It struck so strongly, day after Christmas, I copied and saved it, and want to share it.
Spurgeon. In “Faith’s Checkbook.” His “withdrawal” for that day when many folks think about the year ahead: what they want to make of it, resolve to do…
(Dec 26 entry in Faith’s Checkbook, by C. H. Spurgeon)
(My responses follow.)
“‘Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended’ (Matthew 26:33).
“‘Why,’ cries one, ‘this is no promise of God.’ Just so… it was a promise of man, and therefore it came to nothing. Peter thought that he was saying what he should assuredly carry out; but a promise which has no better foundation than a human resolve will fall to the ground. No sooner did temptations arise than Peter denied his Master and used oaths to confirm his denial.
“What is man’s word? An earthen pot broken with a stroke. What is your own resolve? A blossom, which, with God’s care, may come to fruit, but which, left to itself, will fall to the ground with the first wind that moves the bough.
“On man’s word hang only what it will bear.
“On thine own resolve depend not at all.
“On the promise of thy God hang time and eternity, this world and the next, thine all and the all of all thy beloved ones.
“This volume is a checkbook for believers, and this page is meant as a warning as to what bank they draw upon and whose signature they accept. Rely upon Jesus without limit. Trust not thyself…; but trust thou only and wholly in the Lord.“
My own resolve can be good — is better than no purposing to strain forth toward Christ and christlikeness. But humility (or just honesty!) recognizes my own inability. Which is enormous. The most important things I’ve ever done, I didn’t really do at all. Rather, calling on God to make His strength manifest in my weakness, and thereby be glorified, I threw myself entirely on His strength, on His doing through me what I could not do myself.
So, before I even get started, let me recognize not only my very real need for changes, but also my inability to bring them about satisfactorily myself. Each “resolution” should be a prayer (daily) — for God to work in my life what needs doing and changing, and for His Spirit to keep me going in cooperative “working it out” along with Him — and also for acceptance of whatever He deems necessary to bring about those good results.
Sobering. But right and true, and yes, I can trust Him to bring blessing out of whatever He brings in.