Spurgeon Morning Sept. 18

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:25

“The two most important things in our holy religion are the life of faith and the walk of faith. He who shall rightly understand these is not far from being a master in experimental theology, for they are vital points to a Christian. You will never find true faith unattended by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life which has not for its root a living faith upon the righteousness of Christ. Woe unto those who seek after the one without the other! There are some who cultivate faith and forget holiness; these may be very high in orthodoxy, but they shall be very deep in condemnation, for they hold the truth in unrighteousness; and there are others who have strained after holiness of life, but have denied the faith, like the Pharisees of old, of whom the Master said, they were “whitewashed sepulchres.” We must have faith, for this is the foundation; we must have holiness of life, for this is the superstructure. Of what service is the mere foundation of a building to a man in the day of tempest? Can he hide himself therein? He wants a house to cover him, as well as a foundation for that house. Even so we need the superstructure of spiritual life if we would have comfort in the day of doubt. But seek not a holy life without faith, for that would be to erect a house which can afford no permanent shelter, because it has no foundation on a rock. Let faith and life be put together, and, like the two abutments of an arch, they will make our piety enduring. Like light and heat streaming from the same sun, they are alike full of blessing. Like the two pillars of the temple, they are for glory and for beauty. They are two streams from the fountain of grace; two lamps lit with holy fire; two olive trees watered by heavenly care. O Lord, give us this day life within, and it will reveal itself without to thy glory.”

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Even More of William Gurnall on Praying in Faith

‘Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart,’ Jer. 29:13.

“Lastly, Though thou wert stirred up in prayer, yet may be thy heart was not raised up to rely on God after prayer for the answer.  Then we pray in faith when we so take hold of God by faith in prayer, as to wait and stay ourselves on God for a return of mercy from him.  Now by putting all these together, thou mayest come to the resolution of the question in hand.  If thou beest in a covenant state, and liest not in any known sin unrepented of—if thou prayest fervently, and actest faith on God, so as to stay thy soul upon God for an answer, though accompanied with many weaknesses and staggerings—truly thou mayest, without presumption, conclude the mercy which finds thee in this orderly manner waiting upon God comes in a gracious answer to thy prayer.  We do not fear to break open a letter when we find our name in the superscription directing it to us.  Search the promises, and thou shalt find them directed by name to thee who prayest thus.”

From Spurgeon’s, Morning Sept. 17  

“The Lord sometimes suffers His people to be driven into a corner that they may experimentally know how necessary He is to them. Ungodly children, when they show us our own powerlessness against the depravity of their hearts, drive us to flee to the strong for strength, and this is a great blessing to us. Whatever our morning’s need may be, let it like a strong current bear us to the ocean of divine love. Jesus can soon remove our sorrow, He delights to comfort us.

Let us hasten to Him while He waits to meet us.”

More of  William Gurnall on Praying in Faith

“Dost thou continue praying even when God continues to deny?  An unbelieving heart may have some mettle at hand, but will be sure to jade in a long journey.  Faith will throw in the net of prayer again and again, as long as God commands and the promise encourageth.  The greyhound hunts by sight, when he cannot see his game he gives over running; but the true hound by scent, he hunts over hedge and ditch though he sees not the hare he pursues all the day long.  An unbelieving heart, may be, drawn out, upon some visible probabilities and sensible hopes of a mercy coming, to pray, but when these are out of sight his heart fails him; but faith keeps the scent of the promise and gives not over the chase.”

Paul prayed just three times for his thorn in the fresh to be removed because God had answered that “His grace was sufficient”, but we are to continue to knock (pray) until the answer comes, and may it come mightily in revival.

William Gurnall on Praying in Faith

To pray in faith is to ask of God, in the name of Christ, what he hath promised, relying on his power and truth for performance, without binding him up to time, manner, or means.

(1.) We must ask what God hath promised, or else we choose for ourselves and not beg; we subject God’s will to ours, and not ours to his; we forge a bond and then claim it as debt, which is a horrible presumption!  He that is his own promiser must be his own paymaster.

(2.) To pray in faith is required that we pray in Christ’s name.  As there can be no faith but on a promise, so no promise can be claimed but in his name, because they are all both made to him and performed for him.  They are made to him, the covenant being struck with him: ‘In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began,’ Titus 1:2.  And there was none then existing but Christ to whom the promise could be made. So that, as the child claims his estate in right of his father that purchased it; so we come to our right in the promise, as heirs of and co-heirs with Christ.  And as the promise was made to him, so it is performed for him, because his blood shed was the condition of the obligation upon which God acknowledged the debt to Christ, and bound himself to perform all the articles of the covenant to his heirs’ orderly claiming them at his hands in his name.  It is not therefore enough boldly to urge God with a promise: ‘Pardon, Lord, for thou hast promised it; grace and glory, for thou hast promised them;’ but we must, if we mean to lay our plea legally—I mean according to the law of faith—plead for these under the protection of his name.  Thus Daniel, that holy man, laid the stress of his prayer on Christ: ‘Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake,’ Dan. 9:17.

(3.) To this praying in faith is required a relying on God, through Christ, for a gracious answer.  Let the former be done, and the creature fail in this, he prays not in faith, but takes the name of God and Christ in vain.  This act of relying is the taking hold on God in prayer, Isa. 64.  When mariners in a storm cast out their anchor, and it comes home again without taking hold on the firm ground, so as to stay the ship and bear it up against the violence of the waves, it gives them no help.  So neither doth a handless prayer that takes no hold on God.  Therefore you shall find that when a Christian speeds well in prayer, his happy success is attributed, not to naked prayer, but as clothed and empowered with this act of recumbency upon God.  ‘They cried unto the Lord,’ II Chr. 13:14.  Now see, ‘The children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the Lord God of their fathers,’ ver. 18.  He doth but lie in prayer that doth not rely on God after praying.  What he seems to give with one hand to God he takes from him with another, which is no better than a mocking of God. By praying we pretend to expect good from him; by not relying we blot this out and declare we look for no such matter.

The Lord will not Abandon Us

Acts 3:19 “Repent, therefore, and turn, so that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come periods of refreshing from the presence of the Lord;”

Pastor Hendrix, in his second message at the 2016 Family Conference titled: “The Holy Spirit and Revival”, referred to the above verse as:

“Hope for the Holy Spirit’s return & work, periodically.”

Also:

“If revival is to happen, it must be all of God; it must be the work of living, real, and present Spirit of God.”

“We should be hopeful, more hopeful than most of us are.”

“We need to remember too that the Spirit has demonstrated the willingness to purpose revival in time past; times that, believe it or not, that were even less promising than our own.”

For that complete message: Pastor Hendrix, July 27th, 2016

Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Yahweh (Lord), do not abandon those who seek you.” ULB-EN

From Spurgeon Morning 9/14/16

“When we sail in Christ’s company, we may not make sure of fair weather, for great storms may toss the vessel which carries the Lord himself, and we must not expect to find the sea less boisterous around our little boat. If we go with Jesus we must be content to fare as he fares; and when the waves are rough to him, they will be rough to us. It is by tempest and tossing that we shall come to land, as he did before us.”

“Winds and waves will not spare us, but they all obey him; and, therefore, whatever squalls may occur without, faith shall feel a blessed calm within. He is ever in the centre of the weather-beaten company: let us rejoice in him. His vessel has reached the haven, and so shall ours.”

So in the storms of life, we can follow James’ advice, whether wisdom, strength, faith, or revival, God meets our needs….

James 1:5 “But if any of you needs wisdom, let him ask for it from God, the one who gives generously and without rebuke to all who ask, and He will give it to him.” ULB-EN

My sisters, pray without ceasing.

Pray & Give God the Glory

“It is no prayer where no vow is included.  We must not think to bind God and leave ourselves free.  God ties himself in the promise to help us; but the condition of the obligation on our part, is, that we will glorify him.  And upon no other terms doth God give us leave to ask any mercy at his hands.  ‘Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me,’ Ps. 50:15.  Now, what a strong tie doth this lay upon the praying Christian’s heart, to use the mercies he receives holily, and to wear with thankfulness what he wins by prayer!”  from ebook, The Christian in Complete Armour, William Gurnall; LOC 21922

The Importance of Asking God, in Prayer

From William Gurnall’s The Christian in Complete Armour.

I’m sorry I can’t give you the page because I’m now reading it in ebook (perhaps, LOC 21844-21868, but that may vary by ebook), but I give you this extended quote below because I can not come near to saying it like Gurnall did. I hope you can make your way through the old English, as well as the Latin (that’s mostly translated); it will be well worth it. Let’s not let Satan win by us thinking prayer doesn’t move mountains; God does answer.

“We read of taking heaven ‘by force,’ Matt. 11:12.  If ever this may be said to be done it is in prayer. Cælum tundimus et misericordiam extorquemus, saith Tertullian—we knock at heaven, and the merciful heart of God flies open, which we bring away with us.  And in the same apology he speaks of Christians, how they went to pray, as an enemy doth to besiege a town, and take it by storm—coimus in coetum et congregationem, ut ad Deum quasi manufactuâ præcationibus ambiamus orantes.  And then he adds, hæc vis Deo grata est—this holy violence we offer to God in prayer is very pleasing to him.  Surely, if it were not, he would neither help the Christian so in the work, nor reward him for it when it is done.  Whereas he doth both.  He helped Jacob to overcome: ‘By his strength he had power with God,’ Hosea 12:3.  That is, not by his own, but by the strength he had from God.  And then he puts honour upon him for the victory, ‘Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed,’ Gen. 32:28.  It were easy here to expatiate into a large history of the great exploits which prayer is renowned for in holy writ.  James 5:17; Isa. 37; Dan 2:18; II Sam. 15:31; Est. 4:16; Acts 12:5; John 11:41; Jonah 2:2; Joshua 10:12, 14; II Kings 20:10; Ps. 106:23; Eze. 22:30.  This is the key that hath opened and again shut heaven.  It hath vanquished mighty armies, and unlocked such secrets as passed the skill of the very devil himself to find out.  It hath strangled desperate plots in the very womb wherein they were conceived, and made those engines of cruelty prepared against the saints recoil upon the inventors of them; so that they have inherited the gallows which they did set up for others.  At the knock of prayer, prison doors have opened, the grave hath delivered up its dead; and the sea’s leviathan, not able to digest his prey, hath been made to vomit it up again.  It hath stopped the sun’s chariot in the heavens, yea made it go back.  And that which surpasseth all, it hath taken hold of the Almighty, when on his full march against persons and people, and hath put him into a merciful retreat.  Indeed, by the power prayer hath with God, it comes to prevail over all the rest.

He that hath a key to God’s heart cannot be shut out, or stopped at the creature’s door.  Now prayer moves God and overcomes him, not by causing any change in the divine will, and making God to take up new thoughts of doing that for his people which he did not before intend.  No, God is immutable, and what good he doth in time for his people he purposed before any time was.  But prayer is said to more than overcome God; because he then gives, what from eternity he purposed to give upon their praying to him. For when God decreed what he would do for his saints, he also purposed that they should pray for the same.  ‘I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them,’ Eze. 36:37.  Prayer’s midwifery shall be used to deliver the mercies God purposeth and promiseth.  Hezekiah understood this when he calls the prophet to the church’s labour, and bids because ‘the children’—that is, deliverance —stuck in her birth, that he should therefore ‘lift up a prayer,’ Isa. 37:3, 4.  And when Daniel had found the full reckoning of the promise—how long it had to go with the deliverance promised for their return from captivity—perceiving it hastened, he therefore falls hard to prayer, knowing God’s purpose to give doth not discharge us from our duty to ‘ask,’ Dan. 9:3.”

Pray While Traveling….

As I travel for the next 24 hours or so, I want to share a quote from The Resurrection in Your life: How the Living Christ Changes Your World, by Mike McKinley. @Michael McKinley/The Good Book Company. 2015, p. 70

“Wherever your day takes you, take the gospel there!”

May the Holy Spirit help me do just that, as part of the great commission.  And, my sisters, may we this day call on our Father:

Psalm 120:1 “In my distress I called out to Yahweh (the Lord), and he answered me.” ULB-EN

Psalm 50:15 “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will glorify me.” ULB-EN

How sweet these two Psalm are, even if we are not in distress or trouble, but also especially then; that He promises to answer us and rescue us…that we may glorify Him.

As we again and again petition our God, we know that He not only does not grow weary, but loves to have us come to Him. Oh, that we would together urge Him to send His Holy Spirit to the hearts of His people to revive us to be lights in this dark world, to herald forth the Good News that Jesus Christ came to seek and to save sinners.

Remembering the King Who left His throne for this lowly world, to die for my sin,  now returned there to reign forever.