Today in my personal devotional time I came across this excerpt from J.C. Philpot which says,
Man’s religion & God’s religion
“That no flesh should glory in His presence.”
1 Corinthians 1:29
Man’s religion is to build up the creature.
God’s religion is to throw the creature down in
the dust of self-abasement, and to glorify Christ.
What a mystery are you!
“So I find this law at work—When I want to do
good, evil is right there with me.” Rom. 7:21
Are you not often a mystery to yourself?
Warm one moment—cold the next!
Abasing yourself one hour—
exalting yourself the following!
Loving the world, full of it, steeped up to
your head in it today—crying, groaning, and
sighing for a sweet manifestation of the love
of God tomorrow!
Brought down to nothingness, covered with
shame and confusion, on your knees before
you leave your room—filled with pride and self
importance before you have got down stairs!
Despising the world, and willing to give it all
up for one taste of the love of Jesus when in
solitude—trying to grasp it with both hands
when in business!
What a mystery are you!
Touched by love—and stung with hatred!
Possessing a little wisdom—and a great deal of folly!
Earthly minded—and yet having the affections in heaven!
Pressing forward—and lagging behind!
Full of sloth—and yet taking the kingdom with violence!
And thus the Spirit, by a process which we may feel
but cannot adequately describe—leads us into the
mystery of the two natures perpetually struggling
and striving against each other in the same bosom.
So that one man cannot more differ from another,
than the same man differs from himself.
But the mystery of the kingdom of heaven is this—
that our carnal mind undergoes no alteration, but
maintains a perpetual war with grace. And thus,
the deeper we sink in self abasement under a
sense of our vileness, the higher we rise in a
knowledge of Christ, and the blacker we are in
our own view—the more lovely does Jesus appear.
As I read this it made me remember that the process of sanctification is a struggle but is so very beautiful at the same time. It’s a struggle to war against sin and battle the fleshy doubts in the perpetual process. Yet it is also beautiful because we are enabled to gaze upon the beauty and holiness of Jesus Christ. We see His perfection at the same moment we see our brokenness, We see His power at the same moment we see our weakness, and we see His sacrifice at the same moment we see our sin. It is because of His grace we can war in the struggle and glory in His beauty at the same time.
Today, look to Jesus and see the beauty in the battle.
Soli Deo Gloria,