Beloved, Jane Leade in the past described something that she called the “probation state.” This has to do with a trial period through which we are required to pass wherein all that is of the soulish realm finds its END and may no longer be allowed to influence our behavior by way of self-will, soulish obligations or selfish concerns. This is surely the time for the cutting of all shorelines to self, to launch out entirely into the life of “Not I, but Christ.”
With regard to this “life,” some of you may have heard about a woman named Martha Wing Robinson of Zion, IL. who lived in the early 1900’s and who was mightily used of God. Martha apparently became so hungry for more of God that she began to cry out to Him almost day and night for total “death to self.” In her writings, Martha describes that she had not prayed this way for very long before the Holy Spirit began to intercede on her behalf, this bringing her prayer into something which sounded like the ticking of a clock –“Let-me-die! Let-me-die! Let-me-die!” Martha wrote that she continued in this manner of prayer for months, until, one night, as she knelt down to resume praying, there was no prayer “to die” left in her spirit. She said that the Lord then suddenly spoke to her, but the peculiar thing about His speaking at the time was that He spoke to her across her very own lips. Martha said that it was as if the Lord had taken her and put her someplace else and had completely possessed her. “I had no thoughts of my own,” she wrote.
Martha apparently continued to abide in this selfless state until God took her across the “veil” (through physical death) some 15 years later. People who knew her said that for 15 years she did nothing except what she saw her Father do. She spoke nothing except what she heard her Father speak. The Lord even worked such a supernatural work in her body that her natural body was changed in certain ways. Martha found that she could eat, but she didn’t have to. It seems that Martha had surely stepped over into the reality of “Not I, but Christ.”
Now, Martha said that no one knew at first what she had come into then for there were no books, nor tapes, nor preaching or teaching about it in those days. The Lord Himself showed her though that she was experiencing THE MYSTERY OF THE INDWELLING CHRIST, and that SHE HAD BEEN GIVEN A TASTE of something that He would do (in a small remnant) in the last days at the end of the age.
Beloved, I believe that Martha’s experience was given to her as an EXAMPLE and an ENCOURAGEMENT TO US that a selfless life IS ATTAINABLE in Christ. It is my understanding that this can only be done through fellowship in Christ’s sufferings being conformed to His death. Please keep in mind with all of this that death IS NOT the goal, LIFE IS! RESURRECTION LIFE IS THE GOAL! Death to self though, is the (only) means to such a glorious end.
Bless you all.