Testing of Temptation

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 29, 2010

“Fire tries iron, and temptation tries a just person.
Often we do not know what we are able to do, but temptations show us what we are.
Yet we must be watchful, especially in the beginning of the temptation, for the enemy is more easily overcome in the beginning if he is not allowed to enter the door of our hearts, but is resisted outside the gate at the first knock.
Therefore someone said, ‘Withstand the beginnings, for later the remedy comes too late”.
For first a simple thought comes to the mind, then a strong imagination, followed by delight, an evil impulse, and then consent.
So when our wicked enemy is not resisted in the beginning, little by little he gets complete entrance.
And the longer we wait before resisting, the weaker we daily become in ourselves, and the stronger the enemy is against us.”
Thomas a`Kempis
The Imitation of Christ, updated by Harold J. Chadwick
~~~
“O my crucified but never mortified sinfulness!
O my life-long damage and daily shame!
O my indwelling and besetting sins!
O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart!
Destroy, O God, the dark guest within
whose hidden presence makes my life a hell.
Yet thou hast not left me here without grace;
The cross still stands and meets my needs
in the deepest straits of the soul.”
The Valley of Vision, 127, Edited by Arthur Bennett
~~~
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)




A Tranquil God

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 25, 2010

“God is a tranquil Being, and abides in a tranquil eternity. So must thy spirit become a tranquil and clear little pool, wherein the serene light of God can be mirrored. Therefore shun all that is disquieting and distracting, both within and without. Nothing in the whole world is worth the loss of thy peace; even the faults which thou hast committed should only humble, but not disquiet them. God is full of joy, peace, and happiness. Endeavor then to obtain a continually joyful and peaceful spirit. Avoid all anxious care, vexation, murmuring, and melancholy, which darken thy soul and render thee unfit for the friendship of God. If thou dost perceive such feelings arising, turn gently away from them.”
Gerhardt Tersteegen, a German hymnwriter (1697-1769)
~~~

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves, but he was asleep. [Emphasis mine] And they went and woke him saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
Matthew 8:23-26 (ESV)
~~~
Draw me to Thee, till far within Thy rest,
In stillness of Thy peace, Thy voice I hear—
For ever quieted upon Thy breast,
So loved, so near.

Gerhardt Tersteegen




Christ’s Life In Me

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 22, 2010

“I saw that because of Christ’s indwelling I had Christ’s own life within me, a life which had known experience on earth and, though tempted in all points such as we are, had been without sin. Under the guidance of wise masters of the inner life I adopted a new spiritual technique. I stopped praying for my own self to be controlled. Instead I prayed for grace to cease from myself, and to allow Christ to live His own life through me. Instead of praying in times of stress, ‘Lord, keep me calm,’ I prayed, ‘Lord, entrench me in Thy calm. Not now my weakness made strong but my weakness abandoned and Thy strength, a strength tested and triumphant in like circumstances, permitted to express itself through my surrendered personality.’ That was gain indeed. It was not only an immediate enrichment; it was also the opening up of a new world of possibility. ‘If any man be in Christ,’ writes Paul, ‘there is a new creation, (not just he is a new creature) old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ As Weymouth adds in a footnote: ‘There is a new God, a new world, a new self.’ By consciously abiding in Christ, horizons were widened for me. At the same time I obtained an enlarged, more accurate and more experimental view of the Third Person of the blessed Trinity.”
G. H. Morling
The Quest For Serenity, 30-31
~~~

It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
~~~

O to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
O to be lost in Thee,
O that it may be no more I,
But Christ that lives in me.
C. H. Forrest




Beauty From Suffering

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 18, 2010

“Pearls are made when a foreign object becomes caught inside of an oyster. The object wounds the oyster. The wound is enclosed and inescapable. In reaction to the wound, the oyster releases a substance called nacre that coats the intruding object. As thousands of layers of nacre coat the object, a pearl is formed. It takes seven to eight years—an oyster’s full lifespan—to form a pearl. Pearls are created by irritation.
You and I will face painful situations in life that are inescapable. They intrude upon us without invitation. We cannot run from them. They box us in. They are part of living in this fallen world. But they are also orchestrated by a sovereign God. For what reason? To work pearl into us.
At such times, we can either let the Lord Jesus turn our painful experience into a pearl, or we can become embittered and blame others, including God. In the latter case, the wound never heals. As Hebrews says, bitterness will spring up within you and defile many (12:15).
Allowing yourself to become bitter is like drinking poison and waiting for the person who hurt you to get sick. More Christians have been destroyed by bitterness than probably any other thing in existence.
On the contrary, those Christians who have allowed the Lord to work pearl into them, without becoming embittered, are precious in the kingdom of God. They emit the fragrance and beauty of Jesus Christ.”
Frank Viola
From Eternity to Here, 215-216
~~~

Pure devotion to the Lord Jesus is a life of faith. With quiet confidence this kind of believer has given up all his rights to follow the Lord in all circumstances of life. They rest in the wonderful assurance that their Heavenly Father is in charge of all that comes to them, and that He intends to use it to further transform them to be beautiful in character like the Lord Jesus. Every painful experience is opportunity to know the Lord Jesus better.




Accepted In The Savior

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 15, 2010

“I will confess to you that over and over I am personally driven to do what I trust you may be led to do today. I look back on my life, and while I have much to thank God for, much in which to see His Spirit’s hand, yet when I feel my responsibilities and my shortcomings, my heart sinks within me. When I think of my transgressions, better known to myself than to anyone else, and remember, too, that they are not known even to me as they are to God, I feel all hope swept away and my soul left in utter despair, until I come anew to the cross and think of who it was who died there and why He died and what designs of infinite mercy are answered by His death.
It is so sweet to look up to the Crucified One again and say, ‘I have nothing but You, my Lord, no confidence but You. If you are not accepted as my substitute, I must perish; if God’s appointed Savior is not enough I have no other. But I know You are the Father’s well-beloved, and I am accepted in You. You are all I want and all I have.”
Charles Spurgeon
~~~

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.

Psalm 130:3-4 (ESV)
~~~

“While I confess my guilt, help me to feel it deeply, with self-abhorrence and self-despair, yet to remember there is hope in thee, and to see the Lamb that takes away sin.”
The Valley of Vision, 263
Edited by Arthur Bennett




Posted in Faith

Flee Temptation

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 11, 2010

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
James 1:14-15 (ESV)
~~~

“In our members there is a slumbering inclination toward desire, which is both sudden and fierce. With irresistible power, desire seizes mastery of the flesh. All at once a secret, smoldering fire is kindled. The flesh burns and is in flames. It makes no difference whether it is a sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or desire for revenge, or love of fame and power, or greed for money….
At this moment God is quite unreal to us. [Remember those words.] He loses all reality, and only desire for the creature is real. The only reality is the devil. Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God…. The lust thus aroused envelopes the mind and will of man in deepest darkness. The powers of clear discrimination and of decision are taken from us. The questions present themselves as, ‘Is what the flesh desires really sin in this case?’ And, ‘Is it really not permitted to me, yes, expected of me now, here in my particular situation to appease desire?’…
It is here that everything within me rises up against the Word of God…. Therefore the Bible teaches us in times of temptation in the flesh, there is one command: Flee! Flee fornication. Flee idolatry. Flee youthful lusts. Flee the lusts of the world. There is no resistance to Satan in lust other than flight. Every struggle against lust in one’s own strength is doomed to failure.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Quoted by Charles R. Swindoll, David, 185-186
~~~

Sin in your bodily members continues while you live on earth. Although the Lord Jesus broke its enslaving power over you at the cross, sin’s presence has not been eradicated from your flesh. It just waits for opportunity. Therefore it is a constant threat that must be overcome by your vigilance and dependent cooperation with the Lord.




God’s Profound Love

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 8, 2010

“To come to see that God’s love is a deep, warm love—a love constantly lavished on us quite irrespective of our merits, a love that cost the cross—is to reach a turning point. It is impossible to experience this love and remain unchanged. A man may respond to it with all his being, saying in effect, ‘This is tremendous. Deep down this is what I have always wanted.’ He will then open his heart to God’s love and respond with an answering love. On the other hand he may reject this self-sacrificing love, thus joining the succession of those who put Christ on the cross. What he cannot do is remain neutral. Attempting to remain neutral in the face of such love is itself a rejection, for love like this cries out to be received.”
Leon Morris
Testaments of Love, 165
~~~

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8 (ESV)
~~~

God’s love for you is not one of toleration but of tender compassion. You may struggle with believing that God loves you because you keep on discovering ugliness in your self-life. You keep stumbling in your daily walk and wonder how God could really love you when you fail so often. You may have become disgusted with yourself and thought that God must feel the same way about you. God has known perfectly the worst about you, ugliness that you have not yet discovered about yourself, and for reasons He never explains He set His love upon you for all eternity. His love is patient and kind forever. His love always extends forgiveness with longsuffering towards you. His steadfast love never fails. God wants you to receive His unexplainable love in your unworthy state and thank Him for it with a worshiping heart.




Posted in God's Love

The Meaning of Spirit-Filled

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 4, 2010

“The fullness of the Holy Spirit is a relationship with the indwelling third Person of the Trinity whereby He is permitted to exercise His holy influence over every area of your life. The result is the fruit of Christ-likeness revealed through your personality. This beautiful effect increases as you mature spiritually. Fullness by the Spirit releases God’s power in you so that by His strength and energy you can live and minister. (Ministry includes every manner of service in the Name of Christ regardless of how insignificant it seems in the eyes of men.) Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control become descriptive of the kind of person you are (Galatians 5:22-23). The life in the vine, which is Jesus, becomes the fruit in the branch, which is you (John 15:1-11). The rivers Jesus promised to flow from your inner being come forth to refresh others around you, beginning with your family (John 7:37-38). The flow may be small at first, but as you mature spiritually, the size of the rivers of living water flowing out of you will increase. Others are able to catch glimpses of Jesus who indwells you and fills you with His Spirit. I have been with some in whom I sensed the very presence of Jesus because they were so full of Him. They had walked with Him in fullness for many years and the rivers flowing from their inner being were deep and wide. It is always encouraging, refreshing, challenging, and convicting to be with such dear believers. As the tree is full of sap, and the sun is full of light, and the spring in fullness overflows with refreshing, cool water, so your life can be full to overflowing with the Spirit of Christ.”
Author
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 66
~~~

“The great heart of God is longing to fill you with His Spirit. God is yearning over you, beyond the thought of man to express, to fill you with His fullness…We forget that God is a giving God; that God delights to give His Spirit; that God is seeking to fill us with His Spirit.”
L. L. Legters
The Simplicity of the Spirit-Filled Life




Posted in Holy Spirit

Resisting Temptation

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 1, 2010

“Fire tries iron, and temptation tries a just person.
Often we do not know what we are able to do, but temptations show us what we are.
Yet we must be watchful, especially in the beginning of the temptation, for the enemy is more easily overcome in the beginning if he is not allowed to enter the door of our hearts, but is resisted outside the gate at the first knock.
Therefore someone said, ‘Withstand the beginnings, for later the remedy comes too late”.
For first a simple thought comes to the mind, then a strong imagination, followed by delight, an evil impulse, and then consent.
So when our wicked enemy is not resisted in the beginning, little by little he gets complete entrance.
And the longer we wait before resisting, the weaker we daily become in ourselves, and the stronger the enemy is against us.”
Thomas a`Kempis
The Imitation of Christ, updated by Harold J. Chadwick
~~~
“O my crucified but never mortified sinfulness!
O my life-long damage and daily shame!
O my indwelling and besetting sins!
O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart!
Destroy, O God, the dark guest within
whose hidden presence makes my life a hell.
Yet thou hast not left me here without grace;
The cross still stands and meets my needs
in the deepest straits of the soul.”
The Valley of Vision, 127
~~~
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)