The Distinguishing Prayer
"Say unto my soul: I am your salvation!" Psalm 25:3
Salvation is deliverance from evil or danger. The salvation of the gospel is deliverance from . . .
and the wrath of God.
Sin procures condemnation, and condemnation is introductory to eternal punishment.
The Lord saves His people from their sins.
He removes the guilt of sin, by the blood of Jesus.
He destroys the power of sin, by his Holy Spirit.
He purges out the love of sin, by His sanctifying grace.
He becomes their Deliverer — and saves them with an everlasting salvation. But he not only saves them — but gives them the knowledge of salvation, so that they can rejoice in it. They know Him as their salvation — personally, experimentally, and satisfactorily; and they are happy in their God.
His love and power remove their fears;
His word and veracity disperse their doubts; and
His faithfulness and immutability produce confidence.
When he lifts up the light of His countenance, or sheds upon them the rays of His love, they exult and say, "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid! For the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation."
When people become really concerned for the salvation of their souls, they hear of this; and it appears to them to be the most desirable blessing; therefore, they begin to seek it, and in earnestness of soul, with importunity and anxiety, they cry, "Say unto my soul: I am your salvation!" Oh, how they long for this favor! How they pant for this privilege! They feel as if they could renounce everything else, if they may but be favored with this. And this distinguishes those who are taught by the Holy Spirit, from all others: they are serious, they are in earnest, they cannot be satisfied with slight evidences. They wish to feel that they are upon the rock, that God is their refuge and strength. They sigh after the sealing of the Holy Spirit — to enjoy His witness in their hearts.
In His holy word, the Lord tells us whom He will save, and how he will save; and by His Spirit in the heart — He assures us that He will save us. This is done by opening and applying His word, which scatters our doubts, and spreads a sweet, and holy peace through the soul; by shedding abroad His love in our hearts, and then we feel that we love Him, and have an inward consciousness that there is nothing between God and our souls, but love. We are persuaded that God is reconciled to us, and at peace with us, through the blood of His dear Son. We feel a hatred to all sin spring up. We are careful to flee from temptation. We cleave to Jesus, and dread the thought of losing the sweet presence of our God. We now possess courage, and can say, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" (Psalm 27:1) We enjoy confidence, and exclaim, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear!" (Psalm 46:1, 2). We are full of praise, and sing, "You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, I will exalt you." (Psalm 117:28.)
Dear reader, has this prayer been yours? Do you know anything of deliverance from sin? Have you enjoyed the testimony of the Holy Spirit in your heart? It is heaven begun in the soul, it is true happiness. O seek it, seek it at once; and rest not until you enjoy it!