The strong man sinks down into a babe!

(J. C. Philpot, "The Seed of Israel, Justified in Christ")

"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
 my God, my strength, in whom I will trust." Psalm 18:2

As long as a man has any strength of his own, he will
never have any strength in the Lord; for the strength
of Jesus is made perfect in our weakness.

Oh, what a painful lesson we have to learn to find
all our strength is weakness. There was a time
when we thought we had strength, and could . . .

  resist Satan,
  overcome the world,
  endure persecution,
  bear the reproach of man,
  mortify and keep down pride, and the evils of our heart.

Have we found ourselves able to carry out our fancied
strength? What has been our experience in this matter?
That we have discovered more and more our own weakness;
that we cannot stand against one temptation; the least
gust blows us down!

Our besetting lusts, our vile passions, and the wicked
desires of our hearts, so entice our eyes and thoughts;
so entwine themselves around our affections; that we
give out in a moment
, unless God Himself holds us up!
We cannot stand against sin; our heart is as weak as

Thus we learn our weakness, by feeling ourselves
to be the very weakest of the weak, and the very
vilest of the vile.

As the Lord leads a man deeper down into the
knowledge of his corruptions, it makes him more
and more out of conceit with his righteous, pious,
holy self
. The more the Lord leads a man into the
knowledge of . . .
  his besetting sin,
  the power of his corruptions,
  the workings of his vile nature;
the more deeply and painfully he learns what
a poor, helpless, weak, powerless wretch he is.

As the Lord is pleased to unfold before his eyes the
strength, power, and fullness lodged in Jesus Christ;
He draws him, leads him, brings him, encourages him,
and enables him to come to this fullness. And by the
hand of faith he draws supplies out of that fullness.

As the Lord enables the soul to look to Jesus, His
blessed strength is communicated and breathed into
his soul. Then the 'poor worm Jacob' threshes the
mountains, beats down the hills, and makes them
fly before him as chaff. When the Lord strengthens
him, he can . . .

  stand against temptation,
  overcome sin,
  bear persecution,
  subdue the evils of his heart, and
  fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

When the Lord leaves him, he is like Samson with
his locks cut. He sinks into all evil, and feels the
helplessness of his fallen nature. Let the Lord but
remove His gracious presence, and the strong man
sinks down into a babe!
And he that in the strength
of the Lord could thresh the mountains, falls down
as weak and helpless as a little child.

Thus the Lord painfully and solemnly teaches us, that
being nothing in ourselves, and feeling our weakness,
helplessness, and wretchedness; in Him alone we
have strength.