“Others May, You Cannot”

Sometimes I ask God, “why” and He remains silent. Other times, He speaks loud and clear. I found the following message from G.D. Watson both hurtful and humbling as well as freeing. It is one of those “good” words that is more “good-for-you” good rather than “feel good” good. It’s a tough word, but a very great and sobering reminder that the only thing worth anything is knowing, loving and following Christ Jesus. Making Him our One, true and holy passion, our magnificent obsession and the uncontested glorious ambition of our life. Period. HE is the greatest work we will ever do (John 6:29).

G.D. Watson penned “Others May, You Cannot” nearly 100 years ago, yet in this present age of Christian celebrity this most necessary word rings loud and true for me, and perhaps, I hope, for you as well. Read it prayerfully…if you dare.

Others May, You Cannot

G.D. Watson (1845-1924)

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.

God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

Here are some other verses to reflect on in light of this teaching:

Philippians 1:21
Philippians 3:8
Galatians 2:20
Romans 14:12
Jeremiah 9:23-24
Psalm 36:7-11
Psalm 92:12-15

George Douglas Watson (1845-1924) was a Wesleyan Methodist minister and evangelist from Los Angeles. His evangelistic campaigns took him to England, the West Indies, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Korea. His Master’s work continued to a part of his life well into his advanced years. But even then, he only refrained from the calling that had been placed upon him when his health was in question. He also wrote several books.

It was while serving in the confederate army that the Lord became a living reality to him. So heavy was the conviction of the Holy Spirit when the call was upon him for his eternal well-being that while in the midst of a game of cards, he threw down his hand stating to the others, it was his last game. And so it was! The next evening, August 11, 1863, his name became a permanent part of the registry in the book of life!

You are greatly and dearly loved by the King… and that’s everything!