Heather Mowatt - Sri Lanka Convention - 1983

I once saw a sign that said, "Potter's clay available here."  Wonderful when this sign is over our lives.  Isaiah 54:8, "Oh Lord, thou art our Father, we are the clay and Thou art our potter, and we all are the work of Thy hands. " We are God's natural creation, the work of His hands has made us so wonderfully, but there is a greater, deeper work that God wants to do, the work of recreation.  This work is a voluntary thing, it takes the yielding clay.  God has the ability, He is the great potter, He is able to make something good and useful out of our lives, if we are willing.  When we give God our soft heart, He is able to make a useful vessel.  We like to see the children in the meetings, and as their hearts are kept soft, it is material that God can take up and use.  It is important for children to have a soft heart towards God, and His people and His servants, and a soft heart towards the meetings.  One day, God will take up their young lives and make something lovely from them.  Our hope of fitting into God's plan lies in being the yielding clay.

A man had been through dark experiences, and he said he could look back and see that God had walked beside him through those dark days.  There were two sets of footprints.  Then when things were really dark there was only one set of footprints, and the man said, "They were the times when the Lord carried me."

There are two crosses mentioned in the Bible.  The same lips that spoke these words, "Your sins are forgiven," also spoke, "Go and sin no more."  There is one cross which is the centre of the gospel story - Jesus giving His life on the cross.  But there is another cross that is not so popular, so few are willing for all the will of God.  If a man is not willing to take up his cross, he will not be one of Jesus' disciples.  Galatians 5:24, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”   If there is no death there is no burial.  We are no longer ruled by the affections and lusts of the flesh, but ruled by the life of Christ. This is the only way to live a life that is acceptable to God.  Paul could say that in my flesh dwelleth no good thing, his only hope of being righteous was as Jesus lived His life over again in him.  There were no longer two lives, no longer two opinions, two ways.  One was crucified and the other one lived.  Paul did not trust in the cross of Jesus only.  He also trusted in the taking up of his own cross, crucifying the flesh, doing the opposite to those men who put Jesus on the cross.

For a while a caterpillar is a caterpillar, then the next stage is going into a cocoon, then it comes out as a beautiful butterfly.  This is a new life.  The butterfly has a new appetite, it wants the sweetness, the nectar of the flowers.  It is like the new life of Christ within us - when we are born again of His spirit, we have a new appetite, and we seek the favour of Christ.  Noah walked with God, he had hearty fellowship.  Hearty fellowship puts life into us, it enables us to keep alive.  One time, a little boy went with his father to the grocery store.  The father had a long list of things to buy, and the boy stood quietly while waiting for his father.  He saw a large jar of sweets that looked so tempting.  He kept his eyes on those sweets. The grocer noticed this, and he invited the boy to go and help himself, but no, the boy remained where he was.  The grocer again appealed to him, and said, "Help yourself, have a sweet."  The boy shook his head.  After a while, the grocer put his hand in the large jar and brought out a handful of sweets, and the boy held open both hands and received the sweets.  Later on the father asked his son, "Why did you not help yourself?"  The boy replied, "I knew his hand was larger and bigger than mine."  Our God has so much to share with us.

One sister spoke in her testimony that, during the past year, she had been dwelling on things that had filled her mind, but hadn't fed her heart.  What we feed on will either make us sickly, sleepy, or healthy.  When we feed on the love of God, it will never fail us.  It will put strength into us, and cause us to be healthy. Joseph was one who continually dwelt on the love of God.  This caused him to walk with God. In prison, after he had been misjudged, it says that after the end of two full years, these were not empty years, not wasted years, they were full years that became so fruitful and enriched his life, because the presence of the Lord was with him.

One time, I went to a friend's home and the wife took me into the backyard where there were two apple trees, planted the same time and the same size, but there was a great difference in their size now, because one was planted by the water.  It was loaded with fruit, and this sister was so happy when she saw the fruit.  The other tree was far from the water, and there was not much fruit.  Psalm 1 tells us about the tree that is planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth his fruit in his season.  This speaks of the man whose delight is in the law the Lord, and in His law, doth he meditate day and night.  In Psalm 119, every verse mentions the word of the Lord.  "How love I Thy law, it is my meditation all the day."  If the law of God is our meditation, we will be like the tree that is planted by the rivers of water.  We know that things have to occupy us, but they do not have to have the first place, because as we work at common duties we can delight in the word of God.  Jesus could say, "I delight to do Thy will. I do always those things that please My Father."

Philippians 4:8 is a good diet.  What we think upon affects us.  We are not to feed upon the wrong things, not to feed upon sin or the failure of others, this is not a good diet.  "Whatsoever things and true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there by any praise, think on these things. " We only know defeat if we do not feed upon these things.  Psalm 106:4, "Remember me, 0 Lord, with the favour that Thou bearest unto Thy people, oh visit me with Thy salvation, that I may see the good of Thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation, that I may glory with Thine inheritance."  When I came to this land, I wondered what will my brothers and sisters see in me.  Will they see something that will draw them closer to God?  This matter of meeting with our brothers and sisters is no light matter.

Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth."  John 1:1, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God."  In the beginning there was God and Jesus, they had a fellowship that was very sweet.  God was so happy with Jesus that He desired to have more sons and daughters like Him.  God said to Jesus, "Let us make man in Our image."  When God made us of flesh and blood and gave us human nature, but we know that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.  There is no place for flesh in the kingdom of God. There is no place for the fulfillment of human desires in God's kingdom.  God made the world for man.  Man builds his own house and dwells in it.  Man digs the ground, and sows seed, and eats the fruit thereof, and he lives.  God has done this for man. But where does God live?  God has taken man out of the same ground, God has made a body, yours and mine.  No man has touched us.  There is a place in us where He wants to dwell. He wants to dwell in us, and do a work in us to prepare us for eternity, and this brings home to us a great responsibility.  God does not want any man to perish, but wants all to come to a knowledge of the truth.

God wants to give us an incorruptible body, He wants to do an incorruptible work. God has made a human body for Him to dwell in, and what is it that feeds His heart?  He puts the incorruptible seed in our hearts which brings forth the incorruptible fruit, and we have love, joy, peace, gentleness, faith, meekness, temperance.  These are all one fruit, and it is love.  This is what feeds the heart of God - our love.  Joy is love in exuberance; peace is love at rest; longsuffering is love enduring; faith is love's foundation; goodness is love's standard; meekness is love seeking the lowest place; temperance is a balanced love.  Where is our heart?  It is in our body.  God says, "My son, give Me thine heart."  If we give our heart, we give our body, too.

Romans 12, "I beseech you that you present your bodies, a living sacrifice, which is your reasonable service."  Where does the body dwell?  It dwells in the home.  If God is with us in our body, in our heart, He will also be in our home.  Home can be a place where God dwells with us.  When a worldly person comes into our home, they should realize that God is honoured here, and I have to behave myself, be careful what I say and do.  Our home can be a place where God can dwell with us gladly.  Our heart is a secret chamber, and nothing is allowed to come in there but by our permission.  If there is anything in our hearts that is not of God, anything that is unclean, it is there because we have allowed it in.  We have to keep these things out.  This fellowship was in Heaven before man was ever made that was supremely sweet.  Are we worthy of this Godly into?  Sometimes I do things that I shouldn't do, and it brings sorrow to my heart.

Willie Hughes said at one time, "I have never shed a tear because of the hardness of the way, but I have shed many a tear because of my own human nature." Enemy number 1 is the one we look at in the mirror.  Our flesh wants its own way, but God sent Jesus to teach us to do the will of God on earth as it is done in Heaven.  Jesus never pleased Himself, He always pleased the Father, and this is our example.  Never please the flesh.  Let us always seek the lowest place. Our human nature wants to have its own way, but if it has its way, we will not have the peace of God in our hearts.  We have a three-fold enemy:  the world, the flesh, and the devil.  This enemy has no mercy on us.  The devil wants to destroy the work of God in every heart - he does not sleep and he is not careful in the way he does it, but Jesus defeated him.  The devil feeds the human heart, but Jesus crucified the human heart - He did not give in to Himself.