Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Keep Close, My Soul


I am a day behind in my One Year Bible reading, if today is September third.
Note my lack of confidence even in the date.
I am reading the New Testament readings, and the Psalms and Proverbs.
Today, Paul described his ministry --
and I felt like he described my lack.

"We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, 
and no one will find fault with our ministry...
We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind...
We prove ourselves by our purity, 
our understanding, 
our patience, 
our kindness, 
by the Holy Spirit within us, 
and by our sincere love...
We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, 
whether they slander us or praise us...
Our hearts ache, but we always have joy."

I don't know about you, but even without anyone else's help,
I can find fault with my ministry.
My endurance is weak.
My understanding is severely limited.
My patience is more than it was, and not near what it should be.
My kindness is small.
Sometimes I wonder, "Lord, is Your Holy Spirit in me at all? 
Do I imagine Your leading?"
And when my heart aches, it aches.
I grieve easily.
How can I ever live up?

Somewhat downcast from this passage,
I opened up my Chequebook of the Bank of Faith and read this
(also a day behind):

"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord" (Hosea 6:3)

Not all at once, but by degrees shall we attain to holy knowledge, 
and our business is to persevere and learn little by little. 
We need not despair, though our progress may be slow, 
for we shall yet know.
The Lord, who has become our teacher, 
will not give us up, however slow of understanding we may be; 
for it is not for His honor 
that any degree of human folly should baffle His skill. 
The Lord delights to make the simple wise.

Our duty is to keep to our main topic, 
and follow on to know, not this particular doctrine or that, 
but Jehovah Himself. 
To know Father, Son, and Spirit, the Triune God, 
this is life eternal: let us keep to this, 
for in this way we shall gain complete instruction. 
By following on to know the Lord, 
we learn healing after being torn, 
binding up after smiting, 
and life after death. 
Experience has its perfect work 
when the heart follows the trackway of the Almighty Lord.

My soul, keep thou close to Jesus, 
follow on to know God in Jesus, 
and so shalt thou come to the knowledge of Christ, 
which is the most excellent of all the sciences. 
The Holy Ghost will lead thee into all truth. 
Is this not His gracious office? 
Rely upon Him to fulfill it.

~Charles Spurgeon

On Sunday, my brother-in-law said this:
"Lay down your apprehensions and pray,
'Lord, what would You have me to do?'"

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