LAWRENCE B. HICKS (Nazarene)
I well remember that after God saved me, about six months later, there came a historic
picture to the Franklin theater. I was approached to drive the automobile for friends to see that historic picture. They were all aware that I had distinct scruples against the theater. I walked the floor that afternoon and fought one of the hardest battles of my life. Satan informed me of my love for English history. The arguments arose that this picture was different. The enemy said, “You’ve read a lot of English history, and this is a story of an English king, you can go sit through the show and commit no sin whatever!” After some hours I was almost convinced to give in and go. Even at that early date in my experience in the way of Christ, the enemy did not fail to suggest that I was becoming too narrow. I decided that I would not go, then changed my mind and decided I would go, then was soon back on the negative side of the question and so on. Satan wants nothing better than to confuse the young child of God. But, somehow, thank God, that will within me sat on the bench of the tribune and rapped its gavel and said, “You have been born of God, you may ruin your influence if you yield and go to this show.” About an hour or so before time to leave I made a final decision, an emphatic “No!” O that awful battle of those long hours!
Now, may I show you what will and can take place if you are still having such battles as
my “historic picture show battle.” I was not sanctified when I fought that hard inner battle with temptation and by the help of God, won. The exterior temptation, a very real temptation to compromise the convictions the Lord had implanted in me when He had justified me six months prior, was present. That temptation was to see that historic English picture. Within my justified heart was a strong longing to see it. That longing would either overcome my conviction, subject my will and force me to yield and go to the theater or my convictions would stand, my will stand remain sovereign and I would not go. Will won, and I refused to yield. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” I now clearly see it though I was much perplexed then. A converted soul, yet unsanctified, battles on two fronts in its warfare not to commit sin. The outward front of temptation, the inner front of motive and desire.
Now it seems to me that if there is another work of grace after conversion, called
sanctification, when the Holy Spirit comes in all His fullness, it ought to do something with that inward warfare. That brings us to the plane where sanctification works, from the exterior to the interior. It brings it out of the action life to the motive life of the Christian. Brings it out of the outside down into the heart. Then we can say, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If the heart be clean, if the fountainhead be pure, every little rivulet that boils over the rim of the fountain will be clean and pure, like that that comes out of the fountain itself. There will not be that battle and that contention and warfare going on in the inside!
I remember after He sanctified me wholly at a quarter to eleven o’clock the 27th day of
July, 1937, about six months after my “historic picture battle,” He cleansed my desire life, my motive life, my “drive” life. From that day until this very moment anything may be spread on the marquee of any theater, they can bring any historical show out they wish, Satan can say “Don’t you want to see this, that or the other?” On the inside of my heart there has been and is something making my desire as dead as a coffin nail, there is no response, there is no want to! There has been cleansed out something down on the inside until I can say, “I am sanctified!” Blessed be God, forever.
Source: “Holiness, The Pride of God” by Laurence B. Hicks
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts