Look where you’re going!

john baptist
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you!

I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
like an owl of the waste places;
I lie awake;

I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
Psalm 102:1, 6-7 ESV

 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, …
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1, 5 ESV

‘Look where you’re going!’ was one of many helpful bits of advice my father gave me; it became most memorable on the occasion (aged three) that I stepped into a tin of red roofing paint, up to my knee. My feet still tend to follow my eyes; I end up going where I am looking. So who is to blame if I find myself in the desert? And how do I find my way out? This final brief post on the theme Owl or Eagle? also comes from Charles Spurgeon…

Charles Spurgeon said… “The Lord alone can change spiritual sadness into spiritual gladness. No hand can heal a broken heart save the divine hand that made it. ….. The only true (cure) comes from Calvary! … He alone can turn the owl into an eagle, but He can do it! He understands your case, for He has passed through an experience exactly similar to yours. He has not only walked the hospitals – that is an essential thing for a physician to do – but … Christ took upon Himself our sicknesses, and bore our sorrows – and even our sins…

So … look to Him! If you have only an owl’s eyes, yet turn them to Christ, and He will change them into an eagle’s eyes. If you are only as the owl of the desert, resolve that you will see no light but His light, for, then, His light will surely soon come to you!  

… As Christ has redeemed us, so the Holy Spirit comforts us… And the Holy Spirit uses the very best medicine …. Do you ask, ‘What is that?’ Christ said to His disciples, “He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” What medicine can ever be equal to the things of Christ? O poor owl of the desert, if the Spirit of God shall come and visit you, as He will, and reveal the things of Christ to your soul, you will then spread your wings, like an eagle, and mount aloft into the heavenlies in Christ Jesus!

From a sermon by Charles Spurgeon Owl or Eagle, preached on Sunday, March 10th, 1872

14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:14-15 ESV

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Satisfaction!

Chagall David

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you!
I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
like an owl of the waste places; I lie awake;
I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
Psalm 102:1, 6-7 ESV

 

 


Bless the
Lord, O my soul,

… who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1, 5 ESV

That our taste for satisfaction sometimes leads us to choose to sin is sadly ironic when to choose submission to God will bring a taste of heaven and satisfaction too. This second of three brief posts on the theme Owl or Eagle? also comes from Charles Spurgeon…

Charles Spurgeon said:Here is a man under a sense of sin. He … cries, ‘I am like an owl of the desert.’ … But look what happens when the Lord Jesus Christ manifests Himself to that poor guilty sinner! He looks at Christ upon the cross …honestly and sincerely, and trusts Him with his soul! Have you not seen the change that such an experience works in men?

Now he is not like an owl any longer. His sin is completely forgiven. In a moment he has passed from darkness into marvelous light, from bondage into liberty, from death unto life!

“… Ask him whether he is like an owl, now, and he will say, “God forbid! Why should I be?”

See how the man walks now? Before, his feet seemed like lead. Now, they appear almost as if they were winged, like the feet of the fabled messenger of the gods. Now, the man runs along the path of duty! He delights in his God. He loves Him! He adores Him! He triumphs in Him, and boasts of the Lord Jesus Christ as His Savior.

All this change is sometimes worked in a single hour—yes, in a single moment the sackcloth and ashes are taken away, (he is) girded with the garments of praise—and sorrow is changed into overflowing bliss!”

From a sermon by Charles Spurgeon Owl or Eagle? preached on Sunday, March 10th, 1872.

Owl or eagle?

David again
Hear my prayer, O
Lord;
let my cry come to you!
I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
like an owl of the waste places; I lie awake;
I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
Psalm 102:1, 6-7 ESV



Bless the
Lord, O my soul,
… who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1, 5 ESV

After thirty years of reading the Psalms (almost) daily, and several of sharing them at Singing in Babylon (WordPress) my gratitude to God for them keeps growing. That, soon, I will have no such need of them, staggers me; that, in heaven, the pain that drove me to them will not just be gone from experience, but from memory too; that the owl will be, forever, an eagle. This first of three brief posts on the theme Owl or Eagle? comes from Charles Spurgeon…

Charles Spurgeon said: “(Without the Psalms) we might have supposed that these gracious men of the olden time were not subject to the same infirmities as ourselves. And we might have concluded that we were not the Lord’s people, ‘for, surely,’ we would have said, ‘God’s true people never wandered as we wander, never failed as we fail, were never downcast as we are, and were never on the borders of despair as we sometimes are.’ 

But we turn to this blessed Book, and we find that the saints of God described in it were very much like the saints of the present time! The sea of life is rough to us, and it was rough to them. Their vessels leaked, then, and ours leak now. The winds sometimes blow a hurricane just as they did then, and spiritual navigation was, in their day, very much what it is today.

This must always be a cause of consolation to us, and also a means of direction, for, seeing that they fought and struggled as we do, we can examine their methods to discover how they gained their victories. And, having the same sort of enemies to deal with, and the same divine assistance at our disposal, we flee for help and strength where they fled, and use the same means which they used so well in overcoming their adversaries.

If God had changed, that would have altered matters for us, but, since He is still the same, and deals with His children after the same rule of grace, we are both comforted and instructed as we read how He delivered His ancient people.”

From a sermon by Charles Spurgeon Owl or Eagle, p
reached on Sunday, March 10th, 1872.

Hard pressed?

John Piper31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;  we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Luke 7:31-34 ESV

Jesus wasn’t shocked by the opposition that his gospel aroused (John 2). Our perversity towards Him, our stubborn rejection of the truth about ourselves, came as no surprise to Him, and it never for a moment diminished His love for us. Our opposition was powerless to prevent His purpose being fulfilled. This final brief post on the theme of opposition also comes from John Piper.

John Piper wrote: “And if there is enough conflict and hostility that those who speak the gospel are even imprisoned, that very moment of bad press may be the occasion of gospel triumph. Why? Because, Paul said, ‘I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal [for the gospel]. But the word of God is not bound!’(2 Timothy 2:9). In fact, it may be that when God and truth are loved enough that we are willing to take stands that incur slander and hostility, the Spirit may move more powerfully than in times of peace and popularity.

“Sometimes Christians have favor with society and sometimes we ‘are spoken against everywhere.’ In either case, God can, and often does, pour out His power for effective witness. Both peace and slander can be the occasion of blessing.

“Therefore let us not embrace the assumption that times of social ridicule must be times of weakness and fruitlessness for Christianity. They may be a sign of faithfulness and occasions of great harvest. The church was ‘spoken against everywhere,’ and ‘the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.’ (Acts 19:20).

From John Piper in Pierced by the Word.