While I was thinning corn and preaching to Bud Robinson I could hear my brothers a few hundred yards away as they were plowing cotton. I could hear the rattle of their cultivators, the braying of the mules and the boys driving the teams. But as long as I heard anything that was going on I did not get the blessing. I finally knelt and offered prayer. I tried to consecrate soul, spirit and body. I remember that I stood up and the last thing that I turned loose was my hoe handle. I saw everything I had: my farm, my mules wagons and plows, and the crib of corn, the ricks of hay, and the pen of black hogs, and everything else floating off on the clouds.
I had begun to seek this blessing in 1886 and this was now the second day of June, 1890. There were four years that I had struggled trying to get perfect victory. I had often consecrated all that I had; I would put my mules, cows, hogs, corn and barn, and everything else on the altar and climb up on the pile and ask God to take us all, but that did not bring the victory. Beloved, the blessed old Book says, “Whatsoever touches the altar is made holy,” and I had not touched the altar. There was a stack of hay, and a corn crib, and several big mules between me and the altar, but when I saw everything I had drift away and I was left alone with God in the cornfield it seemed to me I could hear the Lord say, “I will bring everything back and leave it here with you and I will go; or, if everything else goes then I will stay with you.” I said, “Lord, let everything else go.” Then I had that strange, peculiar feeling that God was so close to me that my soul trembled in God’s presence and it seemed that God kindled up a fire in the very bottom of my heart.
The only way that I can describe the feeling is that anger boiled up, and God skimmed it off, and pride boiled up, and God skimmed it off, and jealousy boiled up and God skimmed it off, and envy boiled up and God skimmed it off, until it seemed to me that my heart was perfectly empty. I said, “Lord, there won’t be anything left of me.” God seemed to say, “There will not be much left, but what little there is will be clean.”
When my heart was emptied, then it seemed that a river of peace broke loose in the clouds. It was as sweet as honey and the honeycomb. It flowed into my empty heart until a few minutes later my heart was full and overflowing and the waves of heaven became so great and grand and glorious that it seemed to me that I would die if God did not stay His hand. How little we know about the fullness of God and the greatness of God’s power. Not half an hour before God cleansed me and filled me I had told the Lord that I wanted Him to come with all the power that He had and sanctify me. Then I had told the Lord that very morning that I had read in His Book that if I would bring all the tithes into the storehouse and prove Him He would open the windows of heaven and pour me out a blessing that there would not be room enough to receive it. Out of a hungry heart I had said, “O Lord, you cannot satisfy me with the windows of heaven; you will have to open the doors of heaven to pour out a blessing big enough to satisfy my hungry heart and soul;” but beloved, I did not know how large God’s windows were and how small my heart was. God had never used that language but one time before and at that time God opened windows, of heaven and poured out a flood on the earth. If God’s windows are so large that He can pour out a flood through them, then you can see at a glance that God’s windows are large enough, to pour out a blessing into the heart of one of His believing children to the extent that he cannot receive but little of it. As the waves of heaven rolled over my soul I finally got down on the ground and stretched out and as wave after wave of glory rolled over me, told the Lord that if He didn’t hold up a bit there would be a dead man in the cornfield.
From that day to this I have been convinced that God can kill a man with His glory just as quick as He could kill him with lightning. On one occasion Moses said to the Lord, “Show me thy glory,” and the Lord said, “You cannot see my face and live.” That proves to me that to behold the glory of God would be to look upon His face and no man in the flesh could behold God’s face and His glory and live. Therefore, in order to keep company with God, we will have to be glorified and this mortal will have to put on immortality.
Holiness is, perhaps, the most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Anyone who has striven to follow the life of Christ can likely tell you that it is impossible to do. No one can match His love, His grace, or His compassion. For no one but Jesus is perfect. Once the believer is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, though, he or she is filled to the brim with the love of Christ, and desires nothing more than to please God and follow in Christ’s steps. The love of sin is gone. In its place is a love and passion for others. That is Christian Holiness. This is Christian Holiness Daily.