Sunday, May 04, 2008


"When God flows in with more than ordinary manifestations of His love, then the Christian is in danger of having his heart secretly swell in pride. Because God appears to be paying extra attention to him, he begins to think he is a 'favorite' child.

The proper response to God's special blessings should be humility and a deep sense of love and gratitude. If our hearts are somewhat hard and frozen by the cares of this life, they should soften and melt in the sunshine of His love. But as usual, Satan tries to thwart God's purpose, and he finds pride the easiest way to spoil His gift. Truly, God lets us see our proneness to this sin of pride by the short stay He makes when He comes to us with greater-than-usual discoveries of His love. The Comforter abides for ever in the saint's bosom, but that exhilarating feeling of joy in the Holy Spirit comes and is gone again with the speed of a gazelle. A brief glimpse of heaven and a vision of love now and then cheer the spirit of a discouraged Christian as he trudges up the mountain of duty or trial. But if the Lord let him build a tabernacle there and dwell under the constant shine of such an exhibition of His favor, he would soon forget where it all came from and begin to think he was lord of his own comfort.

Do not measure your grace by your comfort. God does not necessarily send you an extra measure of comfort as a reward for being good. Such discoveries of His love do indeed bear witness to the truth of His grace in you, but they say nothing about the degree and measure of your inherent grace. The weak child may be - in fact, generally is - oftener in his parents lap than the strong one.

Do not grow lax when you are being comforted. Rather, use this time of blessing to work harder than ever for the Lord. The manifestations of God's love are to fit us for our work. Basking in the light of His comfort is one thing; going forth in the power of the Spirit's comfort is quite another. How foolish is the man who spends all his time counting his money but never invests it; how wise is the one who puts his money to work for him and earns dividends. Spiritually speaking, the one who hoards his comforts will lose what he has, while the one who puts his comforts to work for Christ will increase his stock five, ten, even an hundredfold."

This excerpt from "The Christian In Complete Armour", by William Gurnall is praised by Spurgeon -- "Gurnal's work is peerless and priceless; every line is full of wisdom; every sentence is suggestive. The whole book has been preached over scores of times, and is, in our judgment, the best thought-breeder in all our library."

David Wilkerson says this book - "should be in the library of every man and woman of God. No Christian worker, leader, teacher, pastor, or evangelist, should be without it. It breathes of holiness, purity, and provokes one to prayer and fuller dedication to Jesus Christ.......

Photo by Josaphine Chervinska


Anonymous said...

mountains of duty and trials... well put. I'm not looking for comfort, I'm looking for the end of the trail. -mat

Mel said...

I love this post. It is especially timely for me because of this extraordinary season of revelation and renewal I've been going through, and because pride has always been my deepest and most consistent and frequent struggle.

It seems that God has a way of planting prayers in people, prayers that they will pray over and over again because they echo God's heart and that believer's own God-given spiritual chemistry in a beautiful blending. One such thing He has led me to pray, every time I feel my heart leaning towards pride, which is disturbingly often, is this: "Oh God, humble my heart and remind me again and again and again how desperately I need You and how thoroughly I depend on You."

This joy in Him, this unending joy that comes from really knowing Him and trusting Him, it doesn't seem change or fade because it's based in His truth and His glory which never changes. But it also comes with the knowledge that if the joy of the Lord is my strength, it's very likely He has given me strength for a very difficult task, or path. And that's all good, or, should I say, "That's all God!"

Mel said...

I love this quote from Jonathan Edwards. I've thought about it and chewed on it multiple times since the first time I read it. When I read this blog post of yours, I thought of this paragraph, and I hope you'll enjoy it.

"All gracious affections that are a sweet odor to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrancy, are brokenhearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is a humble brokenhearted love. The desires of the saints, however
earnest, are humble desires: their hope is a humble hope; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable, and full of glory, is a humble
brokenhearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and
more like a little child, and more disposed to a universal lowliness of behavior."

FCB said...

I love that quote you posted of Jonathan Edwards. That type of insight and teaching is why I read the Puritan works. I get more from that one quote than many entire sermons preached today (my son's excepted).
I have only one book of Edwards, but now I will have to get it out because the 'mountains of duty and trials' get pretty wearisome at times for me as well.