“By the age of nineteen, I had been reduced to a state of complete exhaustion spiritually….
“Then, one night… just at midnight, in my room at home, I got down on my knees before God, and I just wept in sheer despair. I said, ‘Oh, God, I know that I am saved. I love Jesus Christ. I am perfectly convinced that I am converted. With all my heart I have wanted to serve Thee. I have tried to my uttermost and I am a hopeless failure! So far as doing anything more, I am finished. I am not going to be a missionary. It is useless for me to continue like this. I hate this double life!’
“God, that night, simply focused upon me the Bible message of Christ Who is our Life. This was the moment He had been waiting for; seven weary years He had watched me running round and round in the wilderness! He had been waiting for the time when at last I would fall down in hopeless despair. I heard His voice: ‘To me to live is Christ…. I am the way, the truth, and the life. . . . If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life…. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we appear with Him in glory.’ Life!
“Very lovingly the Lord seemed to make it plain to me that night, through my tears of bitterness: ‘You see, for seven years, with utmost sincerity, you have been trying to live for Me, on My behalf, the life that I have been waiting for seven years to live through you. I have been there the whole time. All the things you have been pleading for, all the things for which you have been asking, have been yours since the day seven years ago, at your request and invitation, I came into your heart at that Crusader boys’ camp; but you see, although you have given mental consent to the truth that I have been in your heart, and have accepted it as a theory, you have lived totally ignoring the fact. You have been busy trying to do for Me all that only I can do through you.
“Now supposing I am your life, and you begin to accept it as a fact, then I am your strength! … I am the One to whom it is perfectly natural to go out and win souls; and I know precisely where to go to find them. Why don’t you begin to reckon upon Me and say ‘Thank you.’
“I simply said to the Lord Jesus Christ that night, ‘Well, it is that or nothing! If this is true, then I am going to thank Thee for it in sheer cold-blooded faith….
“I got up the next morning to an entirely different Christian life…. with a new song in my heart. I was saying, ‘Lord Jesus, I thank Thee that for the first time in my life, this is Thy day! I no longer have the burden of running my own life. At last I have a Governor capable of governing!’
“I can remember that on my way down to the university, I said, ‘Well now, Lord, Thou art going to speak to that boys’ class, isn’t it wonderful? Yesterday I thought I was going to, but Thou art going to now! I thank Thee, dear Lord, for the boys that Thou art going to save.’ I did not know how many boys there were in that Bible class, but I began to dream dreams, and I thought, ‘Well, maybe thirty will be converted.’ Not bad for a start! ‘For the first time in my life, I’ll dare to invite boys, at the end of that meeting, to come and see me if they want to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.’ Now I had never done that in my life, and for a very good reason—I had not expected them to come…. The following weekend, up I went, and found there about ninety boys in the class. I just spoke simply about the Lord Jesus Christ and at the end I said, ‘If any of you chaps want to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior this afternoon, I am going to be here. Just come and talk to me afterwards.’ Thirty boys came and talked to me afterwards!
“So for the next meeting, I thought, ‘Well, it worked last time, I wasn’t quite sure that it would work, but it did; and so I will reckon upon Him again for this meeting.’ I thanked the Lord again for the folk who were going to be saved, and I gave the invitation to meet me afterwards, and others were converted. When I bumped into folk on the street, I seemed always to be bumping into the right people! ‘This is an extraordinary thing,’ I thought, ‘For seven years I was always bumping into the wrong people, and now, I can’t help bumping into the right people!’ For five weeks, almost every day, people were converted.”
“At the end of five weeks God made it very plain to me He had something more to say. He had just begun to whet my appetite. He said, ‘That is My life. You know perfectly well that it has nothing to do with you, because it happened overnight! It is not a new method. It is not a new technique that you have learned. It is simply My life: being what I am, doing the inevitable. This is now the thing you have got to realize; you cannot have My life for your program. You can only have My life for My program!”
MAJOR IAN THOMAS