Mission Driven Stories: Eric Liddell

I believe that God made me for a purpose – to be a missionary in China. But He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure! ~Eric Liddell

The incredible true story of Eric Liddell is one of overcoming self, obedience to God, and service born of love for others. Best known as an Olympic Gold medalist, many don’t realize that Liddell spent most of his life striving to bring others to God. In fact, he didn’t just give to others all his life, in the end, he gave his life as well

His impact his been worldwide and lasting – as a son, a friend, a father, a husband, an athlete, a teacher, an author and a missionary. His work ethic, kindness and devotion to God make him a hero for all of us. His story will inspire and motivate you to follow his example and give just a little more for God. 

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

1:30      Childhood in China
5:36      Becoming an athlete
7:15       College
11:10     Beginning to preach
14:19     Sportsmanship
16:56     1924 Olympics
22:49    Teaching in China & Marriage
25:19     Internment camp
32:43    The Disciplines of the Christian Life

Quotes from this episode: 

*All Eric Liddell quotes are from his book The Disciplines of the Christian Life

The Christian life should be a life of growth. I believe the secret of growth is to develop the devotional life. This involves setting aside each day a time for prayer and Bible study. The time need not be long but it should be unhurried. We should bring to it in an honest spirit, prepared to face the challenge of God’s Word as it lays down a way of life, and prepared to face any inconsistencies in our lives which make them un-Christlike.” ~Eric Liddell 

The ideal way [to surrender to God] would be to take what you feel should be surrendered and in prayer, on your knees before God, tell him all. Hide nothing; be honest in your attitude towards it and towards God. Wait on your knees till you know you have God’s forgiveness and that your surrender has been accepted. “ ~Eric Liddell

“Many of us have found the surrender more satisfactory and complete by first sharing it, that is, talking it over with a friend who understands. This is hard. I know it is hard. It strikes at one of the most deep-rooted sins, namely pride, and that is what makes it so difficult. It seems harder to tell someone else than to tell God. Yet it shouldn’t be. We often take things to God in such a way that it cost us very little, more in the attitude of justifying our failure than confessing out guilt. It is here that a true friend can be so helpful, bringing out the points that need to be surrendered. Together turn in prayer to make your surrender to God. In quiet, wait for God, to know what you should do about it. ~Eric Liddell

Self-examination which does not result in action is dangerous. What am I going to do about what I see? The action called for is surrender—of ourselves to God.” ~Eric Liddell

“A disciple is one who knows God personally, and who learns from Jesus Christ, who most perfectly revealed God. One word stands out from all others as the key to knowing God, to having his peace and assurance in your heart; it is obedience.” ~Eric Liddell

“Here are four tests of the moral law by which to measure ourselves—and so obey the biblical commands.

  1. Am I truthful? 
  2. Am I honest? 
  3. Am I pure? 
  4. Am I selfish?”

“Obedience to God’s will is the secret of spiritual knowledge and insight. It is not willingness to know, but willingness to do (obey) God’s will that brings enlightenment and certainty regarding spiritual truth. ‘If any man will do [obey] his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself’ (John 7:17).'” ~Eric Liddell

“Following truth leads to God, for truth is of God.” ~Eric Liddell

“Obedience is the secret of being conscious that God guides you personally. If in the quiet of your heart you feel something should be done, stop and consider whether it is in line with the character and teaching of Jesus. If so, obey that impulse to do it, and in doing so you will find it was God guiding you.” ~Eric Liddell

Every Christian should live a God-guided life. If you are not guided by God, you will be guided by someone or something else. The Christian who hasn’t the sense of guidance in his life is missing something vital. Because principles apply to everyone, whether or not they are aware, this limitation is universal. And the more we know of correct principles, the greater is our personal freedom to act wisely.” ~Eric Liddell

“Take obedience with you into your time of prayer and meditation, for you will know as much of God, and only as much of God, as you are willing to put into practice.” ~Eric Liddell

God speaks to people through the moral law. If we break these laws and excuse ourselves for doing so, the presence and guidance of God lose their reality in our lives: the freedom and radiance of the Christian life depart. ~Eric Liddell

“Here are four tests of the moral law by which to measure ourselves—and so obey the biblical commands – Am I truthful? Am I honest? Am I pure? Am I selfish? Let us put ourselves before ourselves and look at ourselves. The bravest moment of a man’s life is the moment when he looks at himself objectively without wincing, without complaining.” ~Eric Liddell

Books from this episode: