Fellowship of Believers
The following excerpt from Norman Grubb’s biography of pioneer missionary Edith Moules, Mighty Through God, provides insight into God’s standard for Christian fellowship. In her own words, Mrs. Moules describes the challenges of maintaining fellow-ship among the African lepers she was called to reach and disciple–challenges that the Spirit used to do a deeper work in her own heart.
"God began to show me that while I was trying to discipline others,
I didn’t want for myself to accept the discipline of the Spirit through them. So often we can bear the things we deserve. But we can’t bear the thing which we think we don’t deserve. "I went to God again and again." She wrote. "The lepers would malign us, and I would go to Him. Many and many a time I was on my face pleading for grace, until He showed me at long length–my fault of course– that I did not need to plead with Him for grace. I was just to take it. But the trouble is we won’t die. We won’t get over that period of reaction, which can be as long as we like to make it. We don’t have to plead for grace. We just help ourselves to it. And while we spend our time pleading with God to give us grace to take injustices, God will never sympathise. The simple Word of God shouts at me that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’: and until we understand that, we are never going to die for the brethren. That’s what we are supposed to be doing, dying for the brethren. When we go to the mission field, we are sup-posed to be an offering, dying for the brethren; and until we do, God can’t really begin the work He wants to do through us.That’s my definite experience .
"Those girls, for instance, were difficult, and yet this was my commission from God–to preach the Gospel, to make disciples. I was definitely commissioned of God to discipline those girls. But the fact is that I didn’t first want the discipline of God through those girls. God wanted to discipline me by their disobedience, so that I could come to the place of active faith where I could get through in the Spirit in the situation. For that is revival, that is real missionary enter-prise. It’s not enough that I go and give them the gospel, and slap down the Word as it were, saying, ‘This Word will not return to God void; now you have got to get on with it.’ It is very easy to say that. But we have to be wholly taken up by God for this life-giving ministry, to be transmitters of life. That is revival .
I often had to call back those African girls after a period of discipline, and confess that the same thing was in me. I remember one night a girl would not forgive. She had been standing on my doorstep, and I had had several talks with her. She was one of the midwives in the maternity hospital, dealing with souls and taking meetings day by day. There had been a row among the nurses. Everything had been brought out into the open and all had agreed to forgive each other but this one girl, who said, "I won’t forgive." I stood with her for half an hour at a time; "But you must forgive. The Word of God says, ‘Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.’" We easily turn up the Scriptures to point them out to someone else. She was with me until two in the morning. About 11 o’clock my husband said, "My dear, you had better send her to bed. You must go any-
way." "I am not going to bed," I answered. "because if we don’t get through this now, we start again in the morning." And I went out and told her that this thing had to be put right, and that neither she nor I were going to bed that night until it was settled.
At 2 o’clock she broke. "Now," I said, "we shall go across to the Nurses’ Home." So we knocked at the door, wakened everybody up and had a Hallelujah meeting on the spot.
But as I went back to my room, that voice inside said, "That’s all very pretty and nicely staged, but that same situation is in you." And I had to go to those girls and tell them just that.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 25 No 3
- Harmonious Relationships
- Editor’s Note
- Fellowship In Philadelphia, PA
- I Was a Fool
- "If we walk in the light…"
- C.T. Was Right & We Were Wrong
- Fellowship on the Mission Field
- Fellowship in the Body
- "Let us love one another…"
- My Personal Discovery of Total Truth
- How Do I Look at People?
- Long on Faith, Short on Love
- "Make my joy complete…"
- Applied to the Daily Life
- Fellowship of Believers
- Difficult People
- Walking with My Brother
- The Standard is Perfection
- Many Members, but One Body…
- Words to Live By