Didst thou ever stand and take a view of heaven? Hast thou discerned the hills which lie between your soul and paradise? Hast thou counted the lions thou hast to fight, the giants to be slain, and the rivers to be crossed? Didst thou ever notice the many temptations with which thou art beset, the trials thou hast to endure, the difficulties thou hast to overcome, the dangers thou hast to avoid? Didst thou ever take a bird’s eye view of heaven, and all the dangers which are strewn thickly along the path thither? And didst thou ever ask thyself this question, “How shall I, a poor feeble worm, ever get there?” Didst thou ever say within thyself, “I am not a match for all my foes, how shall I arrive at paradise?” If thou hast ever asked this question, I will tell thee what is the only answer for it: thou must be girded with almighty strength, or else thou wilt never gain the victory. Easy thy path may be, but it is too hard for thy infantile strength, without the almighty power. Thy path may be one of little temptation, and of shallow trial; but thou wilt be drowned in the floods yet, unless almighty power preserve thee. Mark me! However smooth thy way, there is nothing short of the bare arm of deity that can land any one of you in heaven. We must have divine strength, or else we shall never get there. And there is an illustration of these words: “No, but he will put his strength in me.” “And shall I hold on to the end?” says the believer. Yes, thou wilt, for God’s strength in is thee. “Shall I be able to bear such-and-such a trial?” Yes, thou wilt. Cannot omnipotence stem the torrent? And omnipotence is in thee; for, like Ignatius of old, thou art a God-bearer; thou bearest God about with thee. Thy heart is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and thou shalt yet overcome.
For meditation: For meditation: Without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5)—we have no reason for self-confidence. In Christ we can do all things (Philippians 4:13)—there is no need for despair. Do you regard yourself as self-sufficient or as Christ-sufficient? See 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Sermon no. 108 8 September (Preached 31 August 1856)