All the great temptations appear first in the region of the mind and can be fought and conquered there. We have been given the power to close the door of the mind. We can lose this power through disuse or increase it by use, by the daily discipline of the inner man in things which seem small and by reliance upon the word of the Spirit of truth. It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is as though He said, ‘Learn to live in your will, not in your feelings.’
We’ll have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only one short hour before sunset to win them.
God sometimes marvelously raiseth the souls of his saints with some close and near approaches unto them — gives them a sense of His eternal love, a taste of the embraces of His Son and the inhabitation of the Spirit, without the least intervening disturbance; and then this is their assurance. But this life is not a season to be always taking wages in; our work is not yet done; we are not always to abide in this mount; we must down again into the battle — fight again, cry again, complain again. Shall the soul be thought now to have lost its assurance? Not at all. It had before assurance with joy, triumph, and exultation; it hath it now, or may have, with wrestling, cries, tears, and supplications. And a man’s assurance may be as good, as true, when he lies on the earth with a sense of sin, as when he is carried up to the third heaven with a sense of love and foretaste of glory.
Out of suffering come the strongest souls. God’s wounded often make his best soldiers.
At Waterloo, the English troops obeying orders fell on their faces for a time and let the hot fire of the French artillery pass over them. Then they sprang to their feet and rushed to the thickest of the fight and beat back their foes. The Lord wants His people flat on their faces, before they attempt to meet the great crises of life.
It is not a true Gospel that gives us the impression that the Christian life is easy, and that there are no problems to be faced. That is not the New Testament teaching. The New Testament is most alarming at first, indeed terrifying, as it shows us the problems by which we are confronted. But follow it-go on! It does not stop halfway, it goes on to this addition, this second half; and here it shows us the way in which, though that is the truth concerning the battle, we can be enabled to wage it, and not only to wage it, but to triumph in it. It shows us that we are meant to be “more than conquerors.”
The Lord is a sun: He is the Source of all light and life. to live apart from Him is death, but His fellowship is life for us. And the Lord is a shield: He protects and preserves His people from all the powers of evil that seek their destruction. He does not in this life, remove all evil and affliction from them, but He gives them grace which is sufficient unto every need. He makes us taste His goodness even in the way of adversity and makes that way subservient to our glory. Never does He withhold any good thing from those that walk in His way.
Salvation is a helmet, not a nightcap.
Just because the current giant you are facing looks like one you defeated in the past, don’t buy the lie that you never really won the first battle! By the strength of God’s grace, you trusted the Almighty and conquered your Goliath. The first giant is dead. Satan is masquerading as your former enemy so he can slip past your faith and regain entrance into your life. Resist him.
God has work to do in this world; and to desert it because of its difficulties and entanglements, is to cast off His authority. It is not enough that we be just, that we be righteous, and walk with God in holiness; but we must also serve our generation, as David did before he fell asleep. God has a work to do; and not to help Him is to oppose Him.