Enid Byrne - Gospel Meeting - Dandenong, Victoria, Australia Convention - 1961

I feel it is a very great privilege for me this evening to have a little part in the telling forth of this glorious gospel story. It is because it has meant so much in our own lives that we are very happy to tell others about it and we wish that others could share in the same joy, because after receiving this gospel into our own lives it has brought great joy to us.

I was thinking a little today of some souls who met with Jesus in the gospel. I love to read in the Gospel of those men and women whose lives were changed because of having met with Christ. The course of their lives was altered because of having met with Jesus. I also like to read in the Acts of the Apostles of men and women whose lives were changed because of having met with Christ. We know that after Christ was crucified the work of the gospel still went on, and I am always glad to read in the Acts of the Apostles about the work that was done there because it is an assurance to me that those disciples were endued with the same power - those men of God had the same power as they preached the gospel as those disciples whom Jesus sent. We know that they went forth in the same way and they had the same power to deliver men and women as Jesus had in His day. We are very glad that we can testify that the gospel has not lost its ancient touch of power. A brother in South Australia used that term so often - the gospel has not lost its ancient touch of power. We are very glad for this today, to know that this same gospel can work the same things into the lives of men and women who obey it and yield to it, as it did for those others over 2,000 years ago.

Today, I have been thinking a little about Paul. We heard about him from our brother. We were hearing this afternoon that we cannot hear the truth too often. I had been enjoying a little about his experience, the change that was wrought in his life because of having heard the voice of God. The course of his life was changed completely because he saw a vision from God and heard a voice from God. As he said in his own words, he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. I believe that Paul made it easy for God, if we may use that term, to help him. We can either make it easy or difficult for God to help us. When he is speaking to us through the gospel and laying His claims upon us, our attitude toward Him will either make it easy or difficult for Him to help us.

Paul was able to say later on, in writing to the Galatians and referring to the time of his conversion, "Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood." I believe Paul was a very wise man in that he did not confer with flesh and blood. He wasn't alone as he journeyed toward Damascus, there were other men with him. He could have conferred with them about this matter. We know that voice spoke to him as he was on his way to Damascus. He could have conferred with those other men, he could have returned to the high priests from whom he had letters and conferred with them about this matter, but he did not do that. He conferred not with flesh and blood. I believe it is a very wise thing if we do not confer with flesh and blood when God speaks to us. Flesh and blood is an enemy of the will of God, contrary to the will of God, and the answer would not be a favourable answer. Paul was a very wise man.

Then it comes to this matter it is a very individual, personal thing. Paul conferred with his God. When God spoke to him Paul said, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" He spoke to God about it. If we could only take it to the Lord when we feel He is speaking to us, not go to others and ask them about it. No matter how dear our friends may be to us, they cannot help us in this matter. Paul went to God and he said, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" God said, "It shall be told thee." It was told him, and he was obedient unto what was told him. God longs to tell us what we can do so that we can inherit eternal salvation, if we are only willing to be told. Paul was willing to be told, to be led. He was praying, and he made it so easy for God to help him. So easy for God to save him.

The thought came into my mind today that the thing that saved us in the beginning is the thing that is going to save us all along the way. We know it was the vision, it was the voice we heard in the beginning, being obedient to that voice meant salvation to us, and I believe it means being obedient each step of the way - not just in the beginning but all along the way, it means being obedient. The way we got saved is the way we are going to keep saved, and it will also mean each step of the journey not conferring with flesh and blood: Because if we do, the answer we get, the advice will not be good, will not help us to inherit eternal life.

In contrast, I couldn't help thinking about Pilate when Christ was standing before him. I believe he was convicted Jesus was an innocent man. He said to those around about "What shall I do with Jesus men call Christ?" and they said, "Crucify Him." He wasn’t satisfied with his own conviction, he wanted to confer with flesh and blood, and we see the answer he received. "Away with Him! Crucify Him!" That will always be the answer we will receive if we confer with flesh and blood about this matter. On the judgment day, we will be standing alone before God. There will be no one with whom we can confer. How good if we see the seriousness of making an individual choice. If we confer with flesh and blood we will receive the answer "Crucify Him." There is something in human nature that will resist having Christ come into our hearts and lives and dwell there.

I enjoyed thinking of what Paul said at the time when he was standing before Agrippa, "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." I believe in that respect also he made it easy for God to help him, to save him. He was not disobedient. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could do that too, if there were no disobedience to the vision God is giving to us these days. We are sure God has been giving us visions and revelations. Perhaps He has been revealing things that we didn't know were there. Perhaps He has been revealing to us that we have many sides to our service and some sides have been neglected. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were not disobedient to this vision? We know that in the beginning had we been disobedient we would never have begun, and it means continual obedience. Strange that it seems so hard for us human beings to be obedient. One sees it in children at an early age. Every child has to learn obedience. Many things in the Scripture are gifts, God gives to us, but we have to learn to be obedient. Our Lord and Saviour had to learn obedience through the things that He suffered. I don't believe it was easy for Paul to be obedient, because he knew all that it would entail. He knew the one whom he had been persecuting was not a popular one. In spite of that, he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. We know the change that came into his life afterwards. He was rewarded for his obedience. Obedience is something God loves.

Didn't Samuel have to give that message to Saul, "To obey is better than sacrifice." It is easier to give all our substance than to obey God. One of my companions told a story about two little girls whose mother went down the street and asked them to do the dishes. While she was away, they went away and did some spring-cleaning - they thought they would receive praise, but the mother said, "You have done everything but the thing I asked you to do." I believe we as the children of God are a little like that, too. But Paul was one who was obedient. He was obedient to the heavenly vision. I have had a great longing in my heart as I have been sitting here these days to be obedient to the vision God has given me. I know God has been revealing things to every one of us, revealing His Son to us. I am sure He has given each one a revelation of His Son and what it can mean to us if we obey this revelation these days and let this Son of God come into our hearts and lives. I am thankful it was my privilege in my youth to choose to serve God. I have a lot to thank my parents for. Had they not obeyed the gospel, I fear I may not have had the opportunity. It brings me great joy to see young people making their choice for Christ. The thought comes into every young heart, "If we choose Christ when we are young, we lose by it."

I was only 14 when I made my choice for Christ, and I feel my life has been enriched. God has kept me back from those things which would defile, leave a spot on our garment. I would encourage those who may be young here tonight to let Him in, to be not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, to confer not with flesh and blood but, like Paul, take it to God and take His advice. If we do that, we will be willing to let Him come in as Paul did. Paul's life was so useful afterwards. His experience was a little different from ours. When God spoke to him, he was not only to choose Him but also to go out and preach the gospel. In spite of all that, he was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision. He was willing for all that it would cost to crown Christ Lord of his life. I know that Paul didn't have any regrets, and how much his life means to us today. If we are only willing to be obedient to the heavenly vision, not conferring with flesh and blood, it can bring joy into our own hearts and our lives can be useful. Our lives can have a far greater effect than ever we realise in helping to bring this gospel to others. May God help us who have already obeyed the heavenly vision to continue to be obedient to the heavenly vision, and those who have not, conferred with flesh and blood. May we continue to refrain from conferring with flesh and blood so that we may reach the goal even as Paul did.