by John Owen – April 2nd, 2019
HOW TO MORTIFY SIN (Continued)
1). Fill your soul with Christ’s provisions (continued)
Christ tells us that we obtain purging grace by abiding in Him (Joh 15:4). To act faith upon the fullness that is in Christ for our supply is an eminent way of abiding in Christ, for both our engrafting and abode is by faith (Rom 11:19-20). 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 be-come as parched ground, and an habitation of dragons. I have made promises and broken them; vows and engagements have been as nothing to me. Many persuasions have I had that I had got the victory and should be delivered, but I am deceived. I plainly see that, without some eminent help and assistance, I am lost and shall be prevailed on to utterly forsake 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 (Heb 12:12). Behold, the Lord Christ, Who has all fullness of grace in His heart, all fullness of power in His hand, He is able to slay all these His enemies (Joh 1:16; Mat 28:18). 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 sayest thou, O my soul, “My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth 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; and 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.” Yes, 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).
In this way, God strengthened Paul under his temptation with the consideration of the sufficiency of His grace: “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2Co 12:9). Though he were not immediately so far made partaker of it as to be freed from his temptation, yet the sufficiency of it in God, for that end and purpose, was enough to stay his spirit.
I say, then, by faith, be much in the consideration of that supply and the fullness of it that is in Jesus Christ, and how He can at any time give you strength and deliverance. If hereby you do not find success to a conquest, yet you will be supported in the chariot so that you shall not retreat out of the field until the battle be ended. You will be kept from an utter despondency and a lying down under your unbelief, or a turning aside to false means and remedies, that in the end will not relieve you. The efficacy of this consideration will be found only in its practice.