. When you gave yourself to God you did not consider feelings or circumstances. You made a contract with God, and one it is your duty, which he will expect you to keep. If you took your self back, you would be taking what does and should belong to God. He does not change; “I am the Lord, I change not”(Mal. 3:6) and it is for your eternal interest to be like him in this.

When you gave yourself to God, you did the very best thing you could do for the glory of God and the good of yourself and the world. Because this is so, He will keep his part of the contract, and you must keep yours. Whatever your feelings, doubts, or circumstances, let nothing interfere with your consecration, your abandonment, your leaning yourself absolutely in God’s hands, now and forever. It is natural; Infinite love asks it, and it is the only way to get your work done.

Keep On Believing. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith with-out wavering, for He is faithful that promised.”(Heb. 10:23) This does not mean to hold fast the profession of your feelings, which are in the sensibilities, nor what you may think, which is of the mind, but of your faith, which is an act of the will. Through all the sufferings, hardships, temptations, persecutions, and all else, just choose or decide to go on believing, trusting, or having confidence in God’s keeping power, and all the Devils in or out of Hell cannot over-throw you. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”(John 5:4)

Obey God. We must not only avoid doing wrong things, but do what God commands as did Abraham of old. This does not mean that every impression is to be blindly followed, for they may come from the devil or men and women instead of God. If we knew where they came from, we would know how to act; but we do not, and we are told to “Try the spirits whether they are of God”(1 John 4:1) or study the thing out and be sure the thing is of God before you act upon it. By not trying the spirits, great sin may be committed. Parents have killed their children; men and women have deserted their families, and others have been led into false doctrines or become fanatical. Try the spirits. Does the impression agree with the Bible, and your highest, best judgement; is it moral right for you, and does God open the way? When duty is found, obey and Jesus will give you peace, joy and victory, but you cannot disobey and keep sanctified.

Let Two Do The Keeping. Let God keep you, and help him by keeping yourself, and the devil cannot touch you; “He that is begotten of God, keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”(1 John 1:9) If you keep consecrated and watch, God will “rebuke the devourer”(Mal. 3:10), and make his temptations powerless to hurt you.

Pray And Keep Going On. Pray in public, in the family, in secret and without ceasing. Obeying and praying souls do not backslide. Go on. You cannot stand still in salvation. Keep out of ruts and improve by thinking, sacrificing, prayers, faith and hard work on the lines of God’s will. Be sure you are right, do nothing wrong or doubtful, and then “Go on, on and still on.” If we do
these things, God will keep us sanctified, white-robed in this world, and bye and bye take us to wear white robes in the skies.

While Christ has the power to keep us unto our final salvation, yet, that his power might be exercised in our behalf, there are some needful things for us to do. The things for us to do that we might be kept by the ability of Christ are told to us in Jude beginning with the twentieth verse.

Keep building. We have accepted the word of God as the foundation upon which to build up a strong, faultless, Christian character. Upon this foundation we need ever keep building ourselves up. Every day something should be gathered from the Bible and built into our character. Keep praying. We need to guard against formality in prayer. When we go into our closets to pray we
should open our hearts and invite the Holy Spirit to come in and dictate the prayer. If the thoughts be turned upward toward God in holy desire and expectation of aid from the Holy Spirit that we might pray as we ought, he will come and pray in us. It is such prayers that gather nourishment from God and his word that we will build up the soul.

Keep loving. Keep building ourselves up on the word of God and keep praying in the Holy Spirit; thus we keep ourselves in the love of God. There is a strong stream of coldness, indifference, lethargy, and formality flowing through this world and we need to beware lest we get into it. To keep loving God we need every day to be doing something for Him. To do something for anyone helps us to become interested in him and to love him. Keep looking. If we have naught but the world in our lives we shall become like the world. To grow to be like things eternal we need to keep eternal things
much in mind. To keep looking to eternal life through the mercy of Christ binds us closely to God and things eternal and causes us to sit loosely by the things of the world.

Keep pulling. As we keep building ourselves up daily on our most holy faith, and keep praying in the Holy Spirit, and keep loving God and keep looking often to eternity, we need to keep pulling souls out of the fire. A spiritual people are on the lookout for souls. Some people are on the lookout for money, or position, or pleasure, but those who love God and have high hope of eternal life are seeking to save souls. If we keep building ourselves up on the Bible, keep praying in the Holy Spirit, keep loving God, keep looking to eternal life through Christ, and keep pulling souls out of the fire, Christ will keep us from falling and give us a faultless presentation before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.

If we must look closely, we can behold good in every man. None have befallen so low that they are totally depraved.

How may one pray and get closer to God. To all these Pastor Hidden replies: “This is my one answer to all those who seek knowledge of the way prayers reach God. When the radio announcer speaks into the microphone at the broadcasting station, His message it heard through the apparatus attuned to his particular station. Every believing Christian heart constitutes a broadcasting station with which heaven is forever in tune. If we live right and keep our hearts right with God, we may rest assured that He will receive the
prayers which we radio up to heaven.”

“We must love and trust God fully and serve him faithfully and unselfishly in order to become a successful leader at the bar of Heaven. God answers the prayers of those who give to and plead for others. He answers the prayers of those who care little for the applause of the world, but much more for the uplift of mankind.”

There are many who say, “Oh, I wish that I were a Christian, or, Oh, I wish that I could believe.” There is not an individual endowed with the faculty of a sound mind, but who has at some time or other entertained the wish to be saved, thus avoiding the penalties of a life out of harmony with God. Often the most hardened infidels are those who, when the chilly waters of death
reach them, send forth the most pitiful call for some believer to show them the way to God. You wish to become a Christian, but you will not, for if you would, that experience would be yours. You wish you had a conscience void of offense, peace in your heart, and absolute assurance that you were saved, and the fear of death all gone; you wish it, but you will not. Why? Because you are not willing to pay the price.

Kenneth D. Davis

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Last modified 22 Jun 2005