restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


Moody’s Thirst for God

 David Alan Black 

The famous evangelist Dwight L. Moody had a favorite saying that he borrowed from Henry Varley. It was this: D. L. Moody“The world has yet to see what Almighty God can and will do with, for, through, in, and by a man wholly and fully yielded to Him and to His service.” Moody would then add: “By God’s grace, may I be that man!”

I share Mr. Moody’s passion for God. Romans 12:1-2 teaches more than that we are to be nonconformed to this world; we are also to be transformed so that we may prove in experience (this is the meaning of the Greek term dokimazo) the will of God.

The first test of our commitment is right at home. I have made many mistakes as a husband and a father but God has graciously helped me to learn from them. I wonder how many of us would invite an unsaved person to come and dwell in our homes to determine by his stay whether or not he should follow Christ! Blessed are those who strive in the power of the Spirit to love their spouses and their children in a Christ-like way.

Then there is the test of faithfulness – to the Lord and to His word. I have learned, sometimes from bitter experience, that the availability of the word of God is one thing but the application is another. The word of God must be applied if we are to be made clean spiritually. For the Holy Spirit to make the Bible effective we must read and hear and heed it. It is always amazing to me how I can read the Scripture and somehow manage to keep it in one compartment of my life while trying to carry on my daily affairs! The last invitation in the Bible says, “Let him that is thirsty come” (Rev. 22:17). I must be conscious of my need, deeply conscious, for only then will I come to the only One who can satisfy my thirst.

Finally, may I note the test of obedience? We cannot live on good terms with both Christ and the world. I shudder to think how many times I have sung “Content to let the world go by” while wearing myself out trying to keep up with it. How often have I erected great edifices of wood, hay, and stubble that will all go up in smoke at the fire test of the Last Day! In building our new house I have discovered that you get the kind of house you pay for. Cheap materials produce a shoddy structure. True discipleship has its costs in prayer and work and sacrifice.

There is not one of us who has not failed these tests of commitment – whether in our homes, our daily walk with God, or our ministries. Should we not lift up our hearts and voices like Moody did and cry out, “God, make me a man who is fully yielded to Thee!”? Surely we should! But do we?

Just as it is true that the Lord loves us so it is true that He chastens and rebukes us. He is not a God who winks at our transgressions and apathy. Our delinquent generation will not get on the right track until it hears the love that chastens and rebukes and corrects.

True Christian living should be the outflow and expression of what we are in union with Christ. But, as D. L. Moody found to be true, it is in yielding that we experience the fullness of that union.

August 15, 2005

David Alan Black is the editor of If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.

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