Dead Fish

“They are dead fish which are carried down the stream.”

Living fish may go with the stream at times, but dead fish must always do
so. There are plenty of such in all waters : dead souls, so far as the
truest life is concerned, and these are always drifting, drifting, drifting
as the current takes them. Their first inquiry is—what is customary ? God’s
law is of small account to them, but the unwritten rules of society have
a power over them which they never think of resisting. Like the Vicar of Bray,
they can twist round and round if the stream is running in an eddy ; or,
like the sluggard, they can remain at their ease if the waters are stagnant.
They stand in awe of a fool’s banter, and ask of their neighbor leave to breathe.

Is this a right state to be in ? Each one of us must give an account for
himself before God : should not each one act for himself ? If we follow a
multitude to do evil, the multitude will not excuse the evil nor diminish
the punishment. Good men have generally been called upon to walk by themselves.
We can sin abundantly by passively yielding to the ‘course of this world ;
but to be holy and gracious needs many a struggle, many a tear.

Where, then, am I ? Am I sailing in that great fleet which bears the black
flag, under Rear-Admiral Apollyon, who commands the ship Fashion ? If so,
when all these barks come to destruction I shall be destroyed with them.
Better part company, hoist another flag, and serve another sovereign.

Come, my heart, canst thou go against stream ? It is the way of life. The
opposing waters will but wash and cleanse thee, and thou shalt ascend to
the eternal riverhead, and be near and like thy God. O thou who art Lord
of the strait and narrow way, aid me to force a passage to glory and immortality.

Charles Spurgeon, “Illustrations and Meditations”

Do as thou hast said. 2 Samuel 7:25

Do as thou hast said.
2 Samuel 7:25
God’s promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; he intended that they should be used. God’s gold is not miser’s money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see his promises put in circulation; he loves to see his children bring them up to him, and say, “Lord, do as thou hast said.” We glorify God when we plead his promises. Do you think that God will be any the poorer for giving you the riches he has promised? Do you dream that he will be any the less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine he will be any the less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does not delay, saying, “This is a precious promise, I wonder if it be true?” but it goes straight to the throne with it, and plead
s, “Lord, here is the promise, Do as thou hast said.'” Our Lord replies, “Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” When a Christian grasps a promise, if he does not take it to God, he dishonours him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace, and cries, “Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, Thou hast said it;'” then his desire shall be granted. Our heavenly Banker delights to cash his own notes. Never let the promise rust. Draw the sword of promise out of its scabbard, and use it with holy violence. Think not that God will be troubled by your importunately reminding him of his promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is his delight to bestow favours. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. The sun is not weary of shining, nor the fountain of flowing. It is God’s nature to keep his promises; therefore go at once to the throne with “Do as thou hast said.”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Mighty to save. Isaiah 63:1

Mighty to save.
Isaiah 63:1
By the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but he is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but he is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of his name to bend the knee before him. Nay, this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by “the Mighty God.” The bush burns, but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep his people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven. Christ’s might doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to s
hift for himself; but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory. Believer, here is encouragement. Art thou praying for some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is “mighty to save.” You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength. Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for his strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is “mighty to save;” the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you. What a thousand mercies that you have not found him mighty to destroy!

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening