For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 Turning on the news this morning I was in shock and horror as probably most of you. But what […]
And after the earthquake a fire; and after the fire a sound of gentle stillness” (1 Kings 19:12.
A soul, who made rapid progress in her understanding of the Lord, was once asked the secret of her easy advancement. She replied tersely, “Mind the checks.”
And the reason that many of us do not know and better understand Him is, we do not give heed to His gentle checks, His delicate restraints and constraints. His is a still, small voice. A still voice can hardly be heard. It must be felt. A steady, gentle pressure upon the heart and mind like the touch of a morning zephyr to your face. A small voice, quietly, almost timidly spoken in your heart, but if heeded growing noiselessly clearer to your inner ear.
His voice is for the ear of love, and love is intent upon hearing even faintest whispers. There comes a time also when love ceases to speak if not responded to, or believed in. He is love, and if you would know Him and His voice, give constant ear to His gentle touches. In conversation, when about to utter some word, give heed to that gentle voice, mind the check and refrain from speech.
When about to pursue some course that seems all clear and right and there comes quietly to your spirit a suggestion that has in it the force almost of a conviction, give heed, even if changed plans seem highest folly from standpoint of human wisdom.
Learn also to wait on God for the unfolding of His will. Let God form your plans about everything in your mind and heart and then let Him execute them. Do not possess any wisdom of your own. For many times His execution will seem so contradictory to the plan He gave. He will seem to work against Himself. Simply listen, obey and trust God even when it seems highest folly so to do. He will in the end make “all things work together,” but so many times in the first appearance of the outworking of His plans,
“In His own world He is content
To play a losing game.”
So if you would know His voice, never consider results or possible effects. Obey even when He asks you to move in the dark. He Himself will be gloriously light in you. And there will spring up rapidly in your heart an acquaintanceship and a fellowship with God which will be overpowering in itself to hold you and Him together, even in severest testings and under most terrible pressures
And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place (Luke 9:10).
In order to grow in grace, we must be much alone. It is not in society that the soul grows most vigorously. In one single quiet hour of prayer it will often make more progress than in days of company with others. It is in the desert that the dew falls freshest and the air is purest.
“Come ye yourselves apart and rest awhile,
Weary, I know it, of the press and throng,
Wipe from your brow the sweat and dust of toil,
And in My quiet strength again be strong.
“Come ye aside from all the world holds dear,
For converse which the world has never known,
Alone with Me, and with My Father here,
With Me and with My Father not alone.
“Come, tell Me all that ye have said and done,
Your victories and failures, hopes and fears.
I know how hardly souls are wooed and won:
My choicest wreaths are always wet with tears.
“Come ye and rest; the journey is too great,
And ye will faint beside the way and sink;
The bread of life is here for you to eat,
And here for you the wine of love to drink.
“Then fresh from converse with your Lord return,
And work till, daylight softens into even:
The brief hours are not lost in which ye learn
More of your Master and His rest in Heaven.”
I will give myself unto prayer (Psalms 109:4).
We are often in a religious hurry in our devotions. How much time do we spend in them daily? Can it not be easily reckoned in minutes? Who ever knew an eminently holy man who did not spend much of his time in prayer? Did ever a man exhibit much of the spirit of prayer, who did not devote much time in his closet?
Whitefield says, “Whole days and weeks have I spent prostrate on the ground, in silent or vocal prayer.” “Fall upon your knees and grow there,” is the language of another, who knew whereof he affirmed.
It has been said that no great work in literature or science was ever wrought by a man who did not love solitude. We may lay it down as an elemental principle of religion, that no large growth in holiness was ever gained by one who did not take time to be often, and long, alone with God.
‘Come, come,’ He saith, ‘O soul oppressed and weary,
Come to the shadows of my desert rest;
Come walk with Me far from life’s babbling discords,
And peace shall breathe like music in thy breast.’
How beautiful is the Book Of Psalms, it touches the very depths of my heart and soul💗
Psalm 91:1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
“Secret place of the Most High”: An intimate place of divine protection. The use of “Most High” for God emphasizes that no threat can ever overpower Him.
“The shadow of the Almighty”: In a land where the sun can be oppressive and dangerous, a “shadow” was understood as a metaphor for care and protection.
I very inadequate to even attempt to explain this most beautiful of Psalms. This more than most Scriptures, brings great hope and promise to those who believe. Dwelleth means to continually dwell. This then is not speaking of a nominal believer, but of a believer in long standing who is sheltered in the secret place of the Most High. If this was written by Moses, as many believe, he could speak first hand at how wonderful it is to be in such close fellowship with God. Moses was the only one who went near unto God on the mount where he received the Ten Commandments. At one point, God put his hand over Moses and passed by, and Moses saw the back side of God. On two different occasions, Moses was in the very presence of God for 40 days and nights. Moses had a fellowship with God that all true believers would like to have. He had been so close that his head shined brightly when he came down the mountain. No wonder he was known as man of God. David was another that God took supernatural care of. The psalmist could have been either man. This would be my prayer today, O Lord that I might abide in Christ and Christ might abide in me. To fellowship with God on this level would be as heaven itself. Jesus opened the way for us into the Most Holy Place. Where the shadow of God is means that you are very near unto God. To be seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus is heaven. What a wonderful comfort to be close enough to God for His shadow to cover us❤
If you want to rebuke well, you must be honest (Matthew 18:15), you must be bold (Luke 17:3), and you must love (Ephesians 4:25). The recipe for good rebuke involves far more than one ingredient, but one ingredient may be the most important. The apostle Paul says to Timothy, “Reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete…
This poem had no title, but I thought I gave it a appropriate one
Psalm 42:9. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
“He was better to me than all my hopes;
He was better than all my fears;
He made a bridge of my broken works,
And a rainbow of my tears.
“The billows that guarded my sea-girt path,
But carried my Lord on their crest;
When I dwell on the days of my wilderness march
I can lean on His love for the rest.
“He emptied my hands of my treasured store,
And His covenant love revealed,
There was not a wound in my aching heart,
But the balm of His breath hath healed.
Oh, tender and true was the chastening sore,
In wisdom, that taught and tried,
Till the soul that He sought was trusting in Him,
And nothing on earth beside.
“He guided by paths that I could not see,
By ways that I have not known;
The crooked was straight, and the rough was plain
As I followed the Lord alone.
I praise Him still for the pleasant palms,
And the water-springs by the way,
For the glowing pillar of flame by night,
And the sheltering cloud by day.
“Never a watch on the dreariest halt,
But some promise of love endears;
I read from the past, that my future shall be
Far better than all my fears.
Like the golden pot, of the wilderness bread,
Laid up with the blossoming rod,
All safe in the ark, with the law of the Lord,
Is the, covenant care of my God.”
I’m subscribed to the Desiring God mailing list and I often read John Piper answering questions about Christian doctrine from curious believers. While I don’t think that peddling the term ‘Christian Hedonism’ is necessarily helpful, I appreciate Piper’s lengthy ministry, his biblical knowledge, and the insights he gives on theological subjects.
This week I read an interesting post on Piper’s website entitled Does God Control All Things All The Time. Aha! I thought. This is right up my street. I was genuinely interested to read what Piper had to say about this question which cuts into the heart of Christian theology.
As I read through the article I found myself in almost total agreement. I do agree with a lot of what Calvinists like Piper have to say about God’s sovereignty. But just as Piper was concluding, he made a statement that I think highlights why I could not…
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And the Lord said . . . Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:31-32).
Our faith is the center of the target at which God does shoot when He tries us; and if any other grace shall escape untried, certainly faith shall not. There is no way of piercing faith to its very marrow like the sticking of the arrow of desertion into it; this finds it out whether it be of the immortals or not. Strip it of its armor of conscious enjoyment, and suffer the terrors of the Lord to set themselves in array against it; and that is faith indeed which can escape unhurt from the midst of the attack.
“Faith must be tried, and seeming desertion is the furnace, heated seven times, into which it might be thrust. Blest the man who can endure the ordeal!”
-~C. H. Spurgeon.
Paul said, “I have kept the faith,” but he lost his head! They cut that off, but it didn’t touch his faith. He rejoiced in three things–this great Apostle to the Gentiles; he had “fought a good fight,” he had “finished his course,” he had “kept the faith.” What did all the rest amount to? St. Paul won the race; he gained the prize, and he has not only the admiration of earth today, but the admiration of Heaven. Why do we not act as if it paid to lose all to win Christ? Why are we not loyal to truth as he was? Ah, we haven’t his arithmetic. He counted differently from us; we count the things gain that he counted loss. We must have his faith, and keep it if we would wear the same crown.
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).
This is the happy season of ripening cornfields, of the merry song of the reapers, of the secured and garnered grain. But let me hearken to the sermon of the field. This is its solemn word to me. You must die in order to live. You must refuse to consult your own case and well-being. You must be crucified, not only in desires and habits which are sinful, but in many more which appear innocent and right. If you would save others, you cannot save yourself. If you would bear much fruit, you must be buried in darkness and solitude.
My heart fails me as I listen. But, when Jesus asks it, let me tell myself that it is my high dignity to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings; and thus I am in the best of company. And let me tell myself again that it is all meant to make me a vessel meet for His use. His own Calvary has blossomed into fertility; and so shall mine.
Plenty out of pain, life out of death: is it not the law of the Kingdom?
Do we call it dying when the bud bursts into flower?
“Finding, following, keeping, struggling,
Is He sure to bless?
Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,