I dreamed that I walked down the street of a town-it could have been any town-and came to a church-it could have been almost any church. The congregation was singing “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” and if there had been one more verse they might have sung themselves to sleep. The text was, “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23). I said to myself, “If they really believe this, it will be interesting to see what happens after the benediction.” After the sermon they sang “Rescue the Perishing” and I could hardly wait to see them start rescuing the perishing. But nothing happened. Someone made a remark about the weather and when I asked “But when do you start rescuing the perishing?” He looked at me in alarm and hurried away. As I walked down the street there walked beside me One whom I did not recognize at first. I asked Him, “Do they always act like this at church?” Then I knew who He was when He said, sadly, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8).
THE SUPREME OBJECTIVE
When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
Jesus is speaking to Peter, and the explanation follows: “This spake he signifying by what death he should glorify God.” What a picture, not only of impetuous, headstrong Peter but of us all in our early days when we did our own will and walked in our own way! We girded ourselves and walked where we wished and prided ourselves that we lived our own lives.
But the man who meets Jesus and submits to His sway comes to the day, blundering and stumbling as badly as Peter ever did, when he submits to what he does not choose for himself, even to death itself. And why? “This spake he signifying by what death he should glorify God.” Our sole business, whether by life or by death, is just that, to glorify God. And when we discover that and do it, we have arrived.