Before I went to the near East I couldn’t very well visualize Jesus crossing the brook Kidron. In order to get to Jericho He had to cross this brook. Every time He went to Gethsemane, Bethany of the Mount of Olives, He had to cross this brook. Some crossed this brook with Him after He ascended. Luke 24:50. I’m looking into the faces of brothers and sisters and I’m quite sure we are all going down into the valley to cross the brook with Jesus. The scripture speaks of several valleys. Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones, I like to think of Ezekiel keeping his harp in tune with God when practically all of God’s people had lost their song, and hung their harps on the willows. At one time those dry bones were clothed and controlled, controlled, but death came and now the bones are dry. There is nothing more hopeless looking than a valley of dry bones. Ifs wonderful the love of God in the hearts of his servants. For 16 years we’ve been laboring in the valley of dry bones and found them very dry. That doesn’t matter, it is our part to prophesy unto them. Verse 16, “I will lay sinews upon you.” Sinews are a small thread but strong. Verse 7, “I prophesied as I was commanded.” We have a leader and a commander, Jesus. Many soldiers may do brave things unknown to other soldiers, but god is keeping books. Isaiah 22:1, Valley of vision. How many of us realize our vision has been dim? A speck of dust, or a little hair can spoil our vision. Not many lives can beat a close investigation. When Daniel saw a vision of the Lord his comeliness was turned to corruption and he ate no pleasant bread. Daniel 10, Isaiah left undone when he saw the Lord in all His beauty. Isaiah 8, Uzzia had done much, built cities, etc., but one day haven he was not filling his own place, as he should he took the place of the priest and burned incense. II Chronicles 26, The priests corrected him, but he didn’t thank them for the correction. The mark of a humble person is that they do not rebel when corrected. Uzziah became angry, the leprosy rose up in his forehead, he was a leper until the day of his death and dwelt in a house alone. Can you imagine anything so pitiful. He wasn’t willing for correction and lost his vision. Could you imagine anyone who was once anointed of God and counted among the prophets going to a witch, like Saul? Isaiah saw Uzziah go wrong, and in the year of his death saw the Lord high and lifted up. If we see a brother or a sister go wrong, I hone we’ll keep a clear vision of the Lord and see Him high and lifted up. Do you know what God showed John as an old man? What He had shown him beside Galilee, Jesus, and picture of His people. There are dangers for the people of God, the world can creep in. I have been surprised and saddened by the calloused things said about some of the people of God by the people of God. When you speak against a weak brother, you are speaking against one for whom Christ died. John also got a picture of the world outside. In eternity Stephen will have a great reward for what he did toward the salvation of Saul of Tarsus. Stephen was not a worker, but a deacon, Saul was not sent to a worker, but to a disciple living in Damascus. All Saul had in education and place in the world never brotherhood. Ananias called him “brother,” Acts 9:17.
My companion and I have a field in which them are 50,000,000 people who do not know their right hand from their left. We have no competition, not many are wanting our field. There are no strikes, for we are satisfied with conditions as they are. In Africa we saw an eagle with a lizard which it reluctantly left as we came up. There were bloody wounds and the eagle had been working on its eyes, but hadn’t yet destroyed its vision. If we were to give our own testimony every one of us would have to say that this had taken place in our lives. A thousand times, we’ve felt the power of the flesh working, as the eagle, to take away our vision. As soon as a camel dies in the desert you will begin to see the black specks in the skies, vultures coming for their prey. The devil has eagles or vultures in this world, afar off, maybe you can’t see them, coming to destroy and devour. They have no mercy. All they leave is what they cannot eat. To reach the goal, take the desert road and keep moving. One law of the desert, no one is allowed to pass the frontier alone. Jesus guides our footsteps, we are not alone. “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Joel 3:14, “Valley of decision.” It is no use to have a vision if it doesn’t help us to make decisions. The three Hebrew children had to make decisions. Daniel 3
We have decided to serve God but we have to make decisions all along the way and these are going to determine our eternal destiny. Those who are away from home are the ones who best understand the value of a, home. Heaven is a home for the Lord’s people. This world is not our home. Numbers 13:23-24, “Valley of Eshcol.” I like this one. Before you’re a week away from convention some of you are going to be passing through a valley. How nice if you could get a bunch of grapes in this valley. How do you get them? By abiding in the vine. 1 Samuel 17, In the valley of Elah, David slew Goliath. You are going to face the giant of your own flesh in the valley of Elah. David as a lad was practicing with the sling and stone but he was not practicing on the lambs and sheep. He was getting victory over his own flesh when away alone. Those are the days that count where no eye sees us by the eye of God. When the test came David had ammunition enough to kill five giants, but he needed only one fifth of it. Later he had the sword of Goliath as the fruit of victory. Three of David’s mighty men broke through the host of the philistines to bring him water from the well of Bethlehem. I Chronicles 11, I know if I can feed your heart I am feeding the heart of God. In II Kings 3:16 the armies of the purple of God were in danger of being destroyed because of thirst. The Lord said “Make this valley full of ditches.” Take away the earth, dig, and the Lord will send water through the valley of Baca and don’t make it a. well. Why? Because they grumble and complain and it don’ t mean to them what it should. Once when a brother shed tears I sat down and cried with him. When a brother or sister is passing through the valley of Baca, show them sympathy and kindness. Your leader and commander dropped tears as he agonized for victory. Nehemiah and Ezra shed tears. Nehemiah 1;14, Ezra 10;1. Paul spoke of some in Philemon 3:18 of whom he said, “I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, enemies of the cross of Christ.” These were people who once been among the people of God. I don’t know when Timothy cried, but he shed tears. II Timonthy 1:4, One of my most faithful companions, often burst into tears when were on our knees praying together. His father was worth $300,000 and threatened to disown him when he professed, but he said, “The money is yours, I have something better.” The father of another your man forbade him to go to meeting but he went, and the father afterward said, “I was only testing you to see what you would do.” If you want to be a well, pass through the valley of Baca. We are all going to have tears. Some will have tears for all eternity because they haven’t been submissive to God. Psalms 23, “The valley of the shadow of death” Your shadow is not you. God doesn’t leave us in the valley of the shadow of death. We only pass through it. Coming over on my way home from Lebanon, there were 3,000 soldiers on the boat, accommodations poor. One of them said, “We were about to rise up in rebellion, but the thing that keeps us quiet is the thought that we are going home.” This is what enables us to bear things. We’re going home.
Solomon, “Now I have found my soul’s beloved. I will not let Him go!”
This hymn was composed by Sam Jones as result of experiences God led him through. I felt as I walked beside him along the Suez Canal, I was beside a sympathetic brother at a time when we were having it hard, and needed His help. This song was sung at his Funeral. God has touched my heart by messages spoken here, and I hove He can still touch our hearts. We sometimes hear of mighty men, because of their mighty acts. We are all writing history. The Mohammedans have no name for God meaning Father. There is a language that even our companions don’t understand, the language of the heart. We feel we can only open up to God. He doesn’t see as man sees. He looks upon the heart. He saw the heart condition of Mary. Fear and unbelief are in every human heart when God begins to deal. I have found in recent years that I know very little about human hearts. When I thought some were hopeless, I saw them softened and won to God. We may be guilty of saying things that are good and right, but they don’t mean much. When God speaks there is a power behind it. Mary was submissive. If submission could be indelibly in our hearts the future could be different than the past. Is there something in your life that makes it difficult for God to mould you as a potter would mould the clay? A diamond with a spot in it may be worth only a thousand dollars. I’ve looked on a brother or sister and said to myself, “There is a life that could be more useful if a little spot of pride of self will could be removed.”
The six Marys of the New Testament were like six diamonds. Proverbs 31:10, Some of us have had some bitter disappointments in people. God wants upright, sincere, true men and women and there is no substitute for sincerity. In the French Language accord means to tune, or I’m in tune, or accord with you. Mary was in tune with Heaven, in accord with God. The reason Heaven is so often closed to us is because there isn’t complete submission to God. If we are rebelling in our hearts there is no song, because we are not in tune with Heaven. It takes a lot of notes to make a song. It takes a lot of experiences, hills and valleys, etc., to enable us to sing the song of songs. The greatest test to our Christianity is to sit beside a person who is out of tune with Heaven and keep in tune with Heaven ourselves. David did it. Mary sang from her soul. How are you serving God today? Can we say, “With my soul I have desired Thee”? We may not be well treated sometimes, but look at the goal. A delicate girl was asked why she was running in the race – she said, “I thought of the prize.” God regarded the low estate of Mary. Nothing will cut you off from God quicker than to get wrong in your spirit. We may be tempted to feel that the fragrance of our lives is wasted in the desert air, but not so. We learn from history that some terrible wars took place between the Jews and other nations between the tile of Malachi and the N.T., but in the darkest hours of history Christ was born. Joseph and Mary would have had their plans set for their home but God planned otherwise. Asked them to go to Egypt to protect the life of his Son. From Bethlehem to Egypt is from 12 to 14 hours by train, running from 30 to 40 miles an hour, and it one of the most miserable of journey. I can picture them taking this journey on foot or with a donkey, fondling and protecting the life of Christ. The Christ has been born into your heart. What are you doing to foster and protect that life as you go over the desert road? Can we say, “Not my will but Thine? Let me yield to His plan divine?” Adam Hutchinson wrote Hymn 282. Words are cheap but when backed by a life of sacrifice, they fill the house with the odor of the ointment. Do you know why that “Why?” came into the life of Mary in Luke 2:48? She had lost Jesus. Doubt comes when we lose Jesus. One of the most beautiful epistles was written by James, the Lord’s brother, yet there was a time when he didn’t believe. I hope if there are any of you young people who anticipate marriage you’ll first of all get the right partner, that you’ll marry only “in the Lord,” then do it without fuse, foolishness, and show of the world. If the world questions why you do it quietly and in simplicity, give them your testimony. Some can be very hard on the flesh and blood of others, but not on their own flesh and blood. I like to see younger ones submissive to their elder brothers and sisters.
When younger ones become rebellious it makes it very difficult for the others. One of the sins I would never want to be guilty of would be of shedding innocent blood, making the innocent suffer, drawing blood from their veins. Jealousy is as cruel as the grave and will stop at nothing. It is responsible for 99% of our troubles. Mary, the sister of Martha, was the sacrificing one. We could do things with a wrong or selfish motive and gain no reward. There is nothing more beautiful than lives sacrificed and broken in the service of God. All are selfish by nature. “The dear Sea.” Mary broke the alabaster box. What are you doing with your box? Mary Magdalene, the waiting one. Peter and John who came to the sepulchre saw only the linen clothes and the napkin that was about the head, then went away. John 20. Do you know why we sometimes see only the outward things? We have failed to wait on God. Stay on your knees ten or twenty minutes longer, or half an hour longer. Mary waited till she saw Jesus. He had so often said “My Father,” but now He said “My Father and your Father”. We are all one family and can say “Our Father”. Merry Magdalene got and gave, the first message on the resurrection morning because she waited. Mary, the wife of Cleopas, was the enduring one. It’s a dangerous thing to sneak against a brother or sister If you try to separate those who love each other you’ll find that you cam do it, they’re like the pyramids of Egypt, you can’t get in between them. Mary, the mother of John Mark was the worthy one. Acts 12. We are living in a wonderful country, here, but don’t forget that some others are behind iron bars. All I ask you to do is to pray for us. When we were 15 months without mail, during the war, I felt that some were praying for us. We want God’s people to be a praying people. Are you allowing son or daughter to being into your home something worldly? Keep your home clean and sacred, worthy of God, as Mary’s was. The Christians at that time were surprised that their prayers were answered, and so are we. Mary the laboring one. Romans 15:6. I would like to do what I could in the service of God.