Posted by Jerry White on Oct 31, 2010
“The quiet restfulness of God’s unhurried presence acts as a solace to fretful and anxious hearts; moreover, in such an atmosphere the human spirit is made sensitive to the movements of the Divine Spirit, and confidence that He will not fail is engendered. It is those who thus wait, who find strength to continue waiting for His moment which assuredly will come.”
Thomas Pitch in a marginal note by Ruth Bell Graham
The Quest for Serenity
G. H Morling, 41
Let us then labour for an inward stillness,
An inward stillness and an inward healing,
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
And we no longer entertain our own
Thought and vain opinions,
But God above speaks in us,
And we wait in singleness of heart,
That we may know His will,
And in the silence of our spirit
That we may do His will,
And do that only…
Henry W. Longfellow
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
Truly, in our busy distracting world we must labor for an inward stillness.
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 27, 2010
“When people tell me they are too busy to pray, I tell them to get honest. I tell them to go to their room, kneel down and tell the God they half-believe in that they really don’t enjoy His company and His presence. Tell Him that [prayer] is kind of boring and that they honestly don’t have any real desire to spend time with Him.
‘It’s a very sound fact that we become what we desire. Whatever you desire from your spirituality, you will become that. If you really don’t have the desire to put the time and the energy into getting to know Jesus, then just tell Him that. He can handle it, and He loves the honesty! And then quietly tell Him that you want that desire.”
Pretense before God is foolish. Its source is pride. God cannot meet us on the ground of pride and pretense. A humble one comes before God with truthfulness about self. The Lord welcomes us when we begin where we are and call upon Him to do what needs to be done so we can become what He wants us to be. He knows everything about us anyway—everything! Nothing is hidden from His sight. He knows even what we do not know about ourselves. And yet He loves us more than we can ever know. He can cause our greatest pleasure to be time alone with Him. He awaits our humble honesty about our need and then as our dear loving Father He will gladly meet us. With tender compassion He will transform our desires until we long for Him and His presence more than anything else, which at this moment seems so much more exciting than fellowship with Him.
[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
Philippians 2:13 (Amplified Bible)
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 24, 2010
“Nothing means so much to our daily prayer life as to pray in the name of Jesus. If we fail to do this, our prayer life will either die from discouragement and despair or become simply a duty which we feel we must perform.
What a relief to every sincere soul who sees the unspirituality and worldliness of his own heart and his lack of faith, love and solicitude, when it becomes clear to him that it is not necessary for us when we pray to work ourselves up to a state of spirituality which we feel that we lack. Nor do we need to put forth any effort to make what little faith we have seem as great as possible. And we do not need to fan the cold embers in our hearts in order to make our waning zeal flare up again.
It is not necessary for us to go through such spiritual gymnastics when we pray.
We need do but one thing: tell God about our condition, about our faith, our solicitude, and our worldly and prayer-weary heart; and then pray in the name of Jesus.
We can come before God and say to Him, ‘I do not have a right to pray because I do not have a truly prayerful heart. Much less do I have any right to receive what I ask for. Everything which Thou seest in my heart, O Lord, is of such a nature that it must close Thy heart to me and all my supplications. But hear me, not for my sake, nor for the sake of my prayer, and not even because of my distress, for it is a result of my own sinfulness. But hear me for Jesus’ sake.’”
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive that your joy may be full.
John 16:24 (ESV)
You never have to come before the Lord worthy in yourself. Your holiest day is defiled in ways you cannot see and your purest prayers must be purified through Jesus Christ. The gift of praying in His name always comforts in your sense of unworthiness.
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 21, 2010
My power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
“When you trust in Jesus for strength, you must feel that your own resolutions, vows, and promises are as useless to stem the current of your passions as so many straws would be in stemming the mightiest waterfall. You must feel that your own earnestness and strength of disposition, which has so long been the praise of your friends and boast of your mind, are as powerless before the breath of temptation as a broken reed before the hurricane. You must feel that you wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with spirits of gigantic power in whose mighty grasp you are feeble as a child. Then, and only then, will you come with all your heart to trust in the Lord your strength.
When the believer is weakest, he is strongest. The child who knows most its utter feebleness entrusts itself most completely into the mother’s arms. The young eagle that knows, by many a fall, its own inability to fly yields itself to be carried on the mother’s mighty wing. When it is weak, it is strong. Likewise, the believer, when he has found out, by repeated falls, his utter feebleness, clings with simplest faith to the arm of the Savior.”
The Best of Robert Murray McCheyne, 179
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson
This lesson is not easily learned because of inbred pride. Pride foolishly thinks it can win over besetting temptations by resolutions, determination, trying harder, and all manner of fleshly mechanisms common to proud humans. After sinful failure a guilty soul vows never to do it again, but then to one’s dismay, temptation comes in an unexpected weak moment and failure once again follows. Disgust, disappointment with one’s self, bewilderment, and questions settle upon one’s soul. How slow we are to learn the lesson stated so well by Major Ian Thomas, “O Lord, I can’t; you never said I could. You can; You always said You would.” It is a process of learning to accept our weakness and to rely upon His strength. Sometimes it is a slow process, but wholly worth the pursuit.
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 17, 2010
“Jesus died because God loved us so much as to give Him up unto death for us all. God loved us from eternity, but before His love could have its blessed way with us, He needed to satisfy the claims of a broken law, to vindicate His righteousness, to be just. Therefore, He gave Himself to us in Jesus, who manifested God in the flesh, put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and entered in the Holiest of all to become a merciful High Priest. The only begotten and beloved Son is the reservoir in which the great love of God is stored.
It is great comfort to know that God loved us when there was nothing to attract His love, because He will not be surprised by anything He discovers in us and will not turn form us at those manifestations of evil that sometimes make us lose heart. He knew the worst from the first. He did not love us because we were pure and untarnished, but to make us so. We cannot understand it, but since He began, He will not fail or become discouraged until He has finished His work.”
The Best of F. B. Meyer, 179
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31:3 (ESV)
Jesus, Thy boundless love to me
No thought can reach, no tongue declare;
O knit my thankful heart to Thee,
And reign without a rival there:
Thine wholly, Thine alone I am:
Be Thou alone my constant flame.
Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676)
Translated, John Wesley (1703-1791)
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 14, 2010
I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.
Song of Solomon 7:10 (ESV)
“Sometimes, when the Lord has assured me of His love, I have felt as if I could not contain more joy and delight. My eyes were filled with tears of gratitude. I fell upon my knees to bless Him, but I rose again in haste, feeling as if I had nothing more to ask for, but that I must stand up and praise Him. At such times I have lifted my hands to heaven, longing to fill my arms with Him, to talk with Him ‘as a man speaketh unto his friend’ (Exodus 33:11), and to see Him in His own person. I have longed to tell Him how happy He has made His unworthy servant and to fall on my face and kiss His feet in unutterable thankfulness and love.
I have feasted upon one promise of my Beloved—‘Thou art mine’ (Isa. 43:1)—so much that I have wished, like Peter, to build tabernacles in that place and dwell there forever.”
Joy In Christ’s Presence, 80
“No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. The waves came over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, ‘I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.’ I said, ‘Lord, I cannot bear any more;’ yet I had no fear of death.”
Charles G. Finney (1792-1875)
When God’s love is poured out in a believer’s heart by the Holy Spirit they are melted and joy fills their soul. In this generation we are contented with so much less than our loving Heavenly Father wants to give, and we are the poorer for it.
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 11, 2010
“One of the foundational steps in knowing God, and one of the basic demonstrations that we do know God, is prayer—spiritual persistent, biblically minded prayer. Writing a century and a half ago, Robert Murray M’Cheyne declared, ‘What a man is alone on his knees before God, that he is, and no more.’ But we have ignored this truism. We have learned to organize, build institutions, publish books, insert ourselves into the media, develop evangelistic strategies, and administer discipleship programs, but we have forgotten how to pray….
Where is our delight in praying? Where is our sense that we are meeting with the living God, that we are doing business with God, that we are interceding with genuine unction before the throne of grace? When was the last time we came away from a period of intercession feeling that, like Jacob or Moses, we had prevailed with God? How much of our praying is largely formulaic, liberally larded with clichés that remind us, uncomfortably, of the hypocrites Jesus excoriated?”….
What is wrong? Is not this sad state of affairs some sort of index of our knowledge of God? Shall we not agree with J. I. Packer when he writes, ‘I believe that prayer is the measure of the man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is, so that how we pray is as important a question as we can ever face’? Can we profitably meet the other challenges that confront the Western church if prayer is ignored as much as it has been?”
D. A. Carson
A Call To Spiritual Reformation, 16-17
“God is looking for prayers to answer. When He does so, it satisfies a part of His Fatherly nature. It allows Him to express His love as nothing else can do.
Your every prayer wafts like incense to heaven and elicits a response from God who is hungry to move on your behalf.”
Magnificent Prayer, September 10
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 7, 2010
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
1 Corinthians10:13 (ESV)
“As a seminary professor, I am tempted to believe that I have (or should have) risen above the common temptations that others face. This makes the appearance of sin in my life all the more disappointing and difficult to confess. I was made more ready to deal with my weaknesses, however, through the observations of another professor:
‘I write these words at the age of fifty-five. During the past ten or twelve years, I have often—and with greater seriousness than ever before—reflected upon the course of my life. Certain patterns of thought and attitude and conduct have come to light, some of them quite disturbing. I look back upon repeated failures in my efforts to subdue inner thoughts, conflicts and fears, to combat immaturity and self-centeredness, to build genuine and enriching relationships with other people, to conquer besetting sins, and to grow in holiness and communion with God. I now see that every period of my life has been marked by…struggle. But the persistence of the failures, together with a growing understanding of the past, has made the struggles of recent years exceptionally intense and painful.’
The man who wrote these words is widely respected for his godliness, yet he dares to speak with extraordinary humility and candor for the benefit of others. His words help rescue me from the despair of thinking that I am extraordinarily strange because, despite my position and background, I am still tempted even by what I find detestable. In knowing that I am not alone, I find that I can be more honest about what is in my heart and more willing to identify the wrong of which I must repent. Paul intends for these freeing dynamics to work in all our hearts when he tells us that what tempts us is common in humanity and is, in fact, part of being human.”
Holiness By Grace, 94-95
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 3, 2010
“Our human perspective on current events is naturally low-centered. We tend to look at the circumstances of life in terms of what they may do to our cherished hopes and convenience, and we shape our decisions and reactions accordingly. When a problem threatens, we rush to God, not to seek His perspective, but to ask Him to deflect the trouble. Our self-concern takes priority over whatever it is that God might be trying to do through the trouble. One of the harder lessons of life is to learn that our low-centered, sense-oriented subjectivism militates against our effective cooperation with God in His purpose for us in a given trial.”
R. Arthur Mathews
Born For Battle, 120
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8 (ESV)
Nothing is more important than for the will of God to be done. Jesus taught us in the model prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Love does not insist on its own way (1 Corinthians 13:5). True praying is not for my own selfish end but for what God wants to accomplish. His will is good, perfect, and best. His love controls all that He does. If I know He really loves me, then I can wait upon Him to learn what He wants me to pray, and then I can pray it into being on earth with all confidence that it is absolutely best regardless of whether it is comfortable and convenient for me or not. We must always beware of selfish asking (James 4:3). It is just so easy to pray from my selfish perspective. Or not pray at all.