Words of Divine Comfort— Octavius Winslow, 1873
“Whatever He says unto you, do it.”–John 2:5
What reader of his Bible is not reminded by these words of the mother of Jesus referring to her Son, of the command of Pharaoh addressed to the Egyptians concerning Joseph–perhaps the most remarkable personal type of Christ, “Go unto Joseph; what he says to you, do.” The Lord Jesus is our Lawgiver, the only true Legislator of the Church, the only spiritual Head of authority and power. It is to Him we are to go for our orders. His Word we are implicitly to obey, finding His service perfect freedom, and obedience to His commands great reward.
“What He says unto you, do it.” Such–could her voice be heard from heaven–would still be the language of the Virgin Mary to all her poor deluded worshipers! “Look not to me, pray not to me, invoke not my intercession and aid; what He, God, my Savior, says unto you, do it.” What a sweet echo of the words of Jesus himself, “If you love me, keep My commandments.” These words are pregnant with meaning and power. Oh my soul, sit down at His feet, and learn what He would have you do, and then do it unhesitatingly and with all your heart.
“What He says unto you.” Lord, I would bend my ear attentively, believingly, to know what You say unto me. Speak, Lord, Your servant hears. Do You bid me believe? Lord, enable me to give full credence to all Your gracious invitations, and precious promises, and good words addressed to Your sin-burdened, guilt-distressed, travail-weary ones. Do You bid me in simple faith look to You, accept You, rest on You? Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. My trembling heart sincerely seeks repose from guilt and fear and labor in You, and in You alone. Do You command me to take up my cross, and follow You along Your unearthly, self-denying way? Lord, You would I then follow, and You only. “Through floods and flames, if Jesus leads, I’ll follow where He goes.”
Do You bid me, my Father, take from Your hands the cup of sorrow, and meekly drink it? Your will, not mine, be done! Do You ask me to slay my Isaac, to yield my Benjamin, to tear my fondest idol from its shrine? Lord, give me grace, and I will obey. Whatever You say unto me, I will do. Do You bid me mortify my strong corruption, nail to Your cross my bosom sin, part with the Delilah upon whose treacherous lap I have slumbered, and by whose hands the locks of my strength have been shorn? Lord, perfect Your strength in my weakness, and, Samson-like, by faith in Your all-sufficient grace, I will slay Your foes and mine, and will be Your servant, Yours only, and Yours forever. Number me among the blessed ones, of whom it is said, “These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.”
Let there be no mental reservation in your obedience to the Lord, O my soul. The Lord searches the heart and weighs the actions of men. He hears the bleating of the herds we have spared, ostensibly for sacrifice, yet in reality but to condone our sin of disobedience to God (1 Sam. 15:22). O Lord, to whom obedience is better than sacrifice, let my obedience to Your word be sincere and honest, full and unreserved, lacking nothing, that I may stand complete in all the will of God.
Let love to Jesus be the all-constraining principle of my obedience, as the all-authenticating evidence of my discipleship. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Oh, how smoothly and swiftly will the wheels of obedience revolve when divine love to a precious loving Savior moves them! How light will be Jesus’ burden, how easy His yoke, how pleasant His cross, how sweet to deny myself for Him, of what was so sweet to myself, when the all-constraining principle is love to Him who loved me unto death!
Keep the eye fixed upon the reward of obedience to Christ. “If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the fruit of the land.” We shall eat the sweet fruit of peace and joy and hope now; and we shall eat the golden fruit of the fullness of joy and of the pleasures that are at God’s right hand in a holier world, and beneath a brighter sky hereafter.