” ‘Glorify ye the Lord in the fires’ Isaiah 24:15 (ESV), not when they have passed or you are out of them and they are only memories, but in them.”
~Amy Carmichael, 1867-1951
When we’re going through trials, we cannot be so focused on the “fire” that we neglect that greater Light. It’s important that we stay in God’s word – remembering that the encouragement that threads through the Bible was put there for strugglers like us.
“Some, though dead to the world, have not that joy in God which it is their privilege to possess. They meditate too much upon their own infirmities, and too little upon the perfections and promises of their God.
O brethren, look at God as the God of salvation, as the God of your salvation, and you shall have your fears turned into confidence, and your sorrows into thanksgiving and the voice of melody.”
~Charles Simeon from his sermon titled “The Christian’s Boast” from Habakkuk 3:17-18. Read the entire message here.
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.”
~Habakkuk 3:17-18 (ESV)
This land we live in is a spiritual war zone. Some days it’s more evident than others, but it’s a reality that we live in a fallen world where every day light opposes darkness and good goes head to head with evil.
The believer feels it in his soul. The Apostle Paul did. “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” –Romans 7:21-23
Since we agree we’re in a war zone, then it’s imperative that we resolve to stay alert. The honor of our King is at stake.
So how do we stay alert?
- Stay in God’s word. When I neglect the Bible, I start drifting away from the Lord. I let my guard down. I sin.
- Determine to spend time alone with God.
- Be faithful to rub elbows with saints whose lives and words point you to the things of God.
A saint who always points me Godward is Amy Carmichael, the missionary to India. These thoughts from Amy seem more like commands from a general, a general who understands the dangers of war. Listen closely:
“Comrades, in this solemn fight, this awful conflict with awful powers, let us settle it as something that cannot be shaken.
We are here to live holy, loving lives.
We cannot do this unless we walk very, very close to our Lord Jesus.
Anything that would hinder us from the closest walk that is possible to us, till we see Him face to face, is not for us.”
~Amy Carmichael from God’s Missionary