The Ways of the Spirit
Walter Beuttler

Do you think you're the only ones who are privileged to sit? Let me say that the Lord sat down when He was teaching. I do this the world over and almost all places for several reasons.

Well now, you expect of course, that we are continuing with our study on the Knowledge of God. I'm a little frustrated here, but that's not unusual, because of the vast amount of truth there is in this area and the little time available naturally, but touching on such a vast area.

Now last evening we got into this subject somewhat. Remember Moses' prayer, and I do this purposefully. I usually recapitulate a few highlights. We learn by repetition, and also there are others here presumably, and they need to know where we are. But last night we observed Moses' prayer. I have prayed that many times. I still do. "Show me now thy way that I may know thee." Oh that God's people might know the ways of the Lord, and the way God works.

You know I am amazed at the working of God the world over. If you permit me to be candid. What I observe every year in many countries is this: that God is at work breaking down where He can, minimizing, where He cannot do any better, denominational differences and prejudices, ecclesiastical bigotry where one group says, "We're His people," and the other group says, " We're His people, don't you touch me, and don't let me touch you."

God is diffusing denominational differentiations and boundaries and is bringing His people together into the unity of the Spirit of God irrespective of whether we're Presbyterians, or Methodists, or Baptists, or Mennonites, or parasites or whatever, into what Paul described as there being one body, one baptism, one faith, one God and Father of all. You know what? God only has one family, and when we get to heaven, He's not going to ask for our denominational dog tag.

He's going to say, "You're Presbyterian?"

"Yes, but I'm safe," you'll answer.

"Yea, I know you're safe now ," He'll say. "You're fence is over there. Be sure you go into the right gate. And you're Methodist?"

"Yes," you answer.

He'll say, "The Methodist are over there. You're Independent Pentecost?"

"Oh yea ."

"Well, you're there. Don't forget your stone smith."

No, there are no stones up there. In heaven there are no denominational differentiations, and folkses, if we know God, we will know that God has only one family. There is only one Father of one family, and we ought to relate, and communicate, and associate, and fellowship, and cooperate with all of God's families irrespective of whether they are The Rock Church, The Love Church, or whatever. God only has one family.

When people say to me, "Beuttler, you're Assemblies of God. What are you doing in that place?"

"Oh, having a good time with the rest of the Lord's children." Sure thing! You know, the Lord's Prayer begins with "Our Father, which art in heaven ." Notice something there, and I'm not getting into the Lord's Prayer, just to make a point. There are three things here:

1) The family

2) The Father

3) His residence

Our - that's the family. Father - obviously that's the Father of the family. Which art in heaven - that's His residence.

The Lord's prayer begins with the family - Our. And this pronoun, our, includes all true believers in Jesus Christ irrespective of their particular group they are associated with, and there is only one family, and this knowledge of God, of which we are only going to get fragments, because I could keep you busy a month coming out every night, will have one portion: that we're brought together and united both with other members of God's family in fellowship, and rightly related to the Heavenly Father, the God and Father of us all.

That's part of "Show me now thy way that I may know thee." You see, people think so differently. You know different nationalities, especially different races, think differently. Oriental, let's take the Japanese for instance. They think all together different from the way you and I, as Westerners, think. That's one reason why the United States is very poor in its relation with other countries they don't understand. The politicians don't understand the way these people think. They don't think the way we think. They're computer's programmed altogether different.

So it is with God and us. Man, as a result of sin, is away from the ways and the knowledge of God. Consequently man, in his natural state, does his thinking (his computer is programmed) by the ways and thinking of the flesh, that is to say, our carnal nature independent of God. But God thinks differently. I run into that all the time where people think you ought to do this or that, go here, there or nowhere. God has other ideas.

Some years ago I was in Marseilles, France on the way to Algiers. That was during the revolution over there. The French folk took me to the airport including the Superintendent of the Assemblies of God there, and they said, "Brother Beuttler, don't go to Algiers."

I said, "I know God has asked me to go over there."

" Now that can't be right. It isn't logical."

"Well, why not?" I knew what they meant. Everybody that can is trying to get out of Algiers to get away from the Arabs. They were killing people, you know, cut their throat by the busload.

They said, "Don't go. Everybody's coming out that can. Nobody goes over."

I said, "Now folkses, God wants me in Algiers."

I do not know French, but I studied French in Germany and could get a few ideas what they were saying - more than they would have liked.

I heard the chairman of the Assemblies of God say, "That man is a fool." Now that wasn't meant for me. It was meant for the others, but I picked it up, but said nothing. In this business of the ministry, you learn to keep your mouth shut once in awhile.

Finally, I walked over toward a pillar there and said to them, "Will you please leave me alone for awhile?" I put my head up against the pillar and said, "Father, tell me one thing. Am I going to Algeria or not?"

And the Lord, in accordance with His thinking gave me an altogether different answer from what they thought. I got a scripture. If I can find it on the spur of the moment, but it might take too long. Where is Ecclesiastes? Here it is, Ecclesiastes 11:4. "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap."

I'm trying to show you how God works, and how differently are the ways of the Lord. Let's say, the thinking of God from the thinking of man, who does his thinking according to the natural man-the way man thinks apart from God. But God's thoughts are higher than out thoughts.

So at once the Lord answered and gave me this scripture, verse 4: "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." I understood at once the Lord said to me here in effect, "Beuttler, if you're going to look at the wind, you're not going to sow. If you look at the clouds, you're not going to reap." In other words, "If you are going to look at circumstances and events, you're not going to do anything. You'll never get anywhere."

I understood, and came back to the little group and told them, "Folks, I'm going to Algiers." They still thought I was wrong, but I went. Sure bombs went off, sure there was a fire fight while we were holding a meeting down below street level in downtown Algiers. Sure they had some 43 casualties while we're studying the things of God. They were killing each other upstairs. By the time we came out there was a lot of rubble and that was the end.

I went back to Algiers a second and a third time in different years. I was the last foreigner that was teaching the Word of God to the Assemblies over there, the Pentecostal people. Shortly after I left the third time, they were wiped out. I'm still here. Had I gone by them, I would have said trembling, "Oh, I can't go over there because of shooting."

One year, Mrs. Beuttler came along. The French Assemblies of God sent us, called for us, paid all our way, sent us into Algiers. My younger daughter Norma was along. Sure they were shooting, sure there were risks, but sure we were in the will of God. "Show me now thy way that I may know thee."

You know one afternoon we had a service downtown, and we were on our way walking home and up went a building. This girl of mine over there said tearfully, " I'm going home." She started to cry. My Norma said, "Daddy, let's go over and look." I was going to go, but Wife started to cry. She wanted to go home to where we lived, but we're still around. We just cannot always follow the thinking of man. We have to check with the Lord. "Show me now thy way that I may know thee."

We mentioned last night that this prayer was uttered by a man who enjoyed intimate communion with God. Oh, I love that; intimate communion with God. God speaks with this man as a friend speaks to a friend. Think of it! You have a scripture there that I did not give you last night in Psalms 25:14. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant."

You see folk, there are conditions here, and I already indicated to you last night that there is a difference between being a child of God and being a friend of God. It's possible to be saved without necessarily being a friend of the Lord according to His definition or idea of friendship. I'll give you a verse. Jesus said somewhere in John. I cannot always give you an exact reference because I speak rather extemporaneously. I have my notes here on the Knowledge of God, my printed notes, but they're not my masters; they're my servants. If I need a servant, I'll use the servants, but they're not my masters, so I bring in things that I do not have here.

Jesus said to His disciples (now notice!), "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." Now He had told them that their names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life. They were saved, as we would call it today in New Testament language. Ye are my friends IF ye do whatsoever I command you. In other words, true friendship with the Lord, as with the Father, involves the recognition of His sovereignty over our lives, and our subjection to His sovereignty in obedience to do His will whatever the cost. Could you follow that?

It's one thing to recognize His sovereignty. It's another thing to subject ourselves to that sovereignty. I have seen signs or mottos in homes: "Jesus is the guest of this home." Now when you're in somebody else's home, you don't find fault with the home. My eyes are not blind. I see things. The first thing I see when I come to your house is whether one of your pictures in the living room is hanging crooked. Long, long ago as a draftsman, I used to make drawings for the US patent office, so I have an eye for that. The first thing I see is: if that thing is an eighth of an inch out of line (I think less than that), I spot it instinctively. Well, I can't help but see.

"Jesus is the guest of this home." Now I don't say anything, but in my heart I know that's the trouble with many a home. I've heard people say, "Jesus is the guest of my heart." That's the trouble. Jesus does not want the guest room; He wants the throne room. Very often, He gets the guest room all right, but self sits on the throne and does as it wills.

If we're going to move into the true knowledge of God, into true friendship with God, one of the things that will be imperative is that we abdicate the throne of our lives, and turn the government of our lives over to Jesus Christ as Lord. The term LORD is not merely a title. It has a very far-reaching connotation. Jesus said, "Ye call me Lord, Lord, but ye do not the things that I say."

Many Christians say, "Oh Lord, Oh Lord, Oh Lord ," and do as they please, but the two are incongruous. As soon as we use the term Lord, we testify either truly or on pretense that we recognize Him as the sovereign of our lives, and subject ourselves to His government to do His will.

You have no idea, nobody does, Mrs. Beuttler has some, how I would love to give up traveling and stay at home. You have no idea. "What! To stay home!" Whew! I'd love to stay home instead of knocking myself around at the world's airports, running into all sorts of situations.

I was speaking in Philadelphia recently. One of the deacons said to me, "Brother Beuttler, somebody asked me a question."

"Well, what's the question, " I answered. I could tell it had to do with me.

"A lady wants to know why you don't stay home with your wife and take it easy." Would I love that! Whew! And turn on the Magnavox stereo and play some beautiful German records with lots of Umpa, Umpapa, something to get the German blood circulating. And listen to German yodelers, way up to K or however high they go. Whew! And let the snow come down two feet deep with cars sliding around out there. And you're at home, the coffeepot going, a pie baking, nice music playing, at home, Hallelujah! Glory! You turn on the radio to find cars are stuck by the hundreds, drifts, what have you, and you say, " Let's have another cup of coffee." Ah! That's the life! Yea!

BUT, you are not your own. When you're the servant of the Lord, you cannot do as you please.

By way of parenthesis, I'll give you something here. It is involved in our study. I'm going to take you to John 21. It's not on my menu here, but it belongs. Would you like to have a little secret?

Those of you that say in your heart, "Oh, I'd love to know the Lord. Oh, the experiences Brother Beuttler has had." And you haven't heard me say very much at all yet. I don't know how far I'll get. So you say, "Oh, how I would like to enter into that realm."

Yea, but would you like to know something? The higher the tower, the deeper and broader must be the foundation. Do you realize that for a good foundation in breadth and depth, there has to be corresponding excavation? When you are asking for the tower of the knowledge of God, don't think God is starting by building the bell tower, and ringing the bells the first night you're starting out, playing out the Hallelujah Chorus. It doesn't start with the Hallelujah Chorus. It starts with (what do they call those hammers) pneumatic drills or something: da da da da da da da da da.

Oh, praise the Lord! Help me out of here. What is happening? Da da da da da da da. Brother Beuttler talked about knowing God and I asked the Lord to know Him with all my heart, and I was looking for glory and instead I get: da da da da da da hammering away at me. This knowledge of God, of which I speak, is not found in the bargain basement. Make up your mind, it's not found in the bargain basement.

While I think of it. Now I'll never get this week to the area of Seeking God and Waiting for God, which is a necessary part of the process of acquiring the knowledge of God. Those of you who have picked up my notes, or will do so, you will find there two sections on Seeking God and Waiting for God that will automatically give you what it means to have God da da da da da da da. Without excavating there is no foundation, except for a little shack, but not the high tower of the knowledge of God.

I didn't mean to cool off your enthusiasm now, but remember what Jesus said. Jesus was honest with His hearers. He was not a politician. Of all the things the politicians tell you when they want your votes. Whew! He wasn't asking for your vote or anybody's.

A large crowd followed Him on one occasion in Luke 14. Jesus stopped and turned around, addressed this large group and let them see the price tag that termed a true disciple, "He that forsaketh not father or mother, or wife or children, brothers, sisters, houses, lands for my sake cannot be my disciple."

He didn't mean we should hate because it says, Love your father, love your mother, thou shalt live long. We can extend the time of our life by honoring our parents, young people. This is a good time to start - now. But what Jesus was talking about was that anything beside Him must be secondary to Him. In other words, true discipleship involves the acceptance of the Lord as having total priority over our lives so that neither father nor mother, wife, children, houses, lands, jobs, what have you, are permitted to invalidate His claim upon our lives in favor of the claims our relatives have upon us.

Yes, you better think. I can hear you think. Oh folkses!

In John again, Jesus is talking to Peter. Now I'm giving you a secret. It's not a secret really, but it's a secret to many. It's a truth, which I had not seen for many, many years.

I'm 69 years old next month. I was saved when I was 25 thereabouts, and all these years until about 20 years ago, I would say approximately, I had never seen this until the Lord began to deal with me during the hours of the night. I would be up with Him (and I hope to share with you as much as I can tomorrow morning). He would deal with me and I'd be up with Him many, many nights during the hours of 2:30-3:30, or 4:30 and the rest of the night, mostly about an hour or so. He would take the scriptures and open them up to me.

One night as I saw He was leading me into new dimensions of the knowledge of God, He drew my attention to John 21:18. Oh, this is awful, folkses. This is just plain awful - awfully good! And awfully painful in its application.

Have you ever read in Ezekiel when Ezekiel was asked to eat the roll on which was written within and without, and the roll was the word of God. The roll was his message. The angel said, "It shall be sweet to thy mouth, but bitter to your stomach." There it uses both.

Now as we see the truth, it's sweet, but in its application, it is awfully bitter and that makes us bittersweet. God's mature Christian is bittersweet. It isn't all-sweet or you get sugar diabetes, or all bitter or you get bitter uthers, but God brings into our lives, shall I say, a balanced diet of both bitter and sweet. We need that.

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkest whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." John 21:18

All right now, let's look at it. Jesus is speaking of Peter's youth, but has in mind his spiritual counterpart. "Peter, when you were young, you did as you pleased, but when you're old, mature, things are going to change." As we talk about the knowledge of God, we are moving in the direction of maturity in God.

I remember our little girl, Norma, a pretty little girl. Both girls were very pretty, still are for that matter. I remember her standing in the kitchen with a little dress in her hand. Just a little thing, you know. She handed the dress to Mother and said, "Mother, put my dress on."

So Mrs. Beuttler took the dress and the little girl stood there with her hands up, and the dress came down over her hands, you know with the sleeves - well you know how you put a dress on. Wife would make a little bow, a kiss on the top of the head and she was all fixed up.

The Lord burned this into my heart one night, "When thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands." In other words, and this is hard to see. It is hard to see for those who are steeped in psychology, because psychology is often the very reverse from the thinking of God, not always, but very often.

The Lord is saying here, "Peter, in truth, as you mature, you will grow from independence to dependence instead of from dependence to independence." A child is dependent, "Mommy, put my dress on." But when they get older, naturally they refuse help, "I can do it myself." That's the natural way, and you want it to be that way, but in the spiritual, it's reversed. The more we grow up into the knowledge of God, the more helpless we are: "Blessed are the poor," the more helpless, the more dependent upon Him we become.

Can we let the Lord re-clothe us in the process? Can we let Him take away our independent, self-assertive, all-knowing attitude and spirit, and give us another dress, and clothe us with dependence, with humility, with contriteness? " Another shalt gird thee. Thou shalt stretch forth thy hands."

We have it in the song, "I need Thee, Oh I need Thee." That's not just for the sinner. It is, but it's also for the saint. Believe it or not, the saintlier you get, the needier you become, and the more dependent upon Him. We're just as needy when we don't see it, but we don't know it. But as we get to know it, I need Thee, Oh I need Thee, are we willing in the process of the knowledge of God, not only to be excavated from things He doesn't like (da da da da da da), but also re-clothed with dependence upon Him?

We had Hattie Hammond up at school one year, and she told us something I have never forgotten. I've told it the world over, and I'll tell it to you. She gave us an experience she had, that is, in our chapel service. She said the Lord gave her a dream. (And I believe it.)

In the dream she was to be the concert pianist before a great, large audience. She was the soloist. In the dream she saw this great audience, this beautiful hall, lovely piano. The Lord bid her to sit down and play for this audience, so the Lord handed her a sheet of music. She put it on the piano, and when she looked at it, she was flabbergasted. She said, "Lord I can't play that. It's much too difficult for me. I'm not up to it."

He said to her, " Hattie, if you will depend on Me, I will help you, and you'll be able to play it."

"Oh Lord, You better help," she said.

She started, the audience clapped, some stood. When she was finished there was a tremendous applause with, "Encore, Encore!" She was elated.

The Lord handed her a second piece. She said, "Oh Lord, this is worse than the other. I'll never be able to play this one."

The Lord said, " If you will depend on Me, I'll help you. You can play it."

She answered, "Oh Lord, You better." And she played. It went good. Some people began to stand, clap their hands. She finished with great applause and " Encore, Encore." She was elated. We would say tickled, I guess.

The Lord handed her a third piece of music, a very simple piece. She said, "Oh Lord, this one is different. That one I can handle. It's more within my capability." She didn't need Him, you know, not for this one.

She played it. She said it was as simple as Brahms's Lullaby. (He sings the tune.) You know the tune-don't go to sleep on me. She played and made a mistake, and another, and another, and another. Some people got up, but they didn't clap. They walked out. One after another walked out, and when she got done, there were only a fraction of the people left, nobody clapped, nobody stood in applause, nobody cried, "Encore." They quietly went out, and she burst into tears and wept bitterly.

The Lord said to her, "Hattie, you don't only need Me for the difficult task; you need me just as much for the easy task, for without Me ye can do nothing." She woke up, and knew what the Lord tried to get across to her - dependence. Oh, can you do that?

You know the Lord's prayer, "Lord, Thy will be done?" People don't know it, not really. People don't know the Lord's prayer. In a sing-song ironic voice, he recites the Lord's prayer: "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done. " Amen. My how sanctimonious they feel.

"Thy kingdom come." What! Well what does it mean? Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you." People don't know what they're talking about when they pray the Lord's prayer. They're not praying it, they're saying it. We can say the Lord's prayer without praying it once. Most people only say it; they never pray it.

"Thy kingdom come!" What! What does it mean? They answer, " I don't know." It means, "Lord, have me to recognize You (Heavenly Father) as the sovereign of my life." Thy kingdom come in my life. Establish Your government in me. Bring me into subjection to Your will, to the laws that govern Your kingdom. Thy kingdom come. Help me to be aware of Your sovereignty. Establish Your rule over my life in my heart. Help me to submit to Your will in obedience and abide by the laws that govern Your kingdom. There's a whole bushel full of thoughts.

"I need Thee, Oh I need Thee." If you are after this knowledge of God, are you ready to abdicate your own kingship and sovereignty over your own life? Are we ready to resign from the self-life and give Him the throne of the heart?

Dependence "And another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." He will take you in ways, and lead you along a path you would not choose. He will permit circumstances to come into your life that you would never select as a Christmas present. He will deal with you in ways never chosen by yourself.

"And carry thee whither thou wouldest not." How often I think of that scripture. Mostly I travel alone, and I sat in a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, my favorite restaurant. In fact, it's my favorite restaurant in all the world. It's not a top-notch, but just an average restaurant, very good meals, very ordinarily priced. I like it there for various reasons. They have a waterfall in there and a crocodile, tropical fish at every table, tanks this big, just lovely.

I was there one afternoon and had lunch. I always select a remote corner. I'm a loner type by nature. I'm withdrawn like, just by nature. I'm not meant for the public. That's not me. I'm meant to be a hermit. God pushes me out to where the people are. Funny isn't it? So I was over there in my corner, and I miss my family. I remember I had some noodle soup.

Here came in a man, wife, two little girls who were just about the age of mine-roughly. I saw them sit down and I was eating and watching them over there and thought, "My how wonderful to sit down with your wife and two girls and eat together. Here I am at the other side of the world by myself." Tears started to trickle down in my soup and salted it. " And carry thee whither thou wouldest not." Do you think I choose to be there? I would not, but He's sovereign.

I arrived in Iceland one year for meetings there, and nobody met me. If any of you, GI's or what, have been there in the service, you know what a God-forsaken island that is: no trees, no flowers, a miserable place - as far as I'm concerned. Nobody met me. I was at the airport all by myself. The airport is way out from the city. I was tired. It was a long flight. They didn't have jets then.

There I was with nobody to meet me. I had no address. I had nothing. I went to an airline's girl to tell her about my predicament. She said, "You can't get out of this airport unless somebody gets you. There's no taxis, no buses, nothing. If nobody gets you, you're stuck."

So I said, "Well, nobody seems to."

She said, "So you're stuck."

All right, after an hour or two, I saw her again, "Anyway to get out of this place."

"No way, sir. Sorry, you're here. If they don't come, you're just here." Not much pity.

I found a US sailor and talked to him. That was the worse thing I did on that island. He felt worse than I did. He cussed that place. He wanted to go home, and he was no help.

I went back to the airline's girl and said, "Sorry, but is there no way yet?"

She said, "Didn't I tell you you're stuck once you're out here if nobody gets you?"

"Yes," I answered. So I walked away. She came back and said, "Sir, in a half an hour, I'm off duty. I'll take you to a town where you can get a bus." The Lord bless her good.

That girl took me, I don't know where, to nowhere, through volcanic craters (it's a volcanic island). We were out, way out nowhere. How the girl had the courage to take a total stranger on a trip like that, I'll never know. Sometimes I wonder if the Lord didn't intervene. She got me there. I said, "Lady, I have no money. I can't even get to the exchange."

She said, "I'll buy you a ticket ." That was nice of her.

I got to the hotel, the Burke Hotel, the only decent hotel. I didn't know what else to do.

The girl behind the desk said, "You're American?"

I said, "Yes ." I could feel the hostility in her tone. They don't like Americans there. You better believe it!

"Sorry, no vacancy." I thought she was lying. I explained my predicament and she said, "We have no room. You're American, aren't you?"

I said, "Yes."

"We have no room, sorry." I didn't believe her. Do you know what I did? I spent the night in the park with the prostitutes and the drunkards, not that I had any fellowship, but that was the hunting ground out there for both. "And carry thee whither thou wouldest not."

Do you think I like to sit in that park out there? It never really gets dark. It was the time of the midnight sun, and the sun barely touches below the horizon when it comes up, so it was really light. You could read the newspaper at midnight, but even so. I moved from one bench to the other. Drunks came up, "Have a drink, ha ha."

And the others, "Do you have a room? I can get you a room." I didn't want that kind of room. "And carry thee whither thou wouldest not ." Here we are in this lovely Ramada Inn. Oh I appreciate that, folkses. Wouldn't you?

The next day, I was hungry. I looked for a restaurant. They had them all right. "Americans not wanted" was the sign in the window. Another, "Americans not served." Another, "American swine, go home."

I went to a barbershop. I like to look decent. "No Americans." I got nothing to eat, and I couldn't get a haircut. They didn't want no Americans. I went back to the hotel.

"Are you still here?"

"Yep. Lady, nobody has come for me." I explained the situation.

"No room," she said.

I didn't believe her, " Would you please, could you just take me one night?"

"All right. If you promise to get out tomorrow morning, we'll give you one night's room, but that's all. Is that understood?"

I answered, "That's understood ." "And carry thee whither thou wouldest not."

I stood at that airport and watched a Pan American DC 7 take off for New York. They didn't have jets then. I watched the people sitting by the windows, and the plane started to move, and tears trickled down my cheeks. I was the sole person standing at that airport. I looked at that plane and said to myself, "Lucky people. Tomorrow morning, they'll be in New York, and I've got to stay behind on this God-forsaken island." "And carry thee whither thou wouldest not."

When I come home and people say, "Brother Beuttler, are you back from your trip? Did you have a good time? Did you see lots of places? Did you take many pictures?"

What are you going to say? They don't know what it means, "When thou shalt be mature," as you develop in the things of the knowledge of God, there comes a time, and here is the whole thing in a nutshell, if you can possibly grasp it. There will come a time, or should, in our Christian development (now try to get this, I have no better way of stating it. There may be, but I haven't got it.) We are, in this development, heading toward a point where the initiative for our lives gets transferred from us to Him. If you can follow that; I can't do it any better: Where the initiative for our lives gets transferred from us to Him. Not where I wish to go, for who am I that I should choose my way?

"When thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, helpless, needy, dependent, and another shalt gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he signifying by what death he should glorify God." John 21:18-19

Folkses, in this pursuit in the true knowledge of God, there is ahead of us awaiting a death, a self-crucifixion. Well this could be misunderstood, a crucifixion of the self-life, a death to the self-life, to our own ambitions, plans and wishes and pursuits; where the motivations of our lives are brought into the channel of the will and purpose of God, which involves the crucifixion of the self-assertive and self-seeking self-life, death, death to the world, to the flesh, and to the devil.

Do we still want the knowledge of God? Not what I wish to be, nor where I will to go, for who am I that I should choose my way. Moses said, "Show me now thy way that I may know thee." It has to be God's way, and it's the only way to the true knowledge of God. Show me now thy way, not what I wish to be.

You know, I'll close with this. I was on my way to Australia by way of South Africa. I had an invitation to minister in the Congo to the ministers way deep in the interior. I'd never been there and was glad for the opportunity. I had everything set, everything ready, when a few weeks before leaving, I became aware of the song of the Spirit singing in here (pointing to stomach), "Not what I wish to be, nor where I will to go, for who am I that I should choose my way." The Spirit was singing. I'm teaching you something here if you're alert: the ways of the Spirit in dealing with us, in meeting us. You can pick up a lot of things as I tell you these things.

It kept singing, and finally I said, " Say Beuttler, seems like the Spirit is trying to say something." At first I paid no attention, just recognized its existence with the Presence. It kept on singing, "Not what I wish to be," you know. I opened my heart and said, "Father, are You trying to tell me something? Is something wrong." When I did that, at once in my mind stood the word, Congo. Congo? Well, I said, "Dear Lord, what's wrong with the Congo?"

I got nothing, but this thing kept singing. I became more and more aware there was something wrong with my visit to the Congo. I even argued with the Lord in a way. I said, "Father, I'm on my way to South Africa. I can stop in the Congo without any additional airfare and have the seminar. What could be wrong with it?" I got no explanation, but I got the instinctive something that I knew there was something wrong with my going to the Congo. The Lord gave me no explanation. He just let me know there was something wrong with it.

I said to myself, "All right I'll cancel." So I canceled. Well then, I got a letter back of very great regret. I had no reason except I felt I was making a mistake. That sounded silly. "Show me now thy way." You see, this thing isn't logical. Our logic isn't always in harmony with divine logic. I pity people who study logic in school unless they're rooted and grounded in the Word of God. They get ruined with the logic of this Book or have a tough time catching on to it.

I find that in school with the students, they're having an awful time in the things of the Spirit. It's the same with psychology. They should be grounded in God first, then study the other. Well, that's something else.

I cut Congo out. Now it meant I had a whole week free. You can't just fill up a week like that. So I thought, "All right, I'm going to turn it into a vacation." You can use that too.

I was up at Kano. That's a city at the south of the Sahara Dessert in Nigeria. I stopped there instead of going on to the Congo. I thought, " I'll get a hotel and wait a week and then go on to South Africa."

I was sitting at the airport. It was furiously hot. I was upstairs sipping a Coke Cola. You know Coke Cola is the one omnipresent drink. I wish the gospel was as omnipresent as Coke Cola. A thousand miles up the Amazon River you can find Coke Cola anywhere.

As I was sitting there sipping away, a plane came in, a DC 6. That's nothing new, but I watched the passengers get off: women and children only. I thought, "That's funny, not one single man."

Five minutes later another DC 6 comes in with women and children only. I thought, "That's a funny passenger group." Five minutes later, here comes another DC 6, women and children only. They carried bundles. I remember a little girl dragged a doll along. I said, "Something is up somewhere."

I went down to the information desk and asked the lady. She said, " Haven't you heard?"

I said, "No, heard what?"

"There's a revolution in the Congo."

"Oh, and where in the Congo?" I asked.

The revolution broke out precisely in the same city where I was to have a seminar with the national pastors who would have been brought together into that very city where the revolution broke out, and I would have been caught in the middle of the thing. As you know, some missionaries are still there, ate by the crocodiles, shot or maimed or what have you.

I would have been right in the middle, BUT, "Not what I wish to be, for who am I that I should choose my way." If I had not responded to the leading of the way of the Lord, there is a great question of whether I would be here today or not. I would have been caught in the middle of the thing. And from the natural standpoint there was no reason to suspect anything.

There are two sides to this coin. There is a death and there is a life, but "when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thine hands." Those of you who are praying now with Moses (and I'm closing momentarily), "Show me now thy way, that I may know thee." Amen. That way will lead up a path where, somewhere at a juncture, we're brought into dependence, helplessness, reliance upon Him instead of self-reliance. There we can sing, "I need thee, Oh I need thee." A place where we need to surrender the initiative of our lives and turn it over to Him and let Him carry us in whatsoever manner or experience or situation He will bring our way for the true accomplishment of the true knowledge of God in our lives.

"Show me now thy way, that I may know thee." It's a dare. Are you still with me, still coming, or thinking it over?

I intend to share with you quite some things yet for sure, but this gets you in the general direction and a little look at the implication of the true knowledge of God. Praise God!

As we pray, "Show me now thy way, that I may know thee," may the Lord grant that somehow in our hearts there will come an echo from the throne of heaven saying, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest."