Practical illustrations of how some who love the Lord are not crucified with him, may be seen everywhere. Thousands of Christian people (zealous, but not according to knowledge) are striving, each in his own way, to do good. Because their own wills have not been crucified, but still live, they are unable to see clearly God's will and way. Hence many are spending time and talent in moral, political, and social reforms, which though good are not so good as the Lord's way. The uncrucified will however always thinks its own way the best, not learning to obey orders from the head, and to trust to his superior wisdom where they cannot trace him.
Thus though our Lord prayed not for the world (John 17:19.) and shows us that the work of the present age is not the world's conversion, but the selecting of his "body," "his bride," out of the world (Acts 15:14) to be joined in heirship with him in the great work of blessing the world afterward—yet these have a will and plan of their own uncrucified and do not submit themselves to the will and plan of the head. Their will and plan is to convert the world now, to the neglect of the special selecting and fitting for that work of a royal priesthood and they feel sure their Lord must admire and accept and bless their plan and their work in his name.
They are worried, anxious, fearful, perplexed, because their plans do not work out as expected, like a hen who hatches a brood of ducks. Yet they are always hopeful and full of confidence that the working out of their cherished schemes will yet be grand, because sure that the Lord must approve their plans. Such when they pray to God generally tell him what they want him to do and how they need his help in carrying out their plans. Such because their plans are so urgent [R961 : page 5] have no time to search God's Word to know his will and plan. They go to it to find some statements which they can fit and apply to their plans, to convince themselves and others that God approves of their plans, and they have no time, they think, for more.
Poor foolish ones! How different the anxiety and fear with which they labor, from the composure with which our Lord and the Apostles labored. The difference is that the latter had crucified their own wills and had accepted the plan and will of God, and were confident that all things were working for the accomplishment of that plan whether they see how or not. On the contrary these who are striving to carry out their own wills and plans and praying to God to help them, can have no such deep grounded confidence. Their prayers in this direction go unheeded, and they continually see their cherished plans miscarry. Many such in coming days must be more disappointed than ever. Those who have loved and labored for sectarian systems and who have mistaken them for the one true church "whose names are written in heaven" will experience bitter disappointments when they see these all broken to pieces, that the false may be completely stumbled and separated and leave the saints alone, the only adherents to the ransom foundation.
Only those who completely ignore their own will and plans, and thus are ready and willing to learn and co-operate in God's plans, can appreciate his statement. "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the Lord: For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8,9.) Only such can pass through the trying times, present and coming, unmoved, for such only can see intelligently the cause and necessity of the trouble and overturning, and the grand outcome of it all, as delineated in the plans and specifications of the great divine Architect.
Would that such consecrated ones could see the necessity of sacrificing, crucifying themselves and do it. The time for sacrificing is nearly ended. Those who do not fulfill their covenant are not worthy, and their crowns must soon be given to others.
We see in this the reason that some of the very humble and comparatively unlearned of God's children are able and do see his plan much more clearly than some others, whose natural advantages are greater—the one has crucified his own will and has no obstacle in the way of his progress; the other has not crucified his own will and cannot get beyond it, even when seeking to grow in grace and knowledge.