Hindrances to Obtaining the Blessing
Holiness has not legs and does not go walking about visiting idle people, as a lazy Christian seemed to think who told me that he thought the experience would “come” to him “some day.” The fact is, there are hindrances in the way of holiness with most people.
This being true, it is the extreme of folly to sit down with indifference and quietly wait, with folded hands, for the blessed experience to come to you. Be sure of this, it will not come any more than a crop of potatoes will come to the lazy fellow who sits in the shade and never lifts his hoe.
Therefore, the part of wisdom is to begin at once, by a diligent study of God’s Word, much secret prayer, and unflinching self-examination, to find out what these hindrances are, and, by the grace of God, to put them away. The Bible tells us that the two great practical hindrances to holiness are imperfect consecration and imperfect faith.
Before a watchmaker can clean and regulate my watch, I must give it unreservedly into his hands. Before a doctor can cure me, I must take his medicine in the manner and at the time he requires. Before a captain can navigate me across the trackless ocean, I must get on board his ship and stay there.
Just so, if I would have God cleanse and regulate my heart with all its affections, if I would have Him cure my sin-sick soul, if I would have Him take me safely across the ocean of time into that greater ocean of eternity, I must put myself fully into His hands and stay there.
This consecration consists in a perfect putting off of your own will, your disposition, temper, desires, likes, and dislikes, and a perfect putting on of Christ’s will, Christ’s disposition, temper, desires, likes, and dislikes. In short, perfect consecration is a putting off self and a putting on Christ; a giving up your own will in all things and receiving the will of Jesus instead.
The second hindrance in the way of him who would be holy is imperfect faith. All who are born of God and have the witness of His Spirit to their justification know full well that it was not through any good works of their own, nor by growing into it, that they were saved, but it was “by grace through faith” (Eph. 2:8).
But very many of these dear people seem to think that we are to grow into sanctification, or are to get it by our own works.
But the Lord settled that question, and made it as plain as words can make it, when He told Paul that He sent him to the Gentiles to “open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me” (Acts 26:18).
Not by works, nor by growth, but by faith were they to be made holy.
Consecration and faith are matters of the heart, and the trouble with most people is there; but, no doubt, there are some people whose trouble is with the head. They fail to get the blessing because they are seeking something altogether too small. Holiness is a great blessing. It is the renewal of the whole man in the image of Jesus.
There are other people who fail to obtain the blessing because they are seeking something altogether distinct from holiness—a vision of Heaven, of balls of fire, of some angel, etc. But 1 Timothy 1:5 teaches us that holiness is nothing more than a pure heart filled with perfect love and a clear conscience toward God and man.
Come to the Lord with the same simple faith that you did when you were saved; lay your case before Him, ask Him to take away all uncleanness and to perfect you in love, and then believe that He does it. If you will then resist all Satan’s temptations to doubt, you will soon find all your hindrances gone, and yourself rejoicing “with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).
Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle (1860–1936) was a well-known holiness advocate and expositor in the Salvation Army. His written works have helped many into the experience of entire sanctification.