Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Owen on The Means of Mortifying Sin
"Let, then, your soul by faith be exercised with such thoughts and apprehensions as these:
I am a poor, weak creature; unstable as water, I cannot excel. This corruption is too hard for me, and is at the very door of ruining my soul; and what to do I know not. My soul is become as parched ground, and an habitation of dragons. I have made promises and broken them; vows and engagements have been as a thing of naught. Many persuasions have I had that I had got the victory and should be delivered, but I am deceived; so that I plainly see, that without some eminent succor and assistance, I am lost, and shall be prevailed on to an utter relinquishment of God. But yet, though this be my state and condition, let the hands that hang down be lifted up, and the feeble knees be strengthened. Behold, the Lord Christ, that has all fullness of grace in his heart [John 1:16], all fullness of power in his hand [Matt. 28:18], he is able to slay all these his enemies. There is sufficient provision in him for my relief and assistance. He can take my drooping, dying soul and make me more than a conqueror [Rom. 8:37].
'Why do you say, O my soul, my way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Have you not known, have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." (Isa. 40:27-31).'
He can make the 'dry, parched ground of my soul to become a pool, and my thirsty, barren heart as springs of water'; yea, he can make this 'habitation of dragons', this heart, so full of abominable lusts and fiery temptations, to be a place for 'grass' and fruit to himself (Isa. 35:7).
So God staid Paul, under His temptation, with the consideration of the sufficiency of his grace: 'My grace is sufficient for you' (2 Cor. 12:9)