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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Found by God JANUARY 10


For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Rom. 10:3.

The most difficult thing in all the world is the complete surrender of all human pride. Our sophistication is so smart. Our science is so brilliant. Our achievements are so impressive.

Christ is a stumblingblock to men because of the radical nature of the solution to the problem of sin and death that God has proposed: life through death; fulfillment of self through denial of self; exaltation by way of the cross. Christ was put to death by these religious leaders whose vested interests in their own status and superiority prevented them from repentance and commitment. To die to self-will, to self-esteem, to self-sufficiency, is the inevitable problem for all of us.

To be a sinner means we have lost the capacity to find our way back to God, or to make ourselves right. We have lost the will and the power to pull ourselves together and correct our mistakes. Is it too much to accept God's estimate of us?—"There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10)? Is it too much to seek to return to our heavenly Father as did the prodigal son?

In his book Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis tells of his pilgrimage to faith and how God found him. This is how he tells it: "I had always wanted above all things, not to be 'interfered with.' I had wanted 'to call my soul my own.' . . . You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen [college (Oxford)]. . . . That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed; perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. . . . The words . . . 'compel them to come in,' have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."*

* (C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, Harcourt, Brace and World Inc., New York, 1955, pp. 228, 229.

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