The Discipline of Inaction

MosesI subscribe to the daily devotional thought from T. Austin Spark’s library.  Today’s was written to me, for me, about me.

By dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6 NIV)

Service begins with separation from the world, emancipation from the kingdom of this world, but it is a very thoroughgoing thing. Oh, that the church would recognize this, that God’s last word about this matter of emancipation and separation is “there shall not a hoof be left behind” (Ex. 10:26). You see, Moses’ service was a very thoroughgoing service, and it went that far, that not a hoof was left behind, and that is service to God. “See that the people are utterly out, and there is no link remaining.”

Do remember that service is always governed by this: a deep inward separation. It is not enough for us to come out from the world and become parts of the people of God. Something more than that is necessary. The whole self-life in us has got to be definitely dealt with, and a great separation has to take place there. The impulsive, hot, fiery Moses has to become the quiet, patient, meek Moses… learning, perhaps above all things, meekness and patience. What a discipline of those forty years (tending sheep in the wilderness) of self-emptying. Presently when he really enters upon his life’s work, his life service, one of the things that he will need most will be patience, and there is nothing more calculated to produce patience than the discipline of inaction. We do not learn patience when we can keep busy, when we can gratify all our impulses by doing something. But when we are not allowed to do anything, when we are cut off from ministry and work and service, and shut up to the discipline of inaction and the discipline of delay, God is preparing for better service than we would ever have fulfilled otherwise.

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