Music For the Soul
Devotional: July 11th
That is the worst fight - our battle with ourselves; far worse than all these Hittites and Hivites, and the other tribes with their barbarous names. Far worse than all external foes are the foes that each man carries about in his own heart. In that slow hand-to-hand and foot-to-foot struggle I do not believe that there is any conquering power available for a man that can for a moment be compared with the power that comes through submission to Christ's command and acceptance of Christ's help. He has fought every foot of the ground before us. We have to " run the race" - to take another metaphor - " that is set before us, looking unto Jesus," the great Leader, and in His own Self, the Perfecter of the faith which conquers. In Him, His example, the actual communication of His Divine Spirit, and in the motives for brave and persistent conflict which flow from His Cross and Passion, we shall find that which alone will make us the victors in this internecine warfare. There can be no better directory given to any man than to tread in Christ's footsteps, and learn how to fight from Him, who in the wilderness repelled the triple assault with the single " It is written "; thus recognizing the word and will of God as the only directory and defence. Thus, if we humbly take service in His ranks, and ask Him to show us where our foes within are, and to give us the grace to grapple with them, and cast them out, anything is possible rather than ultimate defeat; and however long and sore the struggle may be, its length and its severity are precious parts of the discipline that makes us strong, and we are at last more than conquerors through Him that loveth us.
Think of Christ, what He is, and what resources He has at His back, of what are His claims for our service, and loyal, militant obedience. Think of the certain victory of all who follow Him amongst the armies of Heaven, clad in fine linen, clean and white. Think of the crown and the throne for Him that overcomes.
Remember the destructive powers that sleep in Him: the drawn sword in His hand; the two-edged sword out of His mouth; the wrath of the Lamb. Think of the ultimate certain defeat of all antagonisms; of that last campaign when He goes forth with the name written on His vesture and on His thigh, " King of kings and Lord of lords." Think of how He strikes through kings in the day of His wrath, and fills the place with the bodies of the dead; and how His enemies become His footstool.
Ponder. His own solemn word, " He that is not with Me is against Me." There is no neutrality in this warfare. Either we are for Him or we are for His adversary. " Under which King? - speak or die! " As a sensible man, not indifferent to your highest and lasting well-being, ask yourself, " Can I, with my ten thousand, meet Him with His twenty thousand?" Put yourself under His orders, and He will be on your side. " He will teach your hands to war, and your fingers to fight; will cover your head in the day of battle," and bring you at last, palm-bearing and laurel-crowned, to that blissful state where there will still be service, and He still be the Captain of the Lord's host, but where swords will be beaten into ploughshares and the victors shall need to learn war no more.
'Music For The Soul' daily readings for a year from the writings of the Rev. Alexander Maclaren, D.D., selected and arranged by the Rev. Geo. Coates, published by A.C. Armstrong and Son, 51 East Tenth Street, (1897). The original text is in the Public Domain and this electronic version is free for anyone without cost or obligation. This a year long daily devotional was written by the Rev. Alexander Maclaren over 100 years ago. This Scottish pastor had a heart to follow Jesus and a love for souls.
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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