Many great hymns I didn’t like in my early days, because I heard them sung in some dead prayer meeting with a dead song leader who did not expect anything, and a dead congregation in front of him who did not expect anything. Both would have been shocked if anything happened. They had a spirit of no expectation.
True worship that is pleasing to God creates within the human heart a spirit of expectation and insatiable longing.
A.W. Tozer, The Purpose of Man
In the end that Face which is the delight or terror of the universe must be turned upon each of us either with one expression or with the other, either conferring glory inexpressible or inflicting shame that can never be cured or disguised.
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
“If our religion is something objective, then we must never avert our eyes from those elements in it which seem puzzling or repellent; for it will be precisely the puzzling or the repellent which conceals what we do not yet know or need to know.”
C.S. Lewis - The Weight of Glory
It takes courage to face down the things that we don’t understand. It is far easier to ignore the difficult issues, the ones that make us cringe inside. I’ve been there…and I’ve had the joy of being on the other end of it, when the dust of striving lifts and clarity remains.
Our religion is objective. Our one desire ought to be to dwell in His fullness (Psalm 27:4), and God knows we have a lot to sort through on our journey to see Him as He is.
Think about what issues or aspect of the faith you’ve avoided. What have you sidestepped in your desire for comfort? Got it?
Take heart, and seek to understand. Don’t be afraid of the truth, for the truth shall set you free.
If God aimed at your immediate glorification He would take you to Heaven. But He aims at
your humiliation, that you may be like His First-Born.
Charles Spurgeon, Sermon #2144
True faith will trust God where it cannot trace Him.
Men cannot forget that there is a God so long as they see His servants among them, dressed in the livery of holiness.
Charles H. Spurgeon, Sermon #1725
What peaceful hours I once enjoyed,
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void,
The world can never fill.
Return, thou sacred dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest,
I hate the sins that made thee mourn,
And drove thee from my breast.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from its throne,
And worship only thee.
The condition upon which God hath given liberty is eternal vigilance.
We need to remind ourselves that throughout the Bible, not least in the Psalms, God’s coming judgment is a good thing, something to be celebrated, longed for, yearned over.
Faced with a world in rebellion, a world full of exploitation and wickedness, a good God MUST be a God of judgment.
N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope
“An evangelical believes that God humbled himself not only in the incarnation of the Son, but also in the inspiration of the Scriptures. The manger and the cross were not sensational. Neither are grammar and syntax.
But that is how God chose to reveal himself. A poor Jewish peasant and a prepositional phrase have this in common, they are both human and both ordinary. That the poor peasant was God and the prepositional phrase is the Word of God does not change this fact.
Therefore, if God humbled himself to take on human flesh and to speak human language, woe to us if we arrogantly presume to ignore the humanity of Christ and the grammar of Scripture.”