God is the source of all spiritual power, and should be sought for constantly in two ways — by meditation in His word, and by secret prayer — if we would have and retain power.
Several years ago I was ‘specialing’ at a New England corps, commanded by a rather gifted Ensign. He appeared to be much impressed by my familiarity with and use of the Bible, and one day remarked that he would be willing to give a fortune, if he had it, for an equal knowledge of the Scriptures. He was much taken back when I assured him that he was quite mistaken as to the strength of his desire, for if he really wanted to get acquainted with his Bible, he could easily do so by spending the hour and more that he gave to the newspapers each day, in prayerful study of God’s word.
Men are everywhere crying and sighing for power and the fullness of the Spirit, but neglecting the means by which this power and fullness are secured.
The saintly Fletcher said, ‘An eager attention to the doctrines of the Holy Spirit made me in some degree overlook the medium by which that Spirit works; I mean the word of truth, by which that heavenly fire warms us. I rather expected lightning than a steady fire by means of fuel.’
Glad, believing, secret prayer, and patient, constant meditation in the word of God will keep the sanctified man full of power, full of love and faith, full of God.
But neglect of these results in spiritual weakness and dryness, joyless labour and fruitless toil, and, unless a remedy is found, spiritual death will surely, if not swiftly, follow. If any reader of this has lost the power and sweetness of his experience through neglect of these simple means, he will not receive the blessing back again by working himself up into a frenzy of agony in prayer, but rather by quieting himself and talking plainly to God about it, and then hearkening diligently to what God says in His word and by His Spirit. Then peace and power will soon return, and need never be lost any more. Hallelujah!
Most people give about ten hours a day to their bodies for eating, and drinking, and dressing, and sleeping, and maybe a few minutes to their souls. We ought to give at least one solid hour every day to restful, loving devotion with Jesus over our open Bible, for the refreshing, developing and strengthening of our spiritual life. If we would do this, God would have an opportunity to teach, correct, inspire and comfort us, reveal His secrets to us, and make spiritual giants of us. If we will not do this, we shall surely be spiritual weaklings all our days, however we may wish to be strong.
The devil will rob us of this hour if we do not steadfastly fight for it. He will say, ‘Go and work,’ before we have gained the spiritual food that strengthens us for work. The devil’s piety and eager interest in God’s work is amazing when he sees a man upon his knees! It is then that he transforms himself into an angel of light, and woe be to the soul that is deceived by him at this point!
I do thank God that, for many years, as a Field Officer, a Divisional Officer, and a Spiritual Special, He has helped me to resist the devil at this point, and to take time with Him until my soul has been filled with His glory and strength, and made triumphant over all the power of the enemy. Glory to God!
‘And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified ‘(Acts xx. 32).