Norma Loechel - Special Meetings - Murray Bridge, Australia - 1981

I once had a little motto given to me. It read like this - the secret of life is not to do what we like but to learn to like what we have to do. Well, in the world, we see people doing what they like and if something doesn't suit, they look around for something that does suit them. That is the way of the world, doing what they like but in the service of God it is not a matter of doing what we like but a matter of learning to like what we have to do; taking our responsibility and doing it in a way it will please our Heavenly Father.


We read of those in the book of Judges, every man did that which was right in his own eyes. They were just doing what pleased them, doing what they liked, but what did it bring? It brought famine and doing what we like doesn't bring God's blessing and we can't do it in the service of God.


In the world, it might be all right. People are doing it all the time but people of the world are not really happy, not really content because they are always looking for something that they like doing. In the way that they like but God wants us to know how to serve and how to honour Him. He doesn't want us just to do things in our own way. He has shown us His way.


In Noah's day, people did things as they liked; that is why they perished, that is why they were destroyed. Noah did it in God's way. He had the Word of God and he began to do it but people don't want it that way and we know that if we did, that it would mean destruction for us, wouldn't it? We cannot do it that way, but in the story of the prodigal son, we read there of a young man saying to his father, "Give me the goods that falleth to me." The father divided unto them his living.


It seems as if he gave each an equal share and the youngest son went into a far country and wasted his goods, all his substance in riotous living. What was he doing? He was just pleasing himself. He was just doing what he liked. He had gone away from his father but the time came when there was a famine in the land. He had wasted everything before he felt the famine bug when it was all gone, then he felt the famine.


Some people go on and on and never feel the famine. They go into eternity not having felt the famine. They have never got right but this man, this youngest son, he did. He got right because he thought of the father. In his father's house, there was bread; he humbled himself and went to his father. He had it all summed up in his mind what he would say to the father.


"Father make me as one of thy hired servants, I am no more worthy to be called thy son." He humbled himself, he repented, and his father forgave him. We are in the kingdom today because we want that bread, the bread from Heaven, because we repented, we recognised we were sinners and we came to the One who forgave us and has given us that living bread. He gave them bread, the store house was there, and the father's store house was full.


There is no lack in God's store house and there never has been. There is no want in God's store house but one has often found in our store house; it is we that run out of different things that we should have. Sometimes we get impatient with others, we think the fault is in the other person but the fault might be in us. Our patience might have run out and sometimes we think somebody should be doing this or doing that. Perhaps it should be me doing that, not the other person. We often see faults in others. How much would we see it in ourselves? God's store house was full.


We read of the foolish virgins. What was wrong with them? They were just like the other virgins, they had their lamps. They were slumbering and sleeping. Looking at them you would say there was no difference. What is it then? The Bridegroom came, they lit their lamps but their lamps went out. Perhaps they had had a little oil, there was just that little there but they had not been to the store house, they had not replenished the oil. Can you understand how important it is for us today to replenish the oiliest our lamp flicker out it can so easily go out. The Spirit of God, if we have not been reading and waiting on the Lord, well, our lamp will go out.


I was talking to a woman recently in Malaysia trying to encourage her to get life; she hasn't got life. She thinks she is born again, but no. She said she prays, she prays all the day. That is all right. What about reading? She didn't think it was necessary to read. Talking to her, I said, "Well, if you don't read, if you never read, you won't know the Lord, you won't know Peter, who he is." I hope she is reading now. I don't know if she is.


It is very necessary to pray and to read. God's store house is open to us but the foolish virgins had not been to the store house. If they had been to the store house, they would have had their lamps full when the Bridegroom came. It says the Bridegroom came and went in with the wise and the door was shut and then the foolish came and knocked and the Bridegroom said, "I know ye not." Why didn't He know them? They were so much like the others, they had their lamps, they were waiting, slumbering and sleeping, why didn't He know them?


You know when you go down the street and go to a shop, you go there many times. Those in the shop get to know you, they know you by sight and even by name because you have been there many times. But the reason why the Lord didn't know them was because they had not been to the store house. That is why He didn't know them. If we don't know the Lord, if we don't read and pray, well, He won't know us when we do pray. We read, we meditate, we are acquainting ourselves with the Lord, and we pick up a life line. It is so easy for that life line to die, to lose that connection.


Well, it was a case of not doing the things we like but to do the things we have to do, not to like doing what we like. I thought of Jonah. God said he was to go to Nineveh and preach to them but he ran away and then we know the awful experience that he had. How that he went down to the bottom of the sea; it was just like a little taste of hell. Then when he came back he did what God told him to do. He went through the city and cried and the whole city repented and Jonah had a wonderful victory. He had a wonderful mission, but he wasn't happy. Why wasn't he happy? It was because he didn't do it willingly and missed the blessing of God upon it. When we don't do a thing willingly, heartily, we don't get the joy out of it; we do it but we don't do it whole heartedly. If we don't do it willingly and therefore we don't get the blessing and we don't get the joy.


I was also thinking of Peter. Now Peter and his partners, they went fishing; they were seafaring men, they loved it I am sure. I know they loved it but the Lord called them to leave their nets. "I will make you fishers of men," ye shall catch men. That was a change wasn't it? They were doing what they like when they were fishing, they enjoyed it. It was their life but now a change had come into their life because the Lord was going to teach them how to be fishers of men. It was a big change, wasn't it? Now they learned to like the things they had to do and they did; they followed Jesus immediately Jesus called them.


After Jesus was crucified and rose again three times, it says, "He found Peter fishing again and He said to Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?' 'Thou knowest I love Thee.' 'Feed My lambs.'" Jesus said it three times, "Feed My sheep." Peter went back to fishing - that was his natural life but now he had to learn to like the things the Lord wanted him to do.


There are lots of things we like doing, we love doing them but when the Lord has a mission for us to do, we do that, the Lord will teach us how to and He will help us to do them. You know, the Lord has so much to teach us, there is so much He wants us to understand. He wants us to know, Jesus never once in His life did He ever please Himself, not once but at an early age He sought to be about His Father's business.


We read of the time when He went up with His parents to Jerusalem and there, when His parents returned from worshipping, He remained behind, unknown to them and they were three days looking for Him and the last place they looked for Him was in the temple and that is where they found Him and He was asking questions in such a way that He amazed the lawyers. They had never heard a child of His age with such questions. Jesus said, when His mother came and found Him, you can understand, know any parent would feel when they had lost a child and suddenly found the child. Though He knew His mother had been anxious, "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business." His Father's business came first in His life.


After this, it says He was subject to His parents and from then, we read of the time He was baptised and the Spirit of God descended on Him like a dove and remained there. Then it led on to the Spirit driving Him into the wilderness and He was there 40 days and 40 nights. Afterwards, it says, "He was hungry." Then the devil came to Him and commanded He should make stones into bread. Now Jesus had no need for making stones into bread. Was He not the Bread of Life? A little later, didn't Jesus feed the hungry with bread? Those five loaves and two fishes, that is all He had but He gave thanks and the Father multiplied those five loaves and two fishes and so many were fed from just so little, because it was multiplied. Who would want to multiply stones? No one would want to. Even if a stone were multiplied, it would still be a stone, wouldn't it? That is all Satan could offer to Jesus was stones. Jesus answered Satan by the Word of God. He was loyal in every temptation. He never disappointed His Heavenly Father.


Now, He was bread and He gives Bread and we are here today to receive the Bread from Heaven and He multiplies the little, just the little that we are able to give God. God will multiply it and it can be Bread to our soul. Now Jesus could have saved Himself many times. We know that His life was a life of sacrifice and then when He went into the Garden, He didn't please Himself. He could have, He had the power to please Himself. Didn't He say His Father would send 12 legions of angels? What would the army compare with 12 legions of angels?


Jesus said, "Not My will, if it is possible, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done." He could have saved Himself from that hour of suffering but He didn't. On the cross again, what did they say? He saved others, Himself He cannot save. He could have saved Himself but if He had saved Himself, He could not have saved us. Jesus never pleased Himself, not on any occasion did He ever do the things that He loved to do. He was human, just as human as you and I. He took upon Himself the human body. Somebody put it this way. He was clothed with humanity that you and I might be clothed with divinity. He became the Son of Man that you and I might become the sons and daughters of God.


Jesus was tempted in every point but without sin because He never pleased Himself. He learned how to like and how to love the things that He had to do. We think of Paul, when Jesus spoke to Paul and Paul responded to His voice. He said, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" From that time on, Paul no longer pleased himself, he no longer did the things he liked to do but he was doing it before as a Pharisee preacher. He was doing the things he liked, it pleased him to do these things but now he lived a life contrary to his human nature but he was faithful in doing it and God wants us to learn not to do the things we like but learn to like the things we have to do and that is the success of our spiritual life, if we can learn that lesson. For Jesus' Sake!