32537 Where is my strenght
We have a spiritual conflict; our natural evil tendencies still are in us, though we are regenerated. The old nature is not removed; the old nature remains in us, just as it was before our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is true we are regenerated, we are born again; it is true we have spiritual life-but it is also true that the old nature is not dead; the old nature still is in us, and can only be kept down by prayer and meditation and pondering the Word of God, and exercising faith continually.
And therefore when trials come with regard to the old, evil, corrupt nature in us, we should spread the matter in all simplicity before God, and say, "My Heavenly Father, I have no strength in myself; but there is almighty power with Thee, and Tine heart is full of love to me, and Thou hast proved Thy wondrous love to me by bringing me to Jesus, and by giving Jesus for me, a poor, miserable, guilty sinner. Now help me in this my spiritual conflict. Let me not be overpowered by this subtlety of the devil, and on account of my spiritual weakness. What shall we find? The Lord is willing to help us! The Lord is willing to help us!!
I assure my readers old and young in Christ how He has helped me, now for seventy-one years and five months, times without number, and particularly at the beginning of the divine life in me. On account of the evil habits that I had contracted as an unconverted young man, the ungodly way in which I had been living up to the end of the twentieth year of my life, I found it extremely difficult, though really a child of God and though hating sin and loving holiness, to overcome those evil tendencies which I had contracted.
The appearance was, "O it will never be different, and my prayer will never be answered." But by the grace of God I have rolled my burden on Him, and come to Him again and again. Thus by little and little it came about-and it was by little and little only; it took some time-that these natural evil tendencies were overcome, and God helped me. I mention this particularly for the comfort and encouragement of young, recently converted believers in Christ not to despair, but to expect help from God, for He is able and willing to help them.
Never, never, so long as we go to the Lord in our weakness and helplessness, shall we be overpowered; and just because we are the children of God now, therefore the glory will be our portion at last.
It is not that we become children of God when this life is over; nay, while we are in the body, while we are yet here on earth, while we are yet in great weakness and helplessness and great ignorance concerning many things, and while the devil has power over us, while he is not yet cast into the bottomless pit-even now we are the children of God, and shall have help from God just as we need. 0 how comforting is this word. Therefore let us continually ponder it, and not lose sight of it.
"Beloved now"-in weakness; "now," while the devil has yet so much power; "now," while in such great ignorance-"is we the children of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." Though we are now children of God, and, as such, have many privileges and may go continually to God for counsel, for advice, for help, for strength, for deliverance out of difficulties, for being supplied temporally and spiritually according to our need, yet with all this, great as the privileges are which already we enjoy, they are but little in comparison with what we shall have hereafter. Therefore, we have to ponder also this, that while, on one hand, this word "now" should never be lost sight of, yet on the other hand we should not forget what is written here, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be."
And what is it that will appear hereafter? What is it that I, poor, worthless worm that I am, shall have hereafter? What is it that I, an ignorant one, shall know hereafter? What is it that in me, a weak one, and a falling one, shall be found hereafter? This is a deeply important thought. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be"-it is not yet manifested what we shall be. How will it be as to the body? How will it be as to the soul? How will it be as to our knowledge? How will it be as to our spiritual power? How will it be as to our service for the Lord? How will it be in every way? An eternal blessing shall be granted to us, henceforth, forever!
"It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." When Jesus shall appear we shall be like Him-like Him as to His .glorified body, which He has had since His resurrection. Now, any of us who are often in pain as to the body, or finding their weakness and infirmity ever reminding them of their not yet being at home, and not yet having obtained the glorified body, 0 how precious the consideration that there is a day coming when there will not be found the least particle of uneasiness, nor of pain and suffering and weakness and helplessness, for we shall have a glorified body, exactly such a body as the Lord Jesus Christ has had since His own resurrection. A precious, bright, glorious prospect is this!
And in this body, because it will be such a body as the Lord Jesus Christ has had since His resurrection, we shall know nothing of weariness. At present, we may be able joyfully and gladly to work eight, ten, or twelve hours, sometimes fourteen, or even sixteen hours a day, but at last the weakness comes by reason of yet being in the body of humiliation, and not in the glorified body. But, then, there will be four and twenty hours' work hereafter, and the next day the same, and the next day the same; and thus seven times four and twenty hours every week the ability to work; and thirty days every month the whole day able to work.
And thus it will go on, month after month, year after year, one hundred years after the other, one thousand years after the other, one million years after the other, and so throughout eternity. Work, work, work! Constant work to the glory of God in this our glorified body! 0 what bright, blessed, glorious prospects are these, if the heart enter into them. 0 how we are gladdened by the consideration of working throughout eternity for God without the least particle of weakness, weariness, and suffering!
But this is only one part of it. The other part is this. We shall be perfectly holy as the Lord Jesus Christ was during the thirty-three years and a half that He was on earth! Never a particle of wrong found in anything that He did, never a particle contrary to the mind of God in anything that He said; never a particle found in all His thoughts, in all His desires, in all His wishes, contrary to the mind of God. Perfectly in conformity to the mind of God everything was found during the whole time that the blessed Saviour was here on earth!
And thus it will be with us. We weak ones, feeble ones, shall not be always weak ones, feeble ones, but holy ones, spotless ones, pure ones, lovely ones. Yes, lovely ones! 0 how lovely! Because the comeliness of Christ is put on us! 0 how precious these words are; and 0, if we bore them more in mind, if we entered into them, how the heart would be full of peace and joy all the daylong and every day.