Time Slips By

As many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them. GALATIANS 6:16

As we get older, our vision should improve. Not our vision of earth, but our vision of heaven. Those who have spent their life looking for heaven gain a skip in their step as the city comes into view. After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to his apprentice. In the handwriting of his old age the great artist wrote: “Draw, Antonio, draw, and do not waste time.”

Well-founded urgency, Michelangelo. Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. And life ends. And what we came to do must be done while there is time.

He Still Moves Stones

Shutting Our Ears to the Lord

James 1:22-25

When we fail to listen to God, we pay attention to wrong voices, fall prey to deception, and refuse to submit to the Lord. All three negative results are evident in Adam and Eve’s decision to eat from the forbidden tree.

What other consequences result from shutting our ears to God?

First, we will make decisions based on their appeal. To entice Adam and Eve to disobey, the Devil twisted God’s words and misused legitimate desires the Lord had given to the couple. We have the Holy Spirit to teach us how to keep our appetites and desires in check.

Second, we will excuse our wrongdoings and blame others. Adam pointed a finger at Eve, and she blamed the serpent. Satan can tempt us, but the responsibility is ours if we consent.

Third, we will experience divine discipline. Not only that, but others will also suffer when we disobey. The first man and woman were cast from God’s presence, and their lives became much harder. Sin
entered their family and led to strife and death—their son Abel was murdered by his brother Cain. Adam and Eve’s choice affected all future generations as well. Through them, sin entered the world and resides in us (Rom. 5:12).

Fourth, we will miss out on God’s best. The first humans lost both Eden’s splendor and perfect communion with the Lord. Unconfessed sin will separate us, too, from fellowship with the Father. Closing ears to God’s voice can happen in a moment’s time. Safeguard yourself. Commit to genuine listening: hearing, remembering, and doing what God says.

The Whole Armor of God

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)

This modern age of terrorism, drugs, sexual license, rampant crime, and worldwide unbelief is surely an evil day; and each Christian urgently needs “the whole armour of God” to stand against the devil’s wiles today. This armor is clearly described in Ephesians 6:14-18, but it seems that Satan’s wiles have confused it in the minds of many Christian educators. Paraphrasing this passage, their view might be expressed somewhat as follows: “Gird your loins with an open-ended search for truth, and have on the breastplate of value sensitivity, your feet shod with the gospel of academic tolerance; above all, taking the shield of accreditation and legal protection, with the helmet of economic security and the sword of evolutionary thought, praying always to the Department of Education and your academic peers.” Such Christian compromise is no armor at all.

How much better to be undergirded with revealed truth, founded on creation and biblical inerrancy, than by a “search” for truth! The true breastplate is righteousness, both imputed and practiced, and the true peace of God through Christ adorns the beautiful feet of those who carry the gospel. The shield is faith, which must be exercised first of all in special creation (Hebrews 11:3). The helmet, protecting the mind, is the genuine hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8). With no armor for the back, since the Christian is “to stand,” not to retreat, the chief offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God that meets each particular need. Finally, insistent prayer is both an offensive and a defensive weapon. The “weapons of our warfare” are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). HMM

WHAT shall the believer do in times of darkness

“Who is among you that feareth Jehovah, that obeyeth the voice of his servant? He that walketh in darkness and hath no light, let him trust in the name of Jehovah and rely upon his God.” (Isa. 50:10, R. V.)

WHAT shall the believer do in times of darkness—the darkness of perplexity and confusion, not of heart but of mind? Times of darkness come to the faithful and believing disciple who is walking obediently in the will of God; seasons when he does not know what to do, nor which way to turn. The sky is overcast with clouds. The clear light of Heaven does not shine upon his pathway. One feels as if he were groping his way in darkness.

Beloved, is this you? What shall the believer do in times of darkness? Listen! “Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and rely upon his God.”

The first thing to do is do nothing. This is hard for poor human nature to do. In the West there is a saying that runs thus, “When you’re rattled, don’t rush”; in other words, “When you don’t know what to do, don’t do it.”

When you run into a spiritual fog bank, don’t tear ahead; slow down the machinery of your life. If necessary, anchor your bark or let it swing at its moorings. We are to simply trust God. While we trust, God can work. Worry prevents Him from doing anything for us. If our minds are distracted and our hearts distressed; if the darkness that overshadows us strikes terror to us; if we run hither and yon in a vain effort to find some way of escape out of a dark place of trial, where Divine providence has put us, the Lord can do nothing for us.

The peace of God must quiet our minds and rest our hearts. We must put our hand in the hand of God like a little child, and let Him lead us out into the bright sunshine of His love. He knows the way out of the woods. Let us climb up into His arms, and trust Him to take us out by the shortest and surest road.—Dr. Pardington.

Remember we are never without a pilot when we know not how to steer.

“Hold on, my heart, in thy believing—
The steadfast only wins the crown;
He who, when stormy winds are heaving,
Parts with its anchor, shall go down;
But he who Jesus holds through all,
Shall stand, though Heaven and earth should fall.

“Hold out! There comes an end to sorrow;
Hope from the dust shall conquering rise;
The storm foretells a summer’s morrow;
The Cross points on to Paradise;
The Father reigneth! cease all doubt;
Hold on, my heart, hold on, hold out.”

Now on whom dost thou trust?

“Now on whom dost thou trust?” Isaiah 36:5

Reader, this is an important question. Listen to the Christian’s answer, and see if it is yours. “On whom dost thou trust?” “I trust,” says the Christian, “in a triune God. I trust the Father, believing that He has chosen me from before the foundations of the world; I trust Him to provide for me in providence, to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be, and to bring me home to His own house where the many mansions are. I trust the Son. Very God of very God is He—the man Christ Jesus. I trust in Him to take away all my sins by His own sacrifice, and to adorn me with His perfect righteousness.

I trust Him to be my Intercessor, to present my prayers and desires before His Father’s throne, and I trust Him to be my Advocate at the last great day, to plead my cause, and to justify me. I trust Him for what He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised yet to do. And I trust the Holy Spirit—He has begun to save me from my inbred sins; I trust Him to drive them all out; I trust Him to curb my temper, to subdue my will, to enlighten my understanding, to check my passions, to comfort my despondency, to help my weakness, to illuminate my darkness; I trust Him to dwell in me as my life, to reign in me as my King, to sanctify me wholly, spirit, soul, and body, and then to take me up to dwell with the saints in light for ever.”

Oh, blessed trust! To trust Him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution! Happy art thou, reader, if this trust is thine! So trusting, thou shalt enjoy sweet peace now, and glory hereafter, and the foundation of thy trust shall never be removed.

Wherefore hast Thou afflicted Thy servant?

“Wherefore hast Thou afflicted Thy servant?” Numbers 11:11

Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden.

A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts His servants to glorify Himself, for He is greatly glorified in the graces of His people, which are His own handiwork. When “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope,” the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed.

The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which His vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day long.