“And a Man shall be as a hiding place from the wind and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32:2
“Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!” Luke 13:24
I do not wonder that so many are deceived, when I see the careless way in which they deal with their souls. When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they pay a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks.
But the soul, the poor soul–how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless! Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed, two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep–the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body!
And then, with what indifference do you lend your ears too often to the preaching of the Word! It is an old song; you have heard it so many times; Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!
Alas! it is a marvel that there are not more deceived. The wonder is that any find the gate, that any discover eternal life, when we are so, so mad, so foolish, so insane–as to trifle where we ought to be solemnly in earnest; and to play and toy–where the whole heart should be given to a work of such everlasting importance. God help us, since it is so easy to be deceived–to search, and watch, and look, and test, and try, that we be not found castaways at the last!
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:13-14
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
LOST! (Arthur Pink, 1951)
“But if our gospel is hid–it is hid to those who are LOST! The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers!” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 What multitudes of people there are who have no concern over, in fact, no consciousness of, their woeful condition! While they do not regard themselves as perfect, yet they are not aware that there is anything seriously wrong with them. They are respectable people, law-abiding citizens, and nothing particular ever troubles their conscience. They consider that they are certainly no worse than their religious neighbors, and though they scarcely ever read the Bible or enter a church, they fully expect to go to Heaven when they die. Some of them will indeed admit that they are sinners, but imagine that their good works far outnumber their bad ones. Some of them were sprinkled as infants, attended a Sunday school class as children, said their prayers each night, and later joined the church. Nevertheless, to this moment, they have never realized that they are the enemies of God, an abomination in the eyes of His holiness, and that Hell is their just deserts! They see no beauty or glory in the Gospel, no suitableness in it unto their case, and therefore do they despise and reject it.Though Satan rules in their hearts and lives (Ephesians 2:2), yet it is by their own free consent. They voluntarily obey him and submit to his will. His dominion over them is maintained by . . . keeping their minds in darkness, deceiving and deluding them, blinding them by pride, prejudice, and the workings of their own corruptions. Nowhere but in the Scriptures, can we learn what is the real condition of the natural man. There his case is diagnosed with unerring precision by the divine Physician. Many are the terms used therein by the Holy Spirit to describe the solemn and direful state to which the fall has reduced every descendant of Adam; and among them probably none is more pointed and awesome than is the term LOST! How dismal is its sound! How much is summed up in that single word! It signifies . . . that the natural man is in a sinful, wretched, and perilous state, that he is far astray from God, that he has willfully and wantonly forsaken the path of duty. Lost! A traveler from time to eternity, treading the road that leads to certain and everlasting destruction! Lost! A creature who has forfeited the approbation and favor of his Maker, and is now an outcast from Him!Lost! One who has squandered his substance in riotous living, and is now a spiritual bankrupt and pauper. He is out of the way of peace and blessing, and utterly incapable of finding his way back to it!
Thy paths drop fatness.” Psalm 65:11
Many are “the paths of the Lord” which “drop fatness,” but an especial one is the path of prayer. No believer, who is much in the closet, will have need to cry, “My leanness, my leanness; woe unto me.” Starving souls live at a distance from the mercy- seat, and become like the parched fields in times of drought. Prevalence with God in wrestling prayer is sure to make the believer strong—if not happy. The nearest place to the gate of heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. Much alone, and you will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not sparkling with the joy of the Lord. Since the soul-enriching path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high attainments are required; since you are not bidden to come because you are an advanced saint, but freely invited if you be a saint at all; see to it, dear reader, that you are often in the way of private devotion. Be much on your knees, for so Elijah drew the rain upon famished Israel’s fields.
There is another especial path dropping with fatness to those who walk therein, it is the secret walk of communion. Oh! the delights of fellowship with Jesus! Earth hath no words which can set forth the holy calm of a soul leaning on Jesus’ bosom. Few Christians understand it, they live in the lowlands and seldom climb to the top of Nebo: they live in the outer court, they enter not the holy place, they take not up the privilege of priesthood. At a distance they see the sacrifice, but they sit not down with the priest to eat thereof, and to enjoy the fat of the burnt offering. But, reader, sit thou ever under the shadow of Jesus; come up to that palm tree, and take hold of the branches thereof; let thy beloved be unto thee as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, and thou shalt be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. O Jesus, visit us with thy salvation! C.H.Spurgeon
After reading this devotional I was vey touched. The path of closet prayer and the secret walk of communion, are things I fight for daily. Yet lack of these in our Christian life causes a leanness in our souls. Thought it would be nice to share Spurgeon’s comments with others.
Yesterday, I had a situation happen that has caused me to be humbled and wonder again at the grace of God. In order that God will receive the full glory for this situation I will discuss what has happened in the past two weeks.
Firstly, I received an email from the blog of Andrew Alleyne the title was “I Hate Church” I became very upset with the thoughts in this post and sent it on so friends could critique it. The critiques were varied in opinion but I could not get the thoughts out of my mind that Andrew had mentioned. The most outstanding thought was expressed by some street people who felt unwanted by professing Christians and rejected in the churches. I asked myself this question, “Am I one of those Christians?”
I did not agree with the methods this preacher used to reach these people as it seemed to favor the Emergent Church. However, the remarks of the street people haunted me. Just a few weeks prior to this I had listened to this message on sermon audio. I knew this Peter Orasuk very well, He was a chosen vessel and God had reached him with His irresistible grace. He became a gospel preacher and many were saved through his preaching.
I have related these stories to show how God worked to prepare me for what I am about to relate: As my friend and I were getting into my car there was a young man who appeared very unkempt motioning to me he wanted to talk. I was about to drive away than remembered all the things that God had brought before me over the last little while. My friend sitting next to me was a street person whom God reached by His grace. There was some fear but I thought I have got to trust in the Sovereignty of God as I knew this was not a chance meeting. It was a privilege to give this young man some gospel literature and bring the gospel to him. He was very broken and said other Christians had talked with him 2 weeks prior. Of course he also needed help in a temporal way and God provided for that.
When I dropped him off, I was filled with tears as I thought of how I nearly passed by this young man because of his appearance.
“There go I except for the grace of God” I do not know whether I will ever hear from this young man again. I do know by the grace of God I will be more aware of street people and there need of the gospel.
It is our commission,” Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”Mark 16:15
The Lord Jesus is building His Church out of “broken bruised reeds”
Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with him. No, I must know him myself; I must know him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know him, not as the visionary dreams of him, but as the Word reveals him. I must know his natures, divine and human. I must know his offices—his attributes—his works—his shame—his glory. I must meditate upon him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” It will be an affectionate knowledge of him; indeed, if I know him at all, I must love him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim—I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more. To conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble”; for it will fling about me the immortality of the ever living Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of his eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’s feet and learn of him all this day.