Skip to main content

Spiritual Secrets


I’ve just finished reading Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, a biography of that well-known missionary pioneer to China. In a time when all Protestant missionaries were huddled together in five coastal cities, Hudson’s burning desire was to go inland and reach all of China.

To do this he formed his own mission organization. Two stipulations he made was that his missionary recruits live, dress and act like the Chinese they were trying to reach in so far as following God would allow and that there was not to be any fund-raising. “By 1900 there were 750 China Inland Mission members. Four million dollars had been raised without anyone but God being asked to give, and there was no debt. Over 700 Chinese workers were connected with the mission and 13,000 Chinese believers had been baptized.”* In one three-week period in 1891 66 missionaries arrived in Shanghai for his mission alone. Others caught his vision and by the time he died in 1905, men and women from many mission organizations had not only reached every province of China but were strongly entrenched.

What was his secret? How did he have the gall, faith and courage to invite young men and women to work in China with no financial security but the promises of God? He spent time with God. “From 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. was his usual prayer time—the time he could count on being undisturbed in prayer.”** In 40 years, he had read the Bible 40 times. Wow!

But he had another secret that started before he ever went to China, when he was a teen in England. It started out as an exercise in learning to endure difficult living conditions. In doing this, he found that he only used a third of his income and was able to give the rest away to those in need. But then he thought, “When I get out to China, I shall have no claim on anyone for anything. My only claim will be on God. How important to learn, before leaving England, to move man, through God, by prayer alone.”*** If his faith needed to grow, he would learn to exercise it.

His employer often forgot to pay him so one way he began to exercise his faith was to not remind him when it was payday but simply appeal to God for his need. One time his boss was several weeks late paying him and he had only one large coin left when a man came to him in need. He chose to give the man his coin, uncertain whether he’d be able to eat the next day because of it. It was that very next day that his boss asked if he had paid Hudson yet. When he went to medical school, he declined all help but continued to depend on God for all things and always his needs were met.

How much time do I spend with God and how dependent am I on him? Is he the first one I turn to or the last? I would like to think I have the faith of Hudson Taylor but I know I don’t.

Father God, I want to be completely dependent on you for all things—not just for my financial needs but also for my emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs. Help me turn to you first in all things.


*pages 262, 263
**page 269
***page 13

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.















My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…

What Is Separating me from the Promise?

This is the question Andy Wood asked us each to consider this morning at the end of his sermon and it hit me like a thunderbolt.

Imagine the Jordan River on the eve of the Israelites crossing it into the Promised Land.  The river was at flood stage, so it was moving quickly (even the Red River here in Winnipeg moves quickly during flood season) but this particular stretch of the river near Jericho is narrower than the rest so that as the rushing flood waters reached the point where the people were waiting--all two million of them--it became even more turbulent.  Anyone who's witnessed a flood knows that it doesn't just carry water; there is debris like fallen trees, parts of sheds and houses and perhaps even animals unable to escape the river's grab.

Back in the days of Abraham, God had promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants but during the days of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, the whole family had moved out of the Promised Land to Egypt because of f…