A World of Choice?

Jerry Bridges

 

As a boy I would spend hours looking at colorful catalogues of model trains; the engines, carriages, miniature mountains, trees, buildings (and people) that might make up little worlds for me to control. I am sorry to admit that this very ‘worldly’ attitude has not altogether left me yet. What hope is there for someone like me? This final brief post on the theme of worldliness comes from Jerry Bridges.

 

Jerry Bridges wrote: “How then can we deal with our tendencies toward worldliness? It is not by determining that we will not be worldly but by committing ourselves to becoming more godly. We need to grow in our relationship with Him and begin to view all aspects of life through the lens of His glory. In the nineteenth century, a Scottish minister, Thomas Chalmers, preached a sermon called, ‘The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.’ That’s what we need to combat our worldliness. We need an increased affection for God that will expel from our hearts our affections for the things of this world.”
From Jerry Bridges in Respectable Sins – Confronting the Sins We Tolerate.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.   Colossians 3:1-2 ESV

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A good long look?

Morgan

To you I lift up my eyes,     
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Psalm 123:1 ESV

At times, our guilt, our fear, and even our anger towards God, lead us all to hide from him rather than to look for him. To come to the point where we are able to turn and look at Him (and to bear the experience of God looking back) is a work of His Grace. This final brief post on the theme of looking to God comes from Dr. G. Campbell Morgan…

Campbell Morgan writes…. “…The atmosphere of this song is that of those who were in circumstances very far from the ideal celebrated in the previous Psalm. Their experience was not that of peace and prosperity, but that of turmoil and adversity. Nevertheless, because of their spiritual apprehension of the ideal, they were able thus to lift up their eyes to God, and wait His deliverance.

“The nature of that waiting is beautifully set forth in the figure employed, that of servants and handmaidens. These look to the hands of their master and mistress, and that statement has a threefold suggestiveness.
The first is that of dependence.
The hands of master and mistress provide all that is needed for the sustenance of their servants.
The second is that of submission.
The hands of master and mistress direct the service of servants.
The third is that of discipline.
The hands of master and mistress correct the servants of the household.

“Here, then, is the true way of looking for help from (God). It is that of dependence, obedience and response to correction. When the eyes lifted to Him are those of such as fulfil these conditions, the help sought is ever found, the mercy of (God) is ever active towards them.”

From Dr. G Campbell Morgan in Searchlights From the Word

Spiritually Leaky?

Utmost

We can’t all be what the world calls ‘good looking’, I suppose. But we can surely all ‘look good’; or at least we can ‘look our best’. And, in Christ, by grace, through faith alone, our best look is towards Him. This first of three brief posts on the theme of looking to God comes from Oswald Chambers…

Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he has mercy upon us.
Psalm 123:2 ESV

“This verse is a description of entire reliance upon God. Just as the eyes of the servant are riveted on his master, so our eyes are up unto God and our knowledge of his countenance is gained (cf. Isaiah 53:1 R.V.). Spiritual leakage begins when we cease to lift up our eyes unto Him. The leakage comes not so much through trouble on the outside as in the imagination, when we begin to say – ‘I expect I have been stretching myself a bit too much, standing on tiptoe and trying to look like god instead of being an ordinary humble person.’ We have to realize that no effort can be too high.

“For instance, you came to a crisis when you made a stand for God and had the witness of the Spirit that all was right, but the weeks have gone by, and the years maybe, and you are slowly coming to the conclusion, ‘Well, after all, was I not a bit too pretentious? Was I not taking a stand a bit too high?’

“Your rational friends come and say – ‘Don’t be a fool, we knew when you talked about this spiritual awakening that it was a passing impulse, you can’t keep up the strain, God does not expect you to.’ And you say – ‘Well, I suppose I was expecting too much.’

“It sounds humble to say it, but it means that reliance on God has gone and reliance on worldly opinion has come in. The danger is lest, no longer relying on God, you ignore the lifting up of your eyes to Him.

“Only when God brings you to a sudden halt, will you realize how you have been losing out. Whenever there is a leakage, remedy it immediately. Recognize that something has been coming between you and God, and get it readjusted at once.”

From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest…