Wisdom Today

“My soul faints for your salvation—but I hope in your word.”

~ Ps 119:81

How difficult, for the most part, it is, and we may add, how rare to be able to realize for ourselves, with any degree of abiding permanency, a sweet experimental sense of, and an assured interest in, those spiritual blessings with which, so far as we are believers in the Son of God, we are blessed in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Glimpses, glances, transient views, sips and tastes, drops and crumbs sweet beyond expression while they last, but rarely given and soon gone, are, generally speaking, all we seem to get after much hard labor, many cries, earnest entreaties, and vehement longings before the Lord, as he presents himself to our faith, seated on the throne of his grace. How many there are who are daily and sometimes almost hourly crying out, if not in the exact words, yet in the substance of them– “O come, you much-expected guest; Lord Jesus, quickly come!”

And yet how long he seems to delay his coming! How continually are they looking upward until eyes and heart seem alike to fail, waiting for his appearing more than those who watch for the morning; how willing to make any sacrifice, to do anything, be anything, or bear anything, if he would but manifest himself to their souls. How often are they searching and examining their hearts, lips, and lives, to see if there be any evil way in them, that makes him hide his lovely face, and not drop one word into their longing breasts, whereby they might hold sweet communion with him! How they desire to be blessed with real contrition of heart, and godly sorrow for their sins, and be melted and dissolved at his feet, under a sight and sense of his bleeding, dying love!

But whence spring all these longing looks and waiting expectations? Do not all those earnest desires and vehement longings show that those in whom they so continually are found, are begotten again to a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead? It is divine life in their souls which is the spring and source of these inward breathings, lookings, and longings; and this divine life arises out of a new and spiritual birth, which is itself the fruit of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is not the still-born child that cries; it is the cry of the living child which so goes to the heart of the mother. Thus the cries of which we have spoken show that there is life.

But with life there is hope; for why should a man be ever crying after, waiting for, and anxiously expecting a blessing which he has no hope ever to obtain? If, then, these had no living hope, would they cry? There are no cries in a dead hope. It is because the grace of hope in their breasts is, like every other grace of the Spirit, alive unto God, that it acts in union with faith and love, to bring them and keep them earnest, sincere, and unwearied before the throne, expecting and anticipating what God has promised to bestow on those who wait upon him.

Wisdom Today

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people! Pay attention to me, when you deliver,

[Ps 106:4]

How is a man brought and taught to want to be “visited with” God’s salvation? He must know something first of condemnation. Salvation only suits the condemned. “The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost;” and therefore salvation only suits the lost. A man must be lost—utterly lost—before he can prize God’s salvation. And how is he lost? By losing all his religion, losing all his righteousness, losing all his strength, losing all his confidence, losing all his hopes, losing all that is of the flesh; losing it by its being taken from him, and stripped away by the hand of God. A man who is brought into this state of utter beggary and complete bankruptcy—to be nothing, to have nothing, to know nothing—he is the man, who in the midnight watches, in his lonely hours, by his fireside, and at times, well-near night and day, is crying, groaning, begging, suing, seeking, and praying after the manifestation of God’s salvation to his soul. “O visit me with your salvation.”

He needs a visit from God; he needs God to come and dwell with him, take up his abode in his heart, discover himself to him, manifest and reveal himself, sit down with him, eat with him, walk with him, and dwell in him as his God. And a living soul can be satisfied with nothing short of this. He must have a visit from God. It profits him little to read in the word of God what God did to his saints of old; he needs something for himself, something that shall do his soul good; he needs something that shall cheer, refresh, comfort, bless, and profit him, remove his burdens, and settle his soul into peace. And therefore he needs a visitation—that the presence and power, the mercy and the love of God should visit his soul.

~ J.C. Philpot ~

Wisdom Today

I, the Lord, protect it; I water it regularly. I guard it night and day, so no one can harm it. – Isa 27:3 NET

The Lord Jesus Christ, who lives at God’s right hand, has to send down supplies of his grace continually to keep your soul alive unto himself. Without this life being kept up and maintained by these continual supplies of his grace, you cannot pray, or read, or hear the word, or meditate with any feeling or profit. You cannot love the Lord and his blessed ways; you cannot submit to his righteous dealings; or hear the rod and him who appointed it. You may approach his throne, but your heart is cold, clouded, and unfeeling; your spirit sinks under the weight and burden of the trials and difficulties that are spread in your path; nor are you able to do anything that satisfies yourself, or that you think can satisfy God.

By these painful but profitable lessons, you are experimentally taught that you need the life of Christ as well as the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ as much as the crucifixion of Christ; Christ as an ever-living, ever-gracious, ever-glorious Mediator, to send down supplies of his love and power into your soul, as much as you needed him to die upon the cross for your redemption.

~ J.C. Philpot ~

Wisdom Today

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. – John 15:5 NET

The great secret in religion—that secret which is only with those who fear the Lord and to whom he shows his covenant—is first to get sensible union with the Lord, and then to maintain it. But this union cannot be gotten except by some manifestation of his Person and work to our heart, joining us to him as by one Spirit. This is the espousal of the soul, whereby it is espoused to one husband as a chaste virgin to Christ. From this espousal comes fellowship, or communion with Christ; and from this communion flows all fruitfulness, for it is not a barren marriage.

But this union and communion cannot be maintained except by abiding in Christ; and this can only be by his abiding in us. “Abide in me, and I in you.” But how do we abide in him? Mainly by faith, hope, and love, for these are the three chief graces of the Spirit which are exercised upon the Person and work of the Son of God. But as a matter of faith and experience, we have also to learn that to abide in Christ needs prayer and watchfulness, patience and self-denial, separation from the world and things worldly, study of the Scriptures and secret meditation, attendance on the means of grace, and, though last, not least, much inward exercise of soul.

The Lord is, so to speak, very cautious of his presence. Any indulged sin; any forbidden gratification; any bosom idol; any lightness or carnality; any abuse of the comforts of house and home, wife and children, food and clothing; any snare of business or occupation; any negligence in prayer, reading, watching the heart and mouth; any conformity to the world and worldly professors; in a word, anything contrary to his mind and will, offensive to the eyes of his holiness and purity, inconsistent with godly fear in a tender conscience, or unbecoming our holy profession, it matters not whether little or much, whether seen or unseen by human eye—all provoke the Lord to deny the soul the enjoyment of his presence.

And yet with all his purity and holiness and severity against sin, he is full of pity and compassion to those who fear and love his great and glorious name. When these sins are felt, and these backslidings confessed, he will turn again and not retain his anger forever. When repenting Israel returns unto the Lord his God, with the words in his heart and mouth—“Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously;” then the Lord answers—“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel—he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.” Then, under the influence of his love, Israel cries aloud—“Who is a God like unto you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retains not his anger forever, because he delights in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

~ J.C. Philpot ~