The Lord's secret power in our souls?
(J. C. Philpot, "Power
Given to the Faint", 1845)
"He gives power to those who are tired and worn
out; and increases strength to the weak." Is. 40:29
The Lord's people are often in the state that they have
no might. All their power seems exhausted, and their
strength completely drained away; sin appears to have
gotten the mastery over them; and they feel as if they
had neither will nor ability to run the race set before
them, or persevere in the way of the Lord.
Now what has kept us to this day? Some of you have
made a profession ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years.
What has kept us?
When powerful temptations were spread for our feet,
what preserved us from falling headlong into them?
When we felt the workings of strong lusts, what kept
us from being altogether carried captive by them?
When we look at the difficulties of the way, the
perplexities which our souls have had to grapple with,
the persecutions and hard blows from sinners and
saints that we have had to encounter--what has still
kept in us a desire to fear God, and a heart in some
measure tender before Him?
When we view the . . .
presumption of our fallen nature,
what has kept us still . . .
and looking to the Lord?
When we think of our . . .
love to evil,
aversion to good, and
all the abounding corruptions of our nature,
what has kept us from giving up the very profession
of religion, and swimming down the powerful current
that has so long and so often threatened to sweep
us utterly from the Lord? Is it not the putting forth
of the Lord's secret power in our souls?
Can we not look back, and recall to mind our first
religious companions; those with whom we started
in the race; those whom we perhaps envied for their
greater piety, zeal, holiness, and earnestness; and
with which we painfully contrasted our own sluggishness
and carnality; admiring them, and condemning ourselves?
Where are they all, or the greater part of them?
Some have embraced soul-destroying errors; others
are buried in a worldly religious system; and others
are wrapped up in delusion and fleshly confidence.
Thus, while most have fallen into the snares of the devil;
God, by putting forth His secret power in the hearts of His
fainting ones, keeps His fear alive in their souls; holds up
their goings in His paths that their footsteps slip not; brings
them out of all their temptations and troubles; delivers them
from every evil work; and preserves them unto His heavenly
kingdom. He thus secures the salvation of His people by
His own free grace.
How sweet and precious it is . . .
to have our strength renewed;
to have fresh grace brought into the heart;
to feel the mysterious sensations of renovated life;
to feel the everlasting arms supporting the soul . . .
fighting our battles for us,
subduing our enemies,
overcoming our lusts,
breaking our snares, and
delivering us out of our temptations!