We’re continuing our series from Samuel Brengle’s book, The Soul Winner’s Secret. In this excerpt, Brengle talks about the importance of responding like a soldier when God requires something of us, and shows how our obedience to God impacts our witness to others.
“I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,” said Paul, and in that saying he reveals the secret of his wonderful success as a soul-winner.
The soul-winner is a man sent by God, and will have visions and revelations and secret orders that, if affectionately heeded and heartily and courageously obeyed, will surely lead to success. He is preeminently “a worker together with God,” and a soldier of Jesus Christ, and as such must obey. It is his business to take orders and carry them out.
“Before I formed thee I knew thee, and before thou camest forth I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nation,” said the Lord to Jeremiah, and when Jeremiah interrupted and said,
“Ah, Lord God, behold I cannot speak, for I am a child,” the Lord said to him, “Say not I am a child, for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces, for I am with thee to deliver thee,” saith the Lord; “thou therefore gird up thy loins and arise and speak unto them all that I shall command thee. Be not dismayed at their faces lest I confound thee before them.”
“If they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings,” said the Lord of the false prophets. (Jeremiah 23:22)
“Not what is proper, but what is right must be my fearless and constant inquiry. Jesus, still lead on!” was the motto of Joseph Parker, one of London’s mightiest preachers.
The soul-winner must get his message from God and speak what and when He commands. He is a servant of God, a friend of Jesus, a prophet of the Most High, an ambassador of heaven to the sons of men, and he must needs speak heaven’s words and represent heaven’s court and King and not seek his own will, but seek the will of Him that sent him.
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” He must not trim his course to suit men, nor stop to ask what this man or that shall do, but he must attend strictly to his Lord and steadfastly follow Jesus. Paul tells us that Jesus was “obedient unto death” (Phil. 2:8), and again and again he calls himself “a servant of Jesus Christ.”
This obedience must be prompt. In spite of the appeals and encouragements of Joshua and Caleb, the children of Israel refused to go over into Canaan, but afterwards, seeing their sin in refusing to obey promptly, they essayed to go over in spite of the warnings of Moses not now to attempt it, and met with bitter defeat. Promptness would have saved them forty years of wandering in the wilderness.
Once the soul-winner knows the Master’s will, he must not delay to fulfill it. If he is in doubt he can take time to assure himself as to what that will is. God would not have him run before he is sure he is sent, nor go before he has his message, nor falter and possibly fall because of uncertainty.
But once he has received his orders and got his message, let him remember that “the King’s business requires haste;” let him “strike while the iron is hot;” act and speak when the Spirit moves, and not, like covetous Balaam, dilly-dally to see if God will not change His mind and His orders.
I have noticed that if I speak when the Spirit moves me, I can usually introduce the subject of religion and God’s claims to any individual or company of men with happy results, but if I delay, the opportunity slips by, not to return again, or if it does return, it does so with increased difficulties.