I was visiting with a gentleman who had a grouch on me. He said, "I wrote you a 24 page letter, and you have not received it. If you had, you would not be here."

I laughed. That man has been a Christian for 30 or 40 years, always a devout man, and I have spoken of him frequently to my wife and my friends as one of the most consistent Christian men I ever knew.

Yet every once in a while we see how the big human just rises up above the spirit and spoils the beauty and delight and wonder of the life that is revealing God.

God's effort and God's purpose in us is to bring all the conditions of our being into harmony with His will and His mind. God's purpose is not to make an automation.

We see a ventriloquist operating a little wooden dummy, and the wooden dummy's lips move and it looks as though it is talking. It is just moving because another power is moving it.

Now God has a higher purpose than making an automation. God's highest is to bring out all qualities of God in your own soul, to bring out all individuality that is in your life, not to submerge or destroy, but to change it, to energize it, to enlarge it, until all your individuality and personality and being are the nature and substance and quality of God.

You notice among the most devout Christians how continuously their thought is limited to that place where they can be exercised or moved by God. But God's best is more than that. Receive the Spirit, then use the Spirit for God's glory.

While I was in Chicago, I met a couple of old friends who invited me to dinner. While at dinner the lady, who is a very frank woman, said: "Mr. Lake, I have known you so long and have had such close fellowship for so many years, I am able to speak very frankly."

I said, "Yes, absolutely."

"Well," she said, "there is something I miss about you. For lack of words I am going to put it in Paul's words, 'I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus' (Gal. 6:17). You do not seem to have the marks of Jesus."

I said, "That depends whether or not it is the marks of mannerisms. If you are expecting that the personality that God gave me is going to be changed so that I am going to be another fellow and not myself, then you'll miss it.

"If that is the kind of marks you are looking for will not find them. But if you are expecting to observe a man's flesh and blood and bones and spirit and mind indwelt by God, then you will find them—not a machine, not an automation, or an imitation, but a clear mind and a pure heart, a Son of God in nature and essence."

Source: John G. Lake: His Life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith Excerpt permission granted by Kenneth Copeland Publications