“I WANT to give my appetite to the Lord,” said a victim of intemperance recently, who had come forward for prayers at the close of the service in one of the missions of New York City. He thought that if the Lord would take his appetite for strong drink, and give him a simple, unperverted appetite, it would be just what he needed.
“Why, my dear man,” came the reply from one better instructed in divine truth, “the Lord doesn’t want your appetite; he wants you.”
This reply states a vital truth of the Christian religion. The Lord wants the individual himself; and when an individual gives himself to God, the Lord takes along with the individual everything bad there is about him; not because the Lord wants these things in themselves or has any possible use for them, but because He must take them in order to make the individual what He wants him to be.
The same truth bears with equal emphasis upon the question of giving the Government over to the Lord. The Government is very bad, say a large class of the church people to-day; it is godless, corrupt, perverted from the principles of right, and we must turn it over to the Lord, and have Him make it what it ought to be. When we have a government of God here, everything will be all right.
Subtle delusion! The Lord doesn’t want the Government. He wants the individuals who are carrying on the Government. By the provisions of his grace he is reaching after each one of these to-day; and if they would but give themselves to him, the problem of government would disappear. All God wants is a chance to make each individual as good as it is in his divine power to make him. Then the problem of good government will take care of itself. Under such conditions there could not possibly be anything but good government.
First, last, and always, the Lord wants the individual; and the idea that the Lord is going to save men by reforming the Government is a subtle scheme of the arch-enemy designed to cheat men out of the salvation of their souls.