June 23, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"But thanks be unto God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ, and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
I never read these verses without thinking of Dr. V. Raymond Edman, the late President and Chancellor of Wheaton College. In his book "They Found the Secret," he gives this brief testimony. After five years on the mission field in Ecuador, he contracted typhus fever after visiting a small village in the mountains. He was on the threshold of death. They had prepared for his funeral that day, when God marvelously interceded and touched his life through the intercessory prayer of a Bible conference group 3,500 miles away. They were praying for him at that very moment, having been led of the Holy Spirit that he had a desperate need.
After weeks of intensive care, at the recommendation of the doctors, he returned to the United States for recuperation. During his five years in Ecuador, he had established a Bible school that was very dear to his heart. With his three-year-old son, he started the journey home on a Dutch freighter. He was confined to his stateroom, except for brief occasions. He was busy preparing lessons for the next school session in the field, when he reached the verse in 2 Corinthians 2:14: "Now thanks be unto God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ." He read this verse over and over. Comparing the verse to his life, his way seemed obscure. A door possibly was closing; physical health was at low ebb, so that life itself might soon be gone. His heart went up in prayer: "Dear Lord, be pleased to make my life that constant pageant of triumph, always to be led in triumph in Thee." God said, "Are you willing to go anywhere for me?" "Yes, Lord, anywhere in Ecuador." "I didn't say anywhere in Ecuador; I said ANYWHERE." Finally I said, "Yes, Lord, I will go anywhere You say, only that my life may always be a constant pageant of triumph in Thee."
"Death to my own plans and desires was almost deliriously delightful. Everything was laid at His nail-scarred feet: life or death, health or illness, appreciation by others or misunderstanding, success or failure as measured by human standards, only HE HIMSELF mattered. After sweet communion, something else came. It was the commission, ANYWHERE. With that command, there was granted the confidence, God ALWAYS leads us in triumph in Christ, a constant pageant of triumph in Christ! During those sacred moments in the crises of comradeship, I had utterly abandoned myself to Him. Could any choice be as wonderful as being in His will?" The life that is triumphant in Christ is not just an aspiration, but also an appropriation of all that is in Christ. Its secret is simple, yet profound. It is plain to the heart "filled with faith and obedience," but perplexing to self-will and self-effort. It is an obtainment, not an attainment, a gift not from within us, but to be received from above. Its life arises out of "death to ourselves," not from deeds we have done. How true the words of Jim Elliot, one of the five young missionaries martyred in Ecuador: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php=1&row=&date=2023-06-23
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