Scripture Reading: Psalm 4:1-6
Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. Genesis 21:10
As long as Ishmael was alone in Abram's tent, everything went along seemingly fine, but when Isaac came there was trouble. And that is true of the Christian believer. When we are born again, we begin to realize what a struggle there is within us. The evidence of really being saved is the fact of the struggle with the flesh, of which we become conscious more than ever after we have been saved. For thirteen years before the Isaac type of spiritual man was born, there seems to have been no trouble in Abram's tent; but no sooner is Isaac born than the strife begins. I find also that the people who are really saved are most conscious of their own utter, complete unworthiness. The true test of holiness is this; that the closer we live to God the more we see our own unworthiness. So if you are having a struggle, believer, if you are conscious of your own weakness, yes, even if you fail, and have to cry out, "Oh God, I am making so little progress, I am having such a battle, such a struggle with my old nature and such difficulty overcoming it," it is a sign of life, and not of death. If there is no struggle at all in your Christian life, it is a sign that there is no life within. And that is true not only of the individual, but also of groups and churches. May God deliver us from the complacency of death and from a life which has not enough activity even to be conscious of the struggle.
God grant us to search our lives and honestly judge every known and doubtful sin, confess it, and repent, and know the victory of yielding our all to Him. (M.R.D.)
Our bodies to Thee, Lord, we give,
A living sacrifice to be;
O come, and in these temples live;
Abide in us, and we in Thee!
— H.J. Zelley
"It is in the Christian life as in the art of horticulture: it is not enough for the gardener to love flowers; he must also hate weeds!"