Monday, April 27, 2015

He will perfect that which concerns me

The Lord avenges me. O Lord, your loyal love endures. Do not abandon those whom you have made! — Psalm 138:8

by C.H. Spurgeon

A song of faith

He who has begun will carry on the work which is being wrought within my soul. The Lord is concerned about everything that concerns me. All that is now good, but not perfect, the Lord will watch over, preserve, and carry out to completion.

This is a great comfort! I could not perfect the work of grace myself. Of that I am quite sure, for I fail every day and have only held on so long as I have because the Lord has helped me. If the Lord were to leave me, all my past experience would go for nothing, and I should perish from the way. But the Lord will continue to bless me. He will perfect my faith, my love, my character, my lifework. He will do this because He has begun a work in me.

He gave me the concern I feel, and, in a measure, He has fulfilled my gracious aspirations. He never leaves a work unfinished; this would not be for His glory, nor would it be like Him. He knows how to accomplish His gracious design, and though my own evil nature and the world and the devil all conspire to hinder Him, I do not doubt His promise. He will perfect that which concerneth me, and I will praise Him forever. Lord, let Thy gracious work make some advance this day!



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Choice Is His Choice

"He shall choose our inheritance for us." Psalms 47:4

by C.H. Spurgeon

Our enemies would allot us a very dreary portion, but we are not left in their hands. The LORD will cause us to stand in our lot, and our place is appointed by His infinite wisdom. A wiser mind than our own arranges our destiny. The ordaining of all things is with God, and we are glad to have it so; we choose that God should choose for us. If we might have our own way we would wish to let all things go in God's way.

Being conscious of our own folly, we would not desire to rule our own destinies. We feel safer and more at ease when the LORD steers our vessel than we could possibly be if we could direct it according to our own judgment. Joyfully we leave the painful present and the unknown future with our Father, our Savior, our Comforter.

O my soul, this day lay down thy wishes at Jesus' feet! If thou hast of late been somewhat wayward and willful, eager to be and to do after thine own mind, now dismiss thy foolish self, and place the reins in the LORD's hands. Say, "He shall choose." If others dispute the sovereignty of the LORD and glory in the free will of man, do thou answer them, "He shall choose for me." It is my freest choice to let Him choose. As a free agent, I elect that He should have absolute sway.



Saturday, April 04, 2015

Faith turns the promise into a prophecy

For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. — Mark 11:24 NET

by A.B. Simpson

Faith is not working up by will power a sort of certainty that something is coming to pass, but it is seeing as an actual fact that God has said that this thing shall come to pass, and that it is true, and then rejoicing to know that it is true, and just resting and entering into it because God has said it. Faith turns the promise into a prophecy. While it is merely a promise it is contingent upon our co–operation; it may or may not be. But when faith claims it, it becomes a prophecy and we go forth feeling that it is something that must be done because God cannot lie.

Faith is the answer from the throne saying, It is done. Faith is the echo of God's voice. Let us catch it from on high. Let us repeat it, and go out to triumph in its glorious power.

Hear the answer from the throne,
Claim the promise, doubting one,
God hath spoken, It is done.
Faith hath answered, It is done
Prayer is over, praise begun,
Hallelujah! It is done.


Faith is not presumption. Some Word of Faith teachers and prosperity gospel preachers act like it is. "Name it and claim it," based on irrevocably false theology and skewed biblical interpretation. Such *faith* is a dangerous thing. It breaks the person and leaves broken people in its wake.

However, that is not the faith of which Hebrews 11 speaks -- not the kind of faith that Simpson promotes here. The biblical faith is simply taking what God has clearly spoken, and then living into that. Faith is Abraham and Sarah believing that God would give them the son of promise -- even if they laughed all the way to the birth, at the incredible impossibility of God's plan. Faith is David believing that the kingdom was his, by divine calling, even as he ran for his life in the wilderness, with a price on his head -- believing so strongly in the promise that he conducted himself as king under God in the wilderness. Faith is Hannah believing that a son of promise could be hers, even if her body made that birth impossible -- and she wet the ground with her tears, and offered the agony of her prayers, living into the promise.

So it is with any true calling of faith. Faith knows nothing of silver spoons, comfort paths, and sensually laden, self-serving worship -- kicking back in relative painless ease and modeling faith and fulfillment. Never trust a faith leader who 1. has not suffered in the discipline of faith, and 2. makes himself rich in preaching or teaching or leading. For that is an illusion of faith, not the real thing.

That kind of faith will wilt under true trial, and give way under seductive temptation -- because self is at its center.

True faith simply sees the promise of God, His revealed Word, in the power of the Spirit, and swings life out on that promise, even if it costs all that people call normal life. Such a life will enter the promise. And many will be blessed -- perhaps unseen in human time, yet a great harvest of souls. And eternal fulfillment for the one who claimed -- and lived into -- the promise.