Edited by Robert V. Rakestraw (2-25-16)

“We lean too much upon a dear friend to help us onward in the spiritual life, and the Lord is obliged to separate us from that friend. We feel that all our spiritual prosperity depends on our continuance under the ministry of a favorite preacher, and he is mysteriously removed. We look upon our prayer meeting or our Bible class as the chief source of our spiritual strength, and we are shut up from attending them. And the ‘chariot of God’ which alone can carry us to the places where we hoped to be taken by the instrumentalities upon which we have been depending is to be found in the very  deprivations we have so mourned over. God must burn up with the fire of His love every chariot of our own that stands in the way of our mounting into His.”

“We have to be brought to the place where all other refuges fail us before we can say, ‘He only.’ We say ‘He and—something else,’ ‘He and my experiences,’ or ‘He and my church relationships,’ or ‘He and my Christian work;’ and all that comes after the ‘and’ must be taken away from us, or must be proved useless, before we can come to the ‘He only.’ As long as visible chariots are at hand the soul will not mount into the invisible ones.”

From Hannah Whitall Smith, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life (Revell, 1952, pp. 231-232). The author is using for her background the account of Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings 2:1-18. The above quotation may be found, along with other articles and essays, on Dr. Rakestraw’s website, gracequestministries.org. You may write to him at bob@gracequestministries.org.