A friend recently gave me a copy of Andrew Murray’s Abide In Christ. Murray was a South African pastor and author from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and this particular work is a classic devotional treatment of Jesus’ words in John 15.
While doing my daily reading this week, this passage leaped off the page and punched me in the face:
God’s way is always to give us first, even though it be but as a seed, the thing itself, the life and the power, and then the knowledge. Man seeks the knowledge first, and often, alas, never gets beyond it! God gives us Christ and in Him he hid the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. O let us be content to possess Christ, to dwell in Him, to make Him our life, and only by a deeper searching into Him to hunt and find the knowledge we desire. Such knowledge is life indeed (p. 51).
I love that. Follow first, comprehend second. Submission precedes understanding. You obey your way into thinking more than you think your way into obeying. Some things only make sense when you first make Jesus Lord. While doubt often justifies a disobedience that is already occurring, surrender magnifies understanding.
That’s the order in which things really, truly, happen.