There are several steps involved in coming to know the
depths of Jesus Christ. The first two are quite simple: praying the
Scriptures and just beholding the Lord in quietness and trust. After
you have pursued this level of experience with the Lord for a
considerable length of time, you then should be ready to go on to a
deeper level of knowing Him.
But in this deeper encounter with the Lord, you must move
outside the realm of prayer alone; or, to state it more clearly, you
must move away from just the one or two times a day you set apart for
prayer with the Lord.
At this point, there must enter into your heart whole new
attitudes toward your entire life. If you are to branch out beyond just
a time of prayer each day, other parts of your life—and even your whole
viewpoint of life—will have to be altered. This new attitude must come
for a very special reason—so that you may go on deeper, still deeper,
into another level with your Lord.
To do this, you must have a fresh attitude toward
yourself as well as toward the Lord; it is an attitude that must go
much deeper than any you have known previously.
To help you develop this attitude, I introduce a new word to you. The word is abandonment.
To penetrate deeper in the experience of Jesus Christ, it
is required that you begin to abandon your whole existence, giving it
up to God. Let us take the daily occurrences of life as an illustration.
You must utterly believe that the circumstances of your
life, that is, every minute of your life, as well as the whole course
of your life—anything, yes, everything that happens—have all come to
you by His will and by His permission. You must utterly believe that
everything that has happened to you is from God and is exactly what you
One way you can be introduced to such a disposition is to
learn to accept every time of prayer, whether it be a glorious time
with Him or a time when your mind wanders, as being exactly what He
desired for you. Then learn to broaden this perspective until it
encompasses every second of your life!
Such an outlook toward your circumstances and such a look
of faith toward your Lord will make you content with everything. Once
you believe this, you will then begin to take everything that comes
into your life as being from the hand of God, not from the hand of man.
Do you truly, sincerely desire to give yourself up to God?
Then I must next remind you that once you have made the
donation, you cannot take the gift back again. Once the gift has been
presented, it no longer belongs to the giver.
You see, knowing the depths of Jesus Christ is not just a
method. It is a lifelong attitude. It is a matter of being enveloped by
God and possessed by Him.
We have spoken of abandonment. Abandonment is a matter of
the greatest importance if you are to make progress in knowing your
Lord. Abandonment is, in fact, the key to the inner court—the key to
the fathomless depths. Abandonment is the key to the inward spiritual
The believer who knows how to abandon himself to the Lord
will soon come into perfect concert with His will in all circumstances.
Let us say you reach this state of abandonment. Once you
have reached it, you must continue, steadfast and immovable. Otherwise,
to arrive there and remain only briefly is of little value. It is one
thing to reach this state; it is another thing to remain there.
Be careful; do not listen to the voice of your natural
reasoning. You can expect just such reasoning to well up within you.
Nonetheless, you must believe that you can abandon yourself utterly to
the Lord for all your lifetime and that He will give you the grace to
remain there. You must trust in God, “hoping against hope” (see Rom.
Great faith produces great aban-donment.