PrefaceA follower of CHRIST who feels led to send forth a testimony for his blessed Lord surely needs no justification for doing it other than the assurance that the Lord has prompted him to do it. That is enough.
The writer knows, however, of his own interest in the background of a book. He likes to have the author's own word concerning its preparation, and about the guidance which has led him to add yet another volume to that stream of books to which "there is no end." (Ecclesiastes 12:12) Hence this foreword. For a number of years the writer has been privileged to prepare expositions of the Sunday School lessons for publication in the Moody Monthly, and in weekly newspapers all over the country. He has had opportunity to enlarge on these studies in a weekly broadcast over Station WMBI. In the course of time friends were kind enough to inquire whether these studies were in print.
Now this series of studies on the Christian life have been prepared. They are based on the broadcasted messages, altered, adapted for publication, and, we trust, somewhat improved. They are sent forth with the earnest prayer that GOD may bless and use a humble effort for His own glory.
Harold L. Lundquist
Preface to Third Edition
Nothing can be more gratifying to one who serves the Lord than to learn that the Lord has blessed his endeavor to witness for Him. By the grace of GOD two editions of this book have now been sold and the publishers have been kind enough to ask the writer to prepare a third edition, revised and substantially enlarged.
The theme is the same, for we need real, dynamic Christian living in our day more than ever; but there has been a sincere endeavor to definitely improve the messages and add to their usefulness to GOD's people. With the prayer that this may prove true, by GOD's blessing, this new edition is sent on its way, for His glory.
What Dynamic Christian Living Means
Dynamic Christian living! That sounds like a slogan, or a motto for a young people's convention. Or it might be one of those striking generalities which we like to repeat but in which practically no one fully believes. Again it could be a goal toward which we are willing to aspire but to which we do not expect to attain.
We Americans - and, in fact, one could say, we Christian Americans - are adept at coining telling phrases and inspiring slogans, but one fears that all too often we fall short in our avowed determination to attain the goal which has been so carefully and effectively epitomized in attractive words.
But this is not just a slogan - it speaks of a desirable and attainable fact.
It will doubtless surprise some of us to learn that a life of divine power - of heavenly dynamic - is GOD's norm for all Christians. This is the kind of life which every Christian ought to live, and may live by the grace of GOD in CHRIST JESUS.
Dynamic! - there is a word with a real attraction for both old and young, for it speaks of power. What is power? Let it be clear that it is not just brute force. There is that kind or power and it is all too highly thought of in our poor, disordered world. But that is not the greatest kind of power. What is the greatest power in the world?
Atomic energy has made all other power seem comparatively impotent. Scientists are greatly concerned that man should use this astonishing source of power for good rather than for his own destruction. To accomplish that end they see that there must be some still higher power brought forth to take control. That is why scientists have been talking almost like Old Testament prophets or like evangelists (apart, of course, from the "Thus saith the Lord") as they ardently plead for the development of the right kind of a personality, the right kind of a heart and mind in man to deal with the tremendous forces which he has unleashed, and which he will yet discover.
This makes our present study of peculiar interest to everyone. Where may we find this spiritual dynamic?
When we speak of a dynamic life or a dynamic personality, we recognize in such a life a measure and depth of power in the higher, spiritual sense. We think of personal winsomeness, all-around attractiveness of character, sacrificial devotion to others. There we see the high challenge of character rather than of force. This is the power which is greater than even the atomic bomb!
In other words, being "dynamic" means more than having the sheer weight of physical strength - yes, it is more than just being a "live-wire." Yes, we believe that such energetic folk have their place in the Christian community. They stimulate and encourage us. We appreciate them. But equally dynamic (and we might say truly dynamic) are those who express the life of GOD in a quietness which is graciously powerful in a goodness which overcomes evil; in a love that weeps with the sorrowing and helps the fallen, a humility that touches the lowly, and a quiet courage which stands steadfast for CHRIST. (Romans 12:9-16).
Is not this the finest expression of power? Does not the word "dynamic" as related to personality here come to its real fulness of meaning?
Lest someone assume that such a life is possible to and expected of only a chosen few who have unusual gifts or a special calling, we make haste to say that it is for all GOD's children in CHRIST. We do not all have the leadership gifts which naturally mark some individuals for places of outstanding service although most of us do have more of such qualifications than we realize, never having given them a chance to develop.
Whether we have these gifts or not is determined by GOD's grace toward us and in us; but the fact is, whether we do or do not have what some call "leadership qualities," we all do have the ability and the opportunity to follow the Lord and to serve Him. We are responsible to GOD for living such a life. That means that each one of us must claim for himself or herself the power of the Spirit of GOD for daily living. We have been redeemed by the Blood of CHRIST and by the cleansing work of the HOLY SPIRIT. He now indwells us. We should show to all the world what it means to be empowered by the living God.
Such a Christian life will be characterized by a burning zeal to do the will of GOD. "If I had three hundred men," said John Wesley, "who feared nothing but GOD, hated nothing but sin, and were determined to know nothing among men but JESUS CHRIST and Him crucified, I would set the world on fire."
Dwight L. Moody knew that same God-given urgency when, after hearing Henry Varley say that GOD was waiting to show the world what He could do in and with and through a man wholly yielded to Him, he made complete dedication of his life to GOD. We cannot all be leaders like Wesley, Moody and others, but we can be men who have given all that we have without reserve and without dissimulation into the hands of GOD. We can all be of those who are in constant touch with the Eternal One for His grace and faith and strength.
Power belongeth to the Lord, and so the life of the divine dynamic must have what someone has called "a pipeline to GOD." The delightful thing is that the privilege of drawing on the eternal omnipotence of GOD is open to every believer in CHRIST, great or small, humble or exalted, weak or strong. We must not rely on our own abilities. To do so is but to fail. But God - He never fails, and we will not fail if we let Him work His perfect work in and through us.
The life of grace and power of which we shall endeavor to speak in these pages is one which brings to the individual a richness of personal experience which then reaches out to the world through the home and church. It is through these three channels that Christian testimony becomes effective in the world - through the individual, the family life, and the life of the Church. Here we shall see the expression of Dynamic Christian Living.