Others may; you cannot
If God has called you to be really like Jesus in all your
spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put on you
such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other believers,
and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will
not let you do.
Other believers may push themselves forward, pull strings, and
work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it; and attempting it,
you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely
Others may brag on themselves, on their work, on their
successes, on their writings, but the power of God's Spirit will not allow you
to do any such thing; and if you try it, He will lead you into some deep
mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good
Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or having an
inheritance left to them, or in having luxuries, but it is likely God will keep
you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold: a
helpless dependence on Him, so that He may supply your needs day by day out of
an unseen treasury.
The LORD will let others be honored, and put forward, but He
will keep you hidden away in obscurity, because He wants to produce fruit for
His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.
He will let others be great, but keep you small. He will let
others do a work for Him, and get the credit for it, but He will make you work
and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work
more precious still, He will let others get the credit for the work you have
done. He will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke
you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time, which other
believers never seem distressed about.
So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and
has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He will not explain to
you a thousand things which may puzzle you in His dealings with you. He will
take you at your word; and if you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He
will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things
that you cannot say or do. Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with
Him, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your
hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not use with others.
And then, when you are so possessed with the living God that
you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted with this peculiar,
personal, private, jealous guardianship and management by God's Spirit in your
life... then, and only then, will you have found the key to the Kingdom of