Can that sinner be turned into a saint? Can that twisted life be put right? There is only one answer: “Sovereign Lord, you alone know” (Ezekiel 37:3).

Some of us think we know exactly what another soul needs. We come trampling in, armed with religious common sense, and say, “Oh, yes. With a little more Bible reading and devotion and prayer, I see how it can be done.” If we think this way, we are mistaking panic for inspiration. It’s much easier to do something than to trust in God. That is why so few of us work with God, while so many of us run around doing tasks he never asked us to do, saying we’re working for him. We would rather busy ourselves with work for God than believe in him.

If I believe in God, I know that he will do what I can’t. I despair of his ability to help others when I fail to see how he has helped me. Once I realize what God’s power has accomplished in my own life, I will stop despairing of others. But if I’ve never had any spiritual work done, I will panic. I panic to the exact degree that I lack personal spiritual experience.

“My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them” (Ezekiel 37:12). When God wants to show you what human nature is apart from his presence, he has to show it to you inside yourself. If the Holy Spirit has given you this vision—the vision of what you are apart from the grace of God—you know that the worst criminal is only half as bad in practice as you are in possibility. “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (Romans 7:18). God’s Spirit continually reveals what human nature is apart from his grace.

Wisdom from Oswald

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading.  My Utmost for His Highest, March 19, 761 L