Wednesday, March 2

Others may, but you cannot

Don Davis reprinted this old tract on his blog The Dreaming Revolutionary. It is well worth a few minutes of your time...

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other people or measure yourself by other Christians. At times, He will let other people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others may boast of themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into a deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or may have a legacy left to them, or may have luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He may make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you. But if you absolutely give yourself to be His child, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot.

Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit. He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways that He does not seem to use with others. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

--Rev. G. D. Watson (1845-1924)


Tim Patterson said...

Thanks for posting this... very meaningful. Reminds me of Paul's description in I Corinthians 4.

GuyMuse said...


So true what he writes, yet so easy for us to forget in our constant pursuit to "make things happen." Don Davis writes on his blog that he used to carry this tract around with him in his billfold to remind me of these truths. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Bob Cleveland said...

As I commented on FB, our victory is in the doing, not the results. To think otherwise is to attribute to our effort, what is clearly the domain of the Holy Ghost.

Good analogy: Naaman, Elisha, and Gehazi. I think Gehazi got the point.

GuyMuse said...


Thanks for the comment here and on FB. What you share is certainly true, but oh so hard to do! We want to be seen, recognized, and sought out. Yet these are exclusive for the Lord. To learn our true place at the foot of the cross and behind the scenes seems to be a lesson that takes a life time--unless, of course, one is Gehazi, and he learned a lot quicker than the rest of us!

Strider said...

Thanks for this Guy. I read it years ago and had forgotten it. It is one of those essays where you might disagree or you might wish it was not so but the reality of our lives screams out the truth of this does it not?

GuyMuse said...


I didn't say I liked the essay, but like you say, it hits home with me like a hurricane on several fronts!

Don said...

I first heard this read by my pastor Ken Sumrall when I was very young in the Lord and attending Bible School. It always sets my down where I need to be! Yes, I still carry it around in my wallet.

BParsons said...

I first heard this phrase when I read "Rees Howells, Intercessor." God had led him to give up his pension from the coal mine. Later, he was led by the Spirit to help a disabled miner by paying the rest of his pension so he would have the support.

He questioned this, since God had told him to rely on Him alone. why did he now have to pay for someone else's pension?

The answer the Spirit gave him was, "Others may, but you cannot."

GuyMuse said...


Sounds like an interesting biography I´d like to read sometime.