Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Alluring

The eye and the heart of God, are upon his people before they know it, and when they little think of it. He loves them with an everlasting love therefore, he will draw, or allure them. He will draw them from their carnal pleasures, vain pursuits, and wordily company.

He will secretly persuade them by a divine operation upon their minds; or by disappointments, vexations, convictions, distress of soul, and bereavements; or by discoveries of his glorious grace, the blessedness of his people, or the felicity of Heaven to leave the pleasures and pursuits that are carnal and seek for himself, and spiritual things. He will entice her, or draw her, by the revelation, and exhibition, of Jesus in his glory, beauty, and exact adaptation to her.

Not an uninhabited spot but what is elsewhere called "the wilderness of the people." So, that though surrounded by society, the soul feels alone, it has an inward persuasion, that it is an isolated being. The allured soul feels that no one is like it no one ever had such feelings, such fears, such corruptions, such temptations, such doubts.

The believer, like a person in a wilderness, has a painful sense of barrenness. Beneath, there is no green and pleasant verdure but scorching sands; above, no shower bearing clouds but a burning sky. All is barren, and tends to barrenness. So the soul finds it the means of grace are barren; prayer, preaching, and conversation, all are barren. Even the Bible appears to be a barren book.

So the man feels exposed to danger, danger from Satan, sin, the world, and death. Danger from the law, and danger even from Christian friends.  There is also a painful sense of destitution, and the man becomes wearied, bewildered, and exhausted.

This wilderness is a place of instruction, here the soul learns many a painful but important lesson. Here it learns dependence on God, the emptiness and insufficiency of the creature, and the need of a divine agency to carry on the work.

He speaks a divorce from all creatures that we may enjoy union to, and find happiness in himself alone. He calls us away from centering in self to fix our faith and affections on himself.  He speaks, so as to prevail with us to leave all others, and give ourselves up to be ruled by his will, to feed at his table, and to be satisfied with his goodness.

He speaks comfort, and speaks comfortably to us. By a Barnabas, or by the Comforter he speaks, and, brings home a word of promise to the heart. This encourages faith, emboldens hope, and persuades the soul to close in with Christ. Or some sweet word flows into the mind, assuring us that he has pardoned our sins, will take us as his own, will guide us by his counsel, and afterwards receive us to glory.

Reader, has the Lord ever allured you, and drawn you away into a wilderness, revealing himself to you? Has he ever spoken to your heart, words of peace and love? Jesus spoke to the heart of the poor woman, when he said, "Your sins, which are many, are all forgiven," and to the poor man, when he said, "Your faith has saved you, go in peace." Such pleasant words are as a honeycomb sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Such good words will make the heart glad.

We must be weaned from the world, from the creatures, and be brought into secret, heart-affecting, soul transforming communion with God. We must therefore find the world a wilderness, a desert, a land of drought. We must turn from man to God, and in God as revealed in Jesus, find a friend that loves at all times, and be able to say, with the apostle, "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."

Gracious God, let us often experience your alluring influence, let us often find ourselves alone with you, let us in every trouble look unto the door of hope, let us often sing of your delivering mercy and grace and let us realize that we are one with you, and that you are one with us, so that in all our approaches to you, and dealings with you, we may exercise love, confidence, and joy!

[James Smith]

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Hosea 2:14 ... Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.

Jeremiah 31:3 ... The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.

1 John 1:3 ... That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

John 6:44 ... No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.❤