'A heathen could say, when a bird scared by a hawk flew into his bosom, I will not betray thee unto thy enemy, seeing thou comest for sanctuary unto me. How much less will God yield up a soul unto its enemy when it takes sanctuary in his name, saying, "Lord, I am hunted with such a temptation, dogged with such a lust, either thou must pardon it, or I am damned; mortify it, or I shall be a slave to it; take me into the bosom of thy love, for Christ's sake; castle me in the arms of thy everlasting strength, it is in thy power to save me from, or give me up into, the hands of my enemy. I have no confidence in myself or any other: into thy hands I commit my cause, my life, and rely on thee.' This dependence of a soul undoubtedly will awaken the almighty power of God for such an one's defense. He hath sworn the greatest oath that can come out of his blessed lips, even by himself, that such as thus fly for refuge to hope in him, shall have strong consolation, Heb. 6:17.' (William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour, p. 30)What wonderful power there is for the one who calls upon the Lord's name. Nothing can overtake us - nothing can strip us from the fingers of the hand of God. As we flee to Him, we are safe in Him. In our day and age it is very easy to be self-satisfied, and feel quite smug about one's standing before God when we do the outward tasks incumbent upon his people - going to church weekly, reading the Scriptures, etc.; but have we entrusted ourselves to Him, leaving no thread of confidence in our own works, or own abilities, or our own knowledge? Have we flung ourselves at His feet with the plea, "Save me, or I die"? This is the faith of Scripture - one in which we relinquish all our own qualifications, all our own beauties, even all our own gracious gifts given to us by God. None of those saves us. We can only plead in humility and with downcast eyes for God to have mercy upon us that we might be saved. We carry nothing to the throne, nothing to the altar of the Lord's Sacrifice. What is required for us has come ENTIRELY from without... namely the gracious imputation of Christ's righteousness on our behalf, and the imputation of our sin and sinful record, past, present and future, to His account. Sin having been dealt with, we are free - free to strive with every bit of our life to serve the Lord, and, despite our failures, to glorify Him truly because we are accepted in the Beloved. Let us give thanks for this indescribable gift, and lay all our praise before the Lord of Hosts for everything He has done.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
William Gurnall, in Part I of The Christian in Complete Armour, encourages us to trust in the fulness of God's strength on our behalf by describing the certainty of the acceptance of the one who relinquishes all and flees to Christ. He has been describing, throughout this part of this wonderful treatise, the almighty power of God and the complete impotence of weak human beings to defend and help themselves. He writes,