There was nothing impulsive and nothing cold-blooded about our Lord, just a calm strength that never got into a panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the line of our own impulses rather than along the line of God. Impulsiveness is a natural human trait, but our Lord always ignores it, because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple.

Watch how the Spirit of God checks our impulses. His checks bring a rush of self-consciousness that instantly makes us want to vindicate ourselves. Impulsiveness is fine in a child but disastrous in a man or a woman; an impulsive adult is always a petulant adult. Impulsiveness has to be trained into intuition by discipline.

Discipleship has no impulsiveness in it; it is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy in an impulsive burst of courage, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus (Matthew 14:29)—but he also walked far with Jesus on the land. We don’t need the supernatural grace of God in order to weather crises; human nature and pride are sufficient for that. But we do need his grace in order to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a child of God, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus Christ. We think that we have to do exceptional things for God, but this isn’t true. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, and this isn’t learned in five minutes.

Wisdom from Oswald

The life of Abraham is an illustration of two things: of unreserved surrender to God, and of God’s complete possession of a child of His for His own highest end. Not Knowing Whither, 901 R