OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE

OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE

J.C. Philpot

 “O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.” [2Chr 20:12]

Jehoshaphat did not know what to do; he was altogether at his wit’s end; and yet he took the wisest course a man could take.

This is the beauty of it; that when we are fools, then we are wise; when we are weak, then we are strong; when we know not what to do, then we do the only right thing. O had Jehoshaphat taken any other course; had he collected an army, sent through Judah, raised troops and forged swords and spears he would certainly have been defeated! But not knowing what to do, he did the very thing he should do. OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE.”

 “Thou must fight our battles; thou must take the matter into Thy own hands. Our eyes are upon Thee, waiting upon thee, looking up, and hoping in Thee; believing in Thy holy name, expecting help from Thee, from whom alone help can come.” But this is painful work to be brought to this point, “Our eyes are upon Thee,” implying there is no use looking to any other quarter. It assumes that the soul has looked, and looked, and looked elsewhere in vain, and then fixed its eyes upon God as knowing that from Him alone all help must come.

This I believe to be the distinctive mark of a Christian, that his eyes are upon God. On his bed by night; in his room by day; in business or at market, when his soul is in trouble, cast down, and perplexed, his eyes are UPON GOD. From Him alone all help must come; none else can reach his case. All other but the help of God is ineffectual; it leaves him where it found him; it does him no good. We are never safe except our eyes are upon God. Let our eyes be upon Him, we can walk safely; let our eyes be upon the creature, we are pretty sure to slip and stumble.

THE STRUGGLE FOR ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

THE STRUGGLE FOR ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

J.C. Philpot

“The entrance of Thy words giveth light” [Psalm 119:130]

We often get into such dark paths, that we feel as if there were no more grace in our souls, than we are as one altogether dead in trespasses and sins. And whether we look back at the past, or view the present, or turn our eyes to the future, one dark cloud seems to rest upon the whole; nor can we, with all our searching, find to our satisfaction that we have one spark of true religion, or one atom of grace, or one grain of vital godliness, or any trace that the Spirit of God has touched our consciences with his finger.

Now, when we are in this dark, benighted state, we want LIGHT; we want the blessed Son of righteousness to arise; we want the south wind to blow a heavenly gale, and drive the mists away; we want the clouds to part, and the light of God s countenance to shine into our souls, so as to show us where we are, and what we are, and make it clear, that base and vile as we are, yet that we are interested in the love of the Father, the blood of the Son, and the teachings of the Holy Ghost.

Are you never there in soul-feeling? Do you not sometimes look into your hearts, and weigh up your evidences, and examine yourselves, and say, “I must honestly confess” and you sink fathoms in a moment “that I cannot find in my soul one mark of grace; I am as worldly, as stupid, as ignorant, and as carnal, as though the finger of God bad never touched me.”

In these seasons, then, you want the ENTRANCE OF LIGHT. You cannot run to a friend, and say, “Be so kind as to give me a little flattery. Do just take the whitewash brush, and brush me over; get out the mortar and trowel, and daub me over with a little plaster. Pray, put a little putty into these cracked evidences; shore up my sinking religion, that it may not be altogether” a tottering wall, and a bowed fence.” No; you would rather ask a man of God to take his trowel, and pick out with the pointed end all the putty, instead of putting fresh into the crack.

You would rather stand naked before God, that he himself might, in his own time and way, clothe you with the garments of salvation, than be wrapped up in the veils and mantles of profession, or borrow a robe from your neighbour. Thus in these seasons you cannot go to man. You cannot angle for praise. If you resemble me, you cannot go to a child of God with a head hanging like a bulrush, and with demure looks throw out some disparaging, condemnatory sentence against yourself, for the express purpose of your Christian friend taking it up in order to underprop with it your religion. But you will act as Jeremiah says he did Jer 15:17, “I sat alone, because of thy hand;” you will do as we read La 3:28 he does who bears the yoke, -“he sitteth alone, and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.”

You will be crying unto the Lord in some secret corner, be tossing on your midnight couch, wrestling with the Saviour for a manifestation, and big scalding drops will be rolling down your cheeks, that the Lord would make himself known unto you, and sprinkle your conscience with his atoning blood. You will be sighing and mourning, away from every human eye and every human ear, that the Lord himself would lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and cause you experimentally to know the meaning of the words: The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” You can t be satisfied with the doctrine of Christ s blood, and the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness, and the doctrine of God s everlasting love, but you want the feeling application of it; the spiritual and supernatural entrance of it into your souls, so as to raise up that in your hearts which shall bring you out of prison to praise and bless his name.

And you want this entrance of light into your heart, that it may give you entrance into that which is within the veil, even a sweet and blessed entrance, by faith into the very heart and compassionate bosom of Jesus, so as to drink into his spirit, and to be melted into his likeness.

THIS IS THE RELIGION THAT I WANT; and as to any other, I would, in my right mind, tear every shred of it from me. As to any religion that does not stand in divine teachings, sweet applications, blessed manifestations, and heavenly testimonies, I would throw it aside from me as an unclean garment -I would bury all such rags and tatters in the first dunghill that I came to.

THE SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH

secret-place-of-the-most-high

THE SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH

J.C. Philpot

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” –Psalm 91:1

WHAT is “the secret place of the most High?” It is the same spot, of which Asaph speaks in the seventy-third Psalm–“Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end.” It is the spot, of which the Lord speaks in Ezekiel–“I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.” Then this “secret place” is the secret bosom of God. It is an entrance by faith into Jehovah, by a spiritual manifestation of him, leading us into a spiritual acquaintance with him.

“The secret place of the most High” is that solemn spot, where Jehovah meets with the sinner in Christ, and where he opens up to him the riches of his mercy, and leads him into his bosom, so as to read the secrets of his loving heart.

It is called a “secret” place, as only known to the those to whom it is especially communicated. It is called a “secret” place, because none can get into it–no, nor desire to get into it–except the Lord himself, with his own mysterious hand, opens up to them a part in it, sets them down in it, and sweetly blesses them in it.

Then to be in “the secret place of the most High” is to be brought into something like fellowship and acquaintance with God–something like communion, spiritual worship, divine communion; so as to know something of him experimentally, and “run into” him, as “a strong tower,” and there feel solemn safety!

GOD DRAWS HIS ELECT WITH CORDS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION

cords-of-man

GOD DRAWS HIS ELECT WITH CORDS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION

J.C. Philpot

“I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.” Hosea 11:4

When God draws His people near unto Himself, it is not done in a mechanical way. They are drawn, not with cords of iron, but with the cords of a man; the idea being of something feeling, human, tender, touching; not as if God laid an iron arm upon His people to drag them to His breast, whether they wished to come or not. This would not be grace nor the work of the Spirit upon the heart.

God does not so act in a way of mechanical force. We therefore read, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power” (Psalm 110:3). He touches their heart with His gracious finger, like the band of men whom He thus inclined to follow Saul (1 Sam. 10:26); He communicates to their soul both faith and feeling; He melts, softens, and humbles their heart by a sense of His goodness and mercy; for it is His goodness, as experimentally felt and realised, which leads to repentance.

If you have ever felt any secret and sacred drawing of your soul upward to heaven, it was not compulsion, not violence, not a mechanical constraint, but an arm of pity and compassion let down into your very heart, which, touching your inmost spirit, drew it up into the bosom of God. It was some such gracious touch as that spoken of in the Song of Solomon, “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.” It was some view of His goodness, mercy, and love in the face of a Mediator, with some dropping into your spirit of His pity and compassion towards you, which softened, broke, and melted your heart.

You were not driven onward by being flogged and scourged, but blessedly drawn with the cords of a man, which seemed to touch every tender feeling and enter into the very depths of your spirit. And why is this? Because it is as man that our blessed Lord is the Mediator; it is the man Christ Jesus, the man who groaned and sighed in the garden, the man that hung upon the cross, the man who lay in the sepulchre, who is now the man at the right hand of the Father, and yet God-man; for it is through His humanity that we draw near unto God.

As His blood, which was the blood of humanity; and as His sufferings, which were the sufferings of humanity; and as His sacrifice, which was the sacrifice of the humanity; and as His death, which was the death of the humanity; as these are opened up with divine power, they form, so to speak, a medium whereby we may draw near unto God, without terror, without alarm, because God in Christ manifests Himself as altogether love.

THREE KINDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

kings-daughter

THREE KINDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

J.C. Philpot

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:20]

There are three kinds of righteousness, or at least three kinds of righteousness which bear that name. There is inherent righteousness, of which we have none. There is imputed righteousness, which is all our justification. And there is imparted righteousness, when God the Spirit makes us new creatures, and raises up in the heart that “new man, which after God” (that is, “after the image of God”) “is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

When the Lord, therefore, said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven,” he did not mean only an external righteousness wrought out by his obedience to the law for them, but an internal righteousness wrought out by the Holy Spirit in them. Thus we read of the inward as well as the outward apparel of the Church, “The King’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold.”

Two kinds of righteousness belong to the Queen; her imputed righteousness is her outward robe, “the clothing of wrought gold;” but imparted righteousness is her inward adorning, which makes her “all-glorious within.” This inward glory is the new man in the heart, with all his gifts and graces, what Peter calls “the divine nature,” “Christ in the heart, the hope of glory.” [Hallelujah!]

P.S. “This must be so if the Church is conformed to her Head, for He was “without spot” externally, and “without blemish” internally.” – A.W. Pink

RUNNING THE RACE WITH PATIENCE

running-the-race-with-patience

RUNNING THE RACE WITH PATIENCE

J.C. Philpot

“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

None can run this race but the saints of God, for the ground itself is holy ground, of which we read that “no unclean beast is to be found therein.” None but the redeemed walk there; and none have ever won the prize but those who have run this heavenly race as redeemed by precious blood.

Now no sooner do we see by faith the race set before us than we begin to run; and, like Christian in the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” we run from the City of Destruction, our steps being winged with fear and apprehension. All this, especially in the outset, implies energy, movement, activity, pressing forward; running, as it were, for our life; escaping, as Lot, to the mountain; fleeing, as the prophet speaks, “like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah” (Zech. 14:5); or as the manslayer fled to the city of refuge from the avenger of blood.

As, then, the runner stretches forward hands, and feet, and head, intent only on being first to reach the goal, so in the spiritual race there is a stretching forth of the faculties of the new-born soul to win the heavenly prize. There is a stretching forth of the spiritual understanding to become possessed of clear views of heavenly truth. There is a stretching forth of the desires of the heart to experience the love of God; to feel acceptance with him through the blood of sprinkling; to know the way of salvation for ourselves, and to have clear evidences that our feet are in it; to receive tokens for good, and manifestations of the pardoning love of God; to walk in his fear, live to his praise, and enjoy union and communion with the blessed Lord. And there is a stretching forth of the affections of the heart after Jesus and the truth as it is in Jesus, with many longings, breathings, earnest cries, and fervent wrestlings at the throne of grace, that we may know the truth and by the truth be sanctified and made free.

So that when you look at the word “race” as emblematic of a Christian’s path, you see that it is not any movement of the body, what the Apostle calls “bodily exercise,” that is intended, but an inward movement of the soul, or rather of the grace that God has lodged in your bosom, and to which are communicated spiritual faculties, whereby it moves forward in the ways of God, under the influences of the blessed Spirit.

SEEKING GOD’S SMILE OR APPROVAL IN ALL THINGS

Angry little girl isolated on white background

SEEKING GOD’S SMILE OR APPROVAL IN ALL THINGS

J.C. Philpot

“The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” [Number 6:26]

When we offend a person, his face is not toward us as at other times. It was so with Laban towards Jacob; and if we have in any way incurred a friend’s or superior’s displeasure, we watch instinctively his countenance. Is it down or up? Does it wear a frown or a smile? Is it looking upon us with the eye of affection, or are the eyes averted? We can tell in a moment if we know the countenance.

Thus is the blessing asked, “The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee,” as a kind and affectionate parent upon an obedient child, as a fond husband upon a loving, devoted wife; for such is God to his children—Father and Husband. And do we not, as children, often provoke Him to look upon us with frowning brow, or rather, not to look upon us at all, to “hide His face,” as we read, “that we cannot see Him?”

The prayer then is, “The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee,” with a smile upon it; free, open, forgiving, merciful, and mild, that thou mayest advance therein.

When a disobedient child comes home and sees its father’s face not towards it as before, it shrinks away; there is no pressing forward to get upon the knee, no throwing the little arms round the neck and snatching a kiss, but a shrinking away through guilt and shame.

So it is in the things of God. When conscience tells us how in this and that instance we have disobeyed, been inconsistent, transgressed, and done amiss, when we go into God’s presence there is a hanging back, a shrinking away, through fear of an ill reception. But oh, the change in the child when the frown disappears and the smile succeeds; when the little one is taken once more into the arms and the tears are kissed away!
How much more so in the things of God when He kisses away the tears of the disobedient child, as in the case of the returning prodigal! There are no kisses like those kisses of forgiveness, of mercy, and of restoring grace.

“And give thee peace.” Oh, what a blessing! As Hart says, “I’ll lay me down and sweetly sleep, For I have peace with God.”

It is THIS that makes the pillow easy in life, and will alone make that pillow easy in death – peace with God through Jesus Christ, peace through the reconciliation, peace through the blood of sprinkling, “the peace of God which passeth all understanding.” Many covet great things, high things. But what said the Lord to Baruch? “Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not!”

Ministers often seek great gifts, great eloquence, great knowledge of mysteries, great congregations, great popularity and influence. They are wrong in seeking these so-called great things. Let them rather seek real things, gracious things, things that will make their souls blessed here and hereafter.

The blessing that the gracious soul most earnestly covets is peace; for this is the sweetest honey-drop in God’s cup. It is true that it does not make the heart overflow like joy, nor to dance with exultation like the first beaming in of the rays of hope, nor melt it down like the visits of love; but it is in some respects sweeter than all, because it so settles down the soul into sweet assurance; it is the realisation of the Saviour himself, for “He is our peace,” and may thus be called the crowning blessing.

 

MANS DEVICES AND THE LORD’S COUNSEL

many-devices

MANS DEVICES AND THE LORD’S COUNSEL

J.C. Philpot

“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, THAT shall stand.” [Proverbs 19:21]

The devices of our heart are generally to find some easy, smooth, flowery path. Whatever benefits we have derived from affliction, whatever mercies we have experienced in tribulation, the flesh hates and shrinks from such a path with complete abhorrence.

And, therefore, there is always a secret devising in a man’s heart . . .
to escape the cross,
to avoid affliction, and
to walk in some flowery meadow,
away from the rough road which cuts
his feet, and wearies his limbs.

Another “device in a man’s heart” is, that he shall have worldly prosperity; that his children shall grow up around him, and when they grow up, he shall be able to provide for them in a way which shall be best suited to their station in life; that they shall enjoy health and strength and success; and that there shall not be any cutting affliction in his family, or fiery trial to pass through.

Now these devices the Lord frustrates. What grief, what affliction, what trouble, is the Lord continually bringing into some families! Their dearest objects of affection removed from them, at the very moment when they seemed clasped nearest around their hearts!

And those who are spared, perhaps, growing up in such a searedness of conscience and hardness of heart, and, perhaps, profligacy of life, that even their very presence is often a burden to their parents instead of a blessing; and the very children who should be their comfort, become thorns and briars in their sides!

Oh, how the Lord overturns and brings to nothing the “devices of a man’s heart” to make a paradise here upon earth.

When a man is brought to the right spot, and is in a right mind to trace out the Lord’s dealings with him from the first, he sees it was a kind hand which “blasted his gourds, and laid them low;” it was a kind hand that swept away his worldly prospects; which reduced him to natural as well as to spiritual poverty; which led him into exercises, trials, sorrows, griefs, and tribulations; because, in those trials he has found the Lord, more or less, experimentally precious.

“There are many devices in a man’s heart.” Now you have all your devices; that busy workshop is continually putting out some new pattern; some new fashion is continually starting forth from the depths of that ingenious manufactory which you carry about with you; and you are wanting this, and expecting that, and building up airy castles, and looking for that which shall never come to pass; for “there are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”

And so far as you are children of God, that counsel is a counsel of wisdom and mercy. The purposes of God’s heart are purposes of love and affection toward you, and therefore you may bless and praise God, that whatever be the devices of your hearts against God’s counsel, they shall be frustrated, that He may do His will and fulfill all His good pleasure.

GOD’S BANNER OVER HIS ELECT IS LOVE

 

Spring Forest Nature Flowers Wallpaper Mobile

GOD’S BANNER OVER HIS ELECT IS LOVE

J.C. Philpot

“In the light of the king”s countenance is life; and his favor is as a cloud of the latter rain.” Proverbs 16:15

What is religion without a living faith in, and a living love to the Lord Jesus Christ? How dull and dragging, how dry and heavy, what a burden to the mind, and a weariness to the flesh, is a “round of forms” where the heart is not engaged and the affections not drawn forth! Reading, hearing, praying, meditation, conversation with the saints of God, what cold, what heartless work where Jesus is not! But let him appear, let his presence and grace be felt, and his blessed Spirit move upon the heart, then there is a holy sweetness, a sacred blessedness in the worship of God and in communion with the Lord Jesus that makes, while it lasts, a little heaven on earth.
 

It is this inward sense of the blessedness of his presence and the misery of his absence, the heaven of his smile and the hell of his frown, that makes the sheep of Christ seek communion with him. He has won their heart to himself by discovering to them his beauty and his love, and they having once seen the glory of his Person, heard the sweetness of his voice, and tasted the grace of his lips, follow him wherever he goes, seeking to know him and the power of his resurrection, and counting all things rubbish and loss that they may win him, and have some manifestation of his love.

What is to support the soul under those trials and temptations that at times press it so sore, relieve those cruel doubts which so disquiet, take away those fears of death which so alarm, subdue that rebelliousness which so condemns, wean from the world which so allures, and make it look beyond life and time, the cares of the passing hour, and the events of the fleeting day, to a solemn and blessed eternity, but those visitations of the blessed Lord to the soul which give it communion with himself? Thus were the saints of God led and taught in days of old, as the Holy Spirit has recorded their experience in the word of truth.

Remembering the past, one says, “Your visitation has preserved my spirit.” Longing for a renewal, another cries, “O when will you come unto me?” and under the enjoyment of his presence the Church speaks, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

can-two-walk-together

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

J.C. Philpot

There was a time, child of God, when the world held in your heart the chief place. It was not so in God’s heart. You and He were therefore at variance. But now, through grace, you are brought to make eternity your chief concern. You and God are agreed there; for in the mind of God eternity as much outweighs time as the stars in the midnight sky outweigh a grain of dust. 

There was a time when you loved the world and the things of time and sense; and earth and earthly things were your element and home. You and God disagreed upon that matter; because the Lord saw that the world was full of evil, whilst you saw it full of good. The Lord saw the world under His curse, and you loved its favour and its blessing–seeking madly and wickedly to enjoy that which God had denounced; therefore you could not agree.

Thus you see that in order to be agreed with God, we must have God’s thoughts in our heart, God’s ways in our soul, and God’s love in our affections. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.” But they must become such; and when once God’s thoughts become our thoughts and God’s ways our ways; when once we have the mind of Christ and see with the eyes of God, then God and we become agreed, and being agreed, we can walk together.

What is it to walk together? Why, it is to enjoy union, communion, fellowship, and friendship. Now as we are brought to agree with God, we walk with God. He has set up a mercy-seat on high, and when they thus agree, God and man may meet at the mercy-seat of the Redeemer. As the eyes are enlightened to see the truth of God; as the heart is touched to feel the power of God; and as the affections are drawn forth to love the things of God, we meet at the mercy-seat. It is sprinkled with blood; it contains and hides from view the broken tables of the law.

There God meets man in gracious amity, and enables him to pour out his soul before him and to tell him his troubles, trials, and temptations. And every now and then he sweetly relieves by dropping in a gracious promise, applying some portion of His sacred truth, encouraging him to believe in His dear Son, and still to hope in His mercy.