Elisabeth Elliot

Fleming H. Revell, 2003, 152 pp.   ISBN 0-8007-5989-3

Elisabeth was long best known for her writing related to missionary work among the “Auca” Indians of Ecuador.  Since then she has become a noted writer and speaker on Christian living.  This is an inspiring collection of reflections on living the Christian life.  A good book for comfort.


We have to receive the life of Christ and live it before we can give it to others.  “Receive, live, give.”  “Our lives illustrate what God is like much more by what we are and do than by what we say.” (7)


“If we fill up on trivialities or anxieties, we won’t have room in our hearts for him.” (9)


 “There is no hope for any of us until we confess our helplessness to be Christians.  Then we are in a position to receive grace.” (15)


“We have been warned that the road will be a hard one, for our Master Himself walked a hard road, and He reminds us that servants are not greater than their masters.” (17)


“As we loose our hold on visible things, the invisible ones become more precious.” (18)


“To truly love means to give yourself for others.  To give yourself entails accepting their disappointment and laying yourself open to suffering.” (29)


“God never does anything to us that isn’t for us.” (30)


“Acceptance of my circumstances, the first step in obtaining joy and peace, begins with faith.” (30)  “If His lordship is really established over me, it makes no difference (I might even say it’s ‘no big deal’) whether I live or die.  I am expendable.  That knowledge is freedom.” (31)


“Nothing takes Him by surprise.  Nothing is for nothing.  His plan is to make me holy, and hardship is indispensable for that as long as I live in this hard old world.  All I have to do is accept it.” (32)


“The deepest spiritual lessons come through suffering.” (36)


“He didn’t give me a bridge over troubled waters, but He kept the promise that when I passed through the waters, He would be with me.” (37)


“It seems to me that our modern church life, with its emphasis on cozy friendship with God, has deprived us somewhat of an awe-filled appreciation for His sovereignty.”  “We find it particularly hard to comprehend, much less believe, that a good God could still be in charge when our ordinary life is a relentless string of difficulties or when disasters strike.” (45-6)


“God was not asleep when John the Baptist got his head chopped off.” (49)


“God is in the business of making us walking, breathing examples of the invisible reality of the presence of Christ in us.” (49)


“We who have given ourselves to Him have given up our ‘right’ to call the shots.”  “We have also given up our right to squawk about difficulties.” (50)


“His love does not hate tragedy.  It never denies reality.  It stands firm in the teeth of suffering.  The love of God did not protect His own Son from death on a cross.” (53)


“Sometimes the deepest level of trust has the appearance of doing nothing.” (54)


“Our response is what matters.  A quiet heart is content with what God gives.  It is enough.  All is grace.” (55)


“The secret is Christ in me, not in a different set of circumstances.” (57)


“When I put my money into the plate or basket, my simple gesture represents a visible sign of the offering of my entire self to God.  My purse belongs to Him because the rest of me belongs to Him.” (62)


Living a holy life, in the first century or the twenty-first, boils down to two foundational underpinnings: Trust and Obey.  “Holiness means loving God and doing what He says.” (71)


“It is a divine principle that His saving and transforming power act upon the stuff we are made of, our personalities, our tastes, our prejudices, our experiences.  If we present ourselves to Him to be made over into His likeness, the holy version will bear a relationship to what we were before we came to Him.”  “He does not disregard the kind of person we are when He calls us.”   “The Lord is ready to make strong servants out of the worst of us.” (76)


“It is pride, the root of all sins, that often holds us back.”  “The whole Christian life is a process of bringing the self-life down to death in order that the life of Jesus may be manifest in us” (77)


“Our pride sometimes causes us to make unnecessary crosses for ourselves.” (77)


The path to holiness is made up of prayer and meditation and simple obedience.  (78)


“The rule of heaven is ‘Thy will be done.’  The rule of hell is ‘My will be done.’”  (81)


“Sometimes we get grandiose ideas for schemes we’d love to accomplish for God.  Once in a great while, they are truly god’s will.  Most of the time, however, His will for us is to do the humble and down-to-earth thing, something for which nobody will ever thank us.  Holy people are always down-to-earth folks.”  (81)


“It is only possible for us to practice wholehearted obedience to someone if we enjoy an intimate relationships with him or her.” (83-4)


“Rules, codes, and policies are deadening.  They cannot stimulate growth. ...[nor] lead you to the full freedom of mature character that your sonship will do—characterized by independent, freely-given obedience.” (85)


God furnishes the desire and the strength to obey.  “Our part is to exercise our wills.  This is far from quietism or pietism, in which a person is completely passive and expects God to do everything.  Walking with Jesus means that His grace is at work in my human nature, making me willing to be taught, willing to be shown, and willing to do whatever He tells me.” (86)


“He did not leave us with a rule book; He left us with His own living Spirit.  He wants us to reach maturity.” (87)


“The best reward of obedience is the privilege of living in company with God.” (91)


Our prayers are like incense, whose smoke and fragrance soon dissipate, because they seem to accomplish little and they soon vanish, but God likes the smell of them.  (111)


“We do not understand.  We simply pray because this is how spiritual things have been set up.”  “Our praying is not some kind of internal dialogue or an exercise in futility.  God is listening.” (112)


“Everything out there is worshiping Him, every tree, every insect, the sky itself.  All of heaven is worshiping as well, every hour of the day and night.” (113)


“We shall come one day to a heaven where we shall gratefully know that God’s great refusals were sometimes the true answers to our truest prayer.” (117 quoting P. T. Forsythe)


“Whether or not we appreciate it, suffering is part of our life in Christ.”  “You can’t miss all the times suffering is mentioned in the Bible by Jesus and those who followed Him.” (125)


“Meekness is one of the fruits of the Spirit and it is a key to the troublesome matter of judgmentalness.  If we are truly meek (caring not at all for self-image or reputation) we will speak the truth as we see it.  Contrary to the notion that the only pronouncement in the Bible about judgment is ‘judge not,’ we have been commanded to judge ourselves and our fellow Christians (...see I Cor 5 and Gal 6:1.)  But we must judge in love, recognizing our own sinful capabilities and never-ending need for grace, as well as the limitations of our understanding.”  “We may misjudge, but at least we can be honest and charitable.” (149)


“One of the outstanding characteristics of a meek spirit is teachability.” (150)


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