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Who Seeks after God?

O God, you are my God; early will I seek you– my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water; to see your power and your glory, so as I have seen you in the sanctuary. (Psalm 63:1, 2)

Do carnal, unregenerate men know anything of these holy longings and spiritual breathings after an invisible God, or after a manifestation of the blood and love of Christ? Depend upon this, that no unregenerated man ever longed truly and really for God. He might desire to have his sins pardoned, under the convictions and stingings of his natural conscience; he might even wish to go to heaven that he might escape hell; but he never desired God for what he is in himself. He is too pure and holy, too great and glorious a Being for a natural heart to love, or a carnal mind to desire. But every unregenerate sinner says unto God, “Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of your ways.” (Job 21:14.)

There must be a new nature raised up in the soul, a new heart and a new spirit, before God can be desired for his own sake. If there are in your soul breathings similar, if not so deep, you have so far marks and evidences that God is your God, though you may not be able, in the sweet approbation of faith, to say with unfaltering lips, “O God, you are my God!” I fully grant were you able to say this, it would put more life into your longing, more earnestness into your seeking, and more power into your wrestling; for it is this appropriating faith which holds the Lord so firmly in the arms of wrestling prayer. But though you cannot, from various internal hindrances, rise up into the sweet appropriation of faith, yet, as having these longings, seekings, and thirstings, you have so far an indubitable, because scriptural, evidence that God has not left you devoid of a work of grace upon your heart. I am very sure that if a man knows nothing of the power of God in his soul he can know nothing of true religion or vital godliness.

– J.C Philpot

The Believer’s Chastening

Believer in Christ, let us keep in mind that when we are chastened of the Lord, that it is not for the punishment of our sins.  The chastening hand of God is for our correction so that we should repent and forsake our sins (Jer.31:18-20).  The scourging of the Father is meant to loose our grip from the things of this world, and cause us to set our affection on Christ and those things that are above (Col.3:2).  Our chastisement is used of God to show us the vanity of our self-righteousness and the fleeting pleasures of this world.  The scriptures warn us that when we forget the God of our salvation that all our “pleasant plants and foreign seeds shall be a harvest of grief and sorrow.” (Isaiah 17:10-11)

Truly our sins, our flesh, and our attachments to this world are the cause of our Father’s chastening hand upon us.  This will certainly cause us much pain and tears.  But then let us look to Jesus Christ our Savior.   Let us by faith lay hold upon Him, for by His one offering He has obtained for us eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).  Our Lord Jesus was stricken smitten and afflicted of God for ALL our sins (Isa.53: 4-5;10-12).  He was “made sin for us that we should be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor.5:21).  Therefore, God being Just and Holy, and having punished our sins in Christ cannot and will not ever punish us for our sins.  As the old hymn writer once said:  “twice payment God cannot demand, once at my bleeding surety’s hand, and then again at mine” (Isa. 40:2).

Are you then chastened of God?  Weep for thy sin!  Lament for the coldness of thy heart and return unto the Lord (Hos.6:1).  Confess thy sin and He is faithful and just to forgive thy sin (1 John 1:9).  And here is the ground of thy plea:  Christ hath once died and purged our sins (Hebrews 1:3: 9:12).  Rejoice, believer!  Only the living soul can feel the chastening hand of the Father, and only the Sons of God flee by faith to Christ alone!

– Fred Evans