“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:5
[As you go deeper with God, you may be thinking…] But, am I not where I was before, only more aware of it? Are you not asking me to do precisely what is impossible, that I may enter upon a life of peace and spiritual power; to step on to this rock of strength, this lap of rest, across a gulf I cannot leap, and while I have no wings ? Can self deny self? Can the centre of my acts and thoughts dislodge itself? Can I will that for which I am unwilling? Can I spring away, once and for all, from my own shadow ?
In reply to such heart-questionings we will be perfectly practical. The heart, rather than the pure reason, is the questioner in this matter; and words which God has spoken in Scripture to the heart will be the best reply.
Do you remember the instructive progress of the Psalmist’s thought, Psalm 42:4,5,6? He is in sore perplexity, and he is athirst for God. At first, he “pours out his soul in him,”… throws and leans his distress upon himself, in weary introspection. Then, he reasons with that “soul”; conjures it not to “fret upon him”; entreats it to look up and off to God. Then, better still, he leaves this internal analysis and debate, and speaks direct to God, to his God; “O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore Will I REMEMBER THEE.” This saint of old shall be our guide.
We will “REMEMBER HlM.” We will leave the anxious metaphysics of the inner man, and we will go out and up, in some quiet, steady, recollections of fact. “O my God, I will remember Thee.”
Think then of this great, pervading, phenomenon of Scripture–its presentation of the LORD Himself, in His infinite but personal Being, outside mine, though the source and base of mine still, as able to deal with me, to work in me, to work through me. Gather together such utterances as these, and believe them as you read them:
“He is able to do exceeding abundantly, above what we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”;
“My grace is sufficient for thee; MY strength is made perfect in weakness”;
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on THEE”;
“They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength”;
“With Thee is the fountain of life”;
“I am come that they might have life;
“I give eternal life”;
“He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him”;
“He is able to keep what have committed unto Him”;
“He is able to make all grace abound towards you”;
“He is able to keep you from falling”;
“He is faithful”;
“He worketh in you, to will and to do”;
“The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God”;
“Not I, but Christ liveth in me”;
“Not I, but the grace of God with me”;
“Much more, being reconciled by the death of the Son of God, we shall be saved in His life”;
“The very God of peace sanctify you throughout”;
“The God of peace, who brought again the great Shepherd, make you perfect,” equip, or adjust, you perfectly, “to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight.” (See Eph. 3:20; 2 Cor. 12;9; Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 36:9; John 10:10,28; Heb. 7:25; 2 Tim. 1:12; 2 Cor. 9:8; Jude 24; Heb. 10:23; Phil 2:13; Gal. 2:20; 1 Cor. 15:10; Rom. 5:10; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13;20,21).
Now, mark, these are but some great clusters from the valleys of the Scripture Canaan. But are not these enough to show that “with God all things” all things proposed to faith, “are possible,” however impossible in themselves?
Looking at these words of the living God, will you not take in, and ever more take in, the divine certainty that “HE is ABLE,” and write it across every practical problem of the first step, and the next step, of your walk with God by faith?
(Part 1 of 2) This article is adapted from chapter 3 of Thoughts on Christian Sanctity, London Seeley & Co, 1888. H. C. G. Moule was Principal of Ridley Hall, and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was one of the theological voices in England’s Keswick Convention. -JBW