The Uselessness of My Activity

Are you busy staying active “for God?” A famous man of God, Major Ian Thomas shares his testimony of have he found himself doing just that and how it wore him out.

Major Ian Thomas was born in 1914 in London. He dedicated his life to the service of the Lord as a child. At age 19, Ian became a “windmill of activity … every moment of his day was packed tight with doing things: preaching, talking, counseling” with a passionate desire to win souls for Christ. But he found the more he did, the harder he tried, the less happened. He states: “I became deeply depressed, because I really loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, I wanted to be made a blessing to my fellow men. But I discovered that forever doubling and redoubling my efforts in order to win souls, rushing here and dashing there, taking part in this campaign, taking part in that campaign, preaching in the morning, preaching in the evening, talking to the Bible class, witnessing to this one, counseling with another, did nothing, nothing, nothing to change the utter barrenness, the emptiness, the uselessness of my activity. I tried to make up with noise what I lacked in effectiveness and power.”

One night about midnight, he got upon his knees and cried out God in despair. He said, “Oh God, I know that I am saved. I love Jesus Christ. I am perfectly convinced that I am converted. With all my heart I want to serve Thee. I have tried to my uttermost and I am a hopeless failure! As far as doing anything more, I am finished…It is useless for me to continue like this. I hate this double life!” That night things happened.

This was the moment God had been waiting for; seven weary years He had watched me running around in the wilderness! God had been waiting for the time when I would fall down in hopeless despair. It was at that moment I heard His voice: “To me to live is Christ … I am the way, the truth, and the life. Christ is my life.

After that spiritual encounter with God, Ian Thomas would often declare, “It is not a life of inactivity but of Christ-activity. It is not what you can do for God but what He can do through you. “It is all in Christ, you see; and all of Christ is yours!”

Ian Thomas came to understand, as all who receive a “revelation of grace” do, that… All we think we can do for the Lord; all our self-asserted productivity and “works” are useless for God’s purposes. It is just “wood, hay and stubble” as Paul writes to the Corinthians (I Cor. 3:12). If God is not doing it, it is not worth doing. Christian life and ministry are what God does, not what we do. Jesus told His disciples, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).

There will be those Christian who will respond by saying, yes but surely, we must do something, we must pray, we must serve, we must obey, we must do the work of ministry. We cannot just sit back and doing nothing.

However, “God resists the proud” (James 4:6). It is in humility we recognize that we are derivative human beings, and as such are totally dependent upon God. We are “at His disposal;” available and dispensable. It is not what we do, but what God does that is of value, worth, significance, and useful. We are not co-operators in Christian activity, wherein God does His half, and we do our half, qualifying us to be half useful and half useless. No, it is only what God does that is of any useful consequence. Paul declared, “I do not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me” (Rom. 15:18).

The uselessness of my activity apart from God can only be known and appreciated by those who are participants in the intimacy of a spiritual relationship with Jesus. Attempting to explain such spiritual reality in human language and logic is like trying to explain the incomprehensible. Understanding the “usefulness of God’s activity” must be spiritually appraised. It is more “caught than taught.” That is why the resurrected Christ declares, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying” (Rev. 2,3). And why James says, “faith without works is useless” (James 2:20).

In conclusion, let us heed the apostle Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.” That Ladies and gentlemen is Experiencing Life As God Intended.

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

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