I shall never forget when the light of God began to reveal soul depth within me. I was
really saved; I had an experience in the things of God covering years. He was my Father and my Friend, very real to me. I so truly loved Him that I loved His will. He had graciously stood by me through long years of invalidism, kept me patient and uncomplaining, and brought me to the place where He spoke, and enabled me to take the impartation of His own Divine life for the helpless body; and He had answered my humble petitions in behalf of others. So precious was the love of God that I never thought there was another epoch in grace; my thought was only to keep close to Jesus till I saw Him face to face.
Once in awhile I would feel a stirring in my heart, and the instant cry, “Lord, hold it down,”
brought the answer. There had been, at several different times through my Christian life, periods of weeks, and sometimes of months, when there was a sense of cleanness and rest within, and those troublesome stirrings were all on the outside; but they came back, and I didn’t know why, nor how. I can see now, that although the conception of my need was meager, yet in answer to my heart cry and confidence in God, He came, and in His coming wrought a deliverance far beyond my comprehension.
Greatly relieved and blessed, I praised the Lord for the work wrought, and settled down to
enjoy it; but scarcely recognized Him who had come; and in exalting His work, let it eclipse the One who had come; and not realizing Him within, and depending on Him, instead of the work He had done, when assailed by the enemy, the channel of faith was easily obstructed by questionings and as a consequence that inward unrest came back. But I supposed this was normal Christian experience, so limited was my comprehension of God’s great salvation.
My mother, who died when I was a child, was a woman of calm, quiet bearing, and
positively insisted on the control of temper; even now I recall her words, “No matter how you feel you must learn to control yourself.” This was a great help to me, and I did learn to control my high temper usually; but before grace came in it would literally boil inside, and sometimes suddenly boil over.
But grace held it down, and only occasionally would I feel the stirrings, and one look to
Jesus and it would settle down.
It was during a day of fasting and prayer for a certain individual that a shaft of light
suddenly shone down into the deep recesses of my being. It was like catching the rays of the sun on a looking-glass, and reflecting the light down to the bottom of a deep well.
What I saw there shocked and frightened me. But the Lord, putting His great strong arm
about me, reassuringly said, “Now don’t be afraid, you are my child, I want you to see this”; and I pressed up close to His side while gradually, so I could bear it, He revealed the depraved nature that I carried about in my breast.
Again and again I would cry out, “My Father, are other people’s hearts like mine?” And the
answer would come back, “The human heart,” until I actually believed all the Bible has to say about it and more, for language is inadequate to express the havoc that I saw sin and its originator had made, and would continue to make unless he was not only dethroned, but utterly expelled from the entire domain.
I saw — oh, I could not begin to tell you all I saw — but if you feel the need of knowing “the
plague of your own heart” as I did, the Lord with patient faithfulness will disclose it to you, for He is absolutely impartial; what He has done in merciful kindness for one of His children He will do for another. The Lord used many mental pictures to help me grasp the thought; one was, my heart was like a seed bed full of noxious weed seeds. There was the seed of every sin and crime that had ever been committed or ever would be.
It was dormant now, but under certain conditions was liable at any moment to spring up
and make serious trouble, and nothing but fire could destroy such a seed bed.
But back of all else, the root cause, was the fact that I had inherited from the “fall” a
something that had to be held down, or it would respond to the overtures of Satan, and was actually in secret league with the evil one, and that against the benevolent Creator; “something” that would protest, oppose, and break (if it could) every gracious law God had made for my protection, and disregard all the kindly counsel of His Book. A quality in me of being an enemy in subtle, concealed hostility against God. (Rom. 8:7.) The worst of it was that, in spite of all I could do, it would insinuate itself more or less into my every thought and deed, even when I was not conscious of it.
Intuitively I knew that this “something” could never be admitted into a holy heaven; and
loving the Lord as I did, should I really make it through to the gate of the City with that thing still in my heart, I could not pass those pearly portals, and look upon the face of my Christ, but must of necessity sink down and down to the only place where one with such an interior unfitness could go. And I threw up my hands and cried right out, “O Jesus, I love you so, I could not stand that.” I bowed under the weight of a great sorrow, with a conscious realization of an overwhelming need of deliverance from this “awful something” that would not love my Lord, and was always trying to get me to ignore God, and assert my right to myself, and to keep some phase of myself ever in my
mental horizon. Sometimes it was a happy self-complacency, or a sad, self-sympathetic or sorrowful self-pity; and if yielded to, would soon get me to accept slanders against God. Ever something before me contributing only to me or mine, most anything that would divert from the things of God, and obscure that diabolical nature within me, that would dethrone the Most High if it could. Oh, the helplessness of the human! Only the Almighty could deliver, and I wanted deliverance more than anything in all the world; nothing else was worthy of consideration.
Intuitively I knew, if I was delivered, it could be only on the terms of unconditional
surrender of every part and possibility of the entire domain of personality, in utter yieldedness day by day for all time. Not only would that be just to the deliverer, but in no other way could the deliverance be maintained. I considered and carefully weighed every presented possibility in the will of God, and there were many questions of vital import put to me, prefaced with, “Will you be true to me if …,” “And what if so and so … will you go through with me?” (But it was the voice of my Lord, not the enemy.)
I knew the Savior, and as I looked up into that blessed face I knew I could trust the Man
that died for me, and I kept on saying, “Yes, Lord,” till my heart seemed to consolidate into one eternal “Yes” to God; for I felt that He could not ask me to do, or refrain from doing, or the harder part, to endure anything that would be too much to undertake for His sake.
The enabling to be a true love slave was all I asked for. I saw my helplessness, and my
very soul cried out, “My Lord, my Lord, the only way I can ever live the life that will satisfy this heart of mine, is for you, by your almighty power, to forcibly expel this mighty usurper, purify, move in, and take full control of the whole domain. Thou shalt have the right of eminent dominion fully entitled to appropriate any part, in any way, in accord with Thy Sovereign will. It is Thine by creation, Thine by redemption. and Thine now by my voluntary relinquishing forever my right to myself. What wilt Thou?” my only question henceforth.
I pleaded the will of God, I pleaded the promises of God, I pleaded the Sacrificial
Atonement of Him who suffered without the gate. (Heb. 13:12.) I pleaded my inability to glorify God in the earth, and my absolute unfitness for heaven. I pleaded my imperative need, and with unconquerable desire, I sought the coming of my sovereign Lord. At times I was greatly blessed, at other times overwhelmed with the painful sweetness of deep soul longing. Days came and went, but I would not be satisfied with being blessed. I knew many others were, and the strong diverting argument was that I ought to be, and in my humility it did seem that way. Yet I just could not, for I saw a work to be done, and I sought the coming of Him who alone could accomplish it. And above everything else, with an all-absorbing desire, I wanted Him, my Holy Guest, He Himself, not His blessings.
Early one morning I awakened with the thought, “Perhaps He will come today.” I slipped
over to the tent, to tell Him of my hope; when the family arose I prepared breakfast, but the hope of His coming absorbed all desire for food, and excusing myself I went back to the tent. There was no one there, but I soon realized “God was in the place”; my strength suddenly left me, and I lay prostrate in the agony of consuming desire. Later on Sister M____ who was with us came in, and I asked her to go and ask Brother and Sister P____ to come and pray for me; I needed the help of the faith of others. They came, and in surprise said, “Why Sister H____, what is the matter?” My reply
was, “I don’t know how to receive the Holy Ghost.” They did not intrude, and talk to me, but laid hold in prayer. I soon forgot them, and everything earthly, lost in that dawning light — absorbed in His coming. For He came, indeed He did.
No domain was ever more truly flooded with light and a pure rarified atmosphere. And no
glove more really filled with a strong right hand. The first realization I had of earthly surroundings was that they were singing “The Comforter Is Come”; and the whole song was the expression of my enraptured soul, and has been ever since. Not only was the filling real, but I could almost see, emanating from Him within, a soft white light extending out all around me for my protection — after some weeks this consciousness faded, but the fact remains. (Zech. 2:5.)
That terrible “something” had been vanquished, banished from the entire domain — the
rightful owner reigned without a rival, all was at rest under His peaceful dominion. No more exaltation of self. Self-pity was transmuted to compassion for souls, and especially for every child of God that had not yet caught the true vision of this epoch in grace, or had not pressed through to where their hearts had been absolutely comforted.
Instead of that brooding of self-sympathy, “a heart at leisure from itself to soothe and
sympathize.” That pleasing self-complacency was changed to humble adoring praise to my “Holy Guest.” Self-dependence to reliance upon God. (Blessed exchange!) That perplexing phase of the self life that craves for sympathy, appreciation, or approval of others — at least of some others – (John 12:43) was exchanged for content with the approval of my Lord. And I positively refused to receive honor of men (John 5:44) by instantly making it an offering unto Him. In the place of that detestable self-exaltation, that must be closely watched and held down, there was a spontaneous, supernatural self-effacement, that marked characteristic of Him who does not speak of Himself (John 16:13) for He pervaded my soul as iron is permeated when submitted to the flame.
Self-centered no longer, God-centered — the mainspring of life had been altered, utterly
changed. There was a personal, passionate devotion to Jesus the Christ, a love that overwhelmed all other loves. “My Lord,” the new name on “the white stone” (Rev. 2:17) that He gave me for Himself, held a superlative charm, a meaning too deep for words. I had asked only for the enabling to be a faithful love slave, but He lifted me to a place of holy relationship beyond my ken, with such consideration and regard for my voluntary choosing that astonished me and bound me to Him with unbreakable cords of pure love; surely none other has such respect for personality as our own God.
Eagerly I sought to know more perfectly His will, to learn His ways, to discover His
preference in little things. My glad heart attitude was to please Him. His love was so wonderful, and I so utterly unlovable and unworthy! The only way I could account for this almost unbelievable truth of His great love to me was in the fact that “God is love.”
I had much to learn, and much also to unlearn. I had but little knowledge of the Bible
(God’s precious letter to man) for I had been a shut-in, and in recovering from those long years of extreme suffering I had everything to learn over again. This promise was my strong staff. “He will guide you into all truth.” — John 16:13 and 14:26. And He began by revealing Jesus through the Word. I studied Jesus the God-man, the human side, to follow Him. “What would Jesus do?” was a
heart cry that brought light on perplexing problems. There was such a tender patient consideration for others no matter who they were, beyond anything I had known, and such a spirit of intercession.
It seemed as though there was a great warm gulf stream of Divine love flowing from the
Infinite, out through my heart, to every living soul, and I was conscious that it was not my loving them but God’s loving them through me. And yet to my amazement some of those that this love stream flowed out to the strongest became offended, and at me. The first one was dear Sister M____, only a short time after this great event, and everything was so new to me.
I knew that something had come between us, and the accusation was that I had offended one
of God’s children and grieved the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t find out how I had offended her, and would not knowingly have grieved my Lord for anything in the world. But He seemed far away, and the accuser said, “You have grieved Him, and He is gone.” It didn’t seem that He would really leave me even if I had unwittingly offended this dear child of His. But there were three days of utter blankness, the entire realm seemed uninhabited. And yet it seemed so unlike the character of my Lord to leave me for the sins of ignorance that I would have been glad to make as near right as I could, if I only knew what to do (and I judged Him rightly).
Early one morning the thought came that possibly this was like a test that someone had
spoken of, and I wondered and hoped, and took the upward look. As it grew light enough to read, I opened my Bible, and a promise stood out upon the page. The enemy tried to wrest it from me, but with trembling fingers I took hold of it; and a few hours later, suddenly that great love stream began to flow, and I knew it was a test of faith, and He had never left me. Later on Sister M____ said, “I didn’t like the way you prayed.”
I presume now that it was largely conviction, for she was soon among the seekers. But that
trial of faith and the lessons it taught have ever helped me to hold steady, unwavering confidence in the character of my Lord through temptations and trials incidental to living in this fallen world, and amid testing of the most painful nature, dense with perplexity, (Isa. 50:10) till clear light came, enabling me by the continual impartation of the pervading power of His presence to maintain the loving loyalty of heart obedience, cooperating with Him the best I understood; and He, as supreme Ruler, has protected every avenue of His own dominion from the ingress of the enemy, and has kept out that terrible “something” that would not love God.
Sometime I will tell you of His patient teachings from the daily pages of providence,
carrying forward right through the vicissitudes of life His gracious and paramount design — the development of symmetrical Christian character, that beyond question He undertook at 12:30 P. M., July 25, 1903, by valid ejection of that demolishing usurper and condescending to assume the government of this domain of personality, by my voluntary assignment of my right to myself and recognizing HIS RIGHT OF EMINENT DOMINION.
Yours to make Him known, Kathryn E. Helm
Source: “The Lure of Divine Love” by Kathryn E. Helm
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts