Saturday, 17 September 2011

In the Light of His Preciousness

What props do our hearts truly lean on?
Today I was blessed to read a beautiful puritan prayer, out of a book called 'The Valley of Vision'. I've been challenged lately to think about how much value I truly place on man's opinion and estimation. Mainly because my desire to please was revealed to me in a big way! The Lord, in His grace, has shown me this more and more lately. How I listen to the strong opinions and criticism of unbelieving extended family, and try to bend wherever I can in order not to fulfil their negative impression of me. Several things about my life, mainly that I am a Christian and was educated through homeschooling, have placed me in a 'box' for them, and I try to change that impression in front of them, to show them that I don't just stay in that box! Recently I jumped in and said 'yes' to a suggestion of theirs, without truly waiting on the Lord. We all (my immediate family, that is) felt uneasy about it from the first, yet I still let the 'yes' remain a 'yes'. The day before I was to fulfil this commitment, however, the Lord finally convicted me to say no. In His Grace, He showed me the motives of my heart, and that I hadn't prayerfully sought Him for an answer. It was hard to go to those relatives and say 'no'! To, in some ways, confirm their opinion of me, and remain in the 'box'. But He helped me through this, with support from Dad, Mum, and a Christian Aunt who truly loves the Lord.
All this to say, that the words in this puritan prayer today truly convicted me on this same thing. That in the "light of His preciousness", all things of this world are "infinitely poor". It is my prayer today, that He may "wean me from all other dependences", like being dependent upon the good opinion of others. These 'dependences' are sneaky props for our hearts... all the while propping up our pride and self-dependance. I love the line in this puritan prayer which says, "Produce in me self-despair that will make Jesus precious to me, delightful in all His offices, pleasurable in all His ways, and may I love His commands as well as His promises". May this be our prayer. It is most often painful and costly to give up these things... but the Lord Jesus is a priceless treasure, and in Him is all Life, Joy, Peace and Salvation. Praise His Name. I pray that you are blessed by these words.

My dear Lord,
I depend wholly upon Thee,
wean me from all other dependences.
Thou art my All, Thou dost overrule all and delight in me.
Thou are the foundation of goodness,
how can I distrust Thee?
how be anxious about what happens to me?
In the light of Thy preciousness
the world and all its enjoyments are infinitely poor:
I value the favour of men no more than pebbles.
Amid the blessings I receive from Thee
may I never lose the heart of a stranger.
May I love Thee, my benefactor, in all my benefits,
not forgetting that my greatest danger arises from my advantages.
Produce in me self-despair that will make Jesus precious to me,
delightful in His offices,
pleasurable in all His ways,
and may I love His commands as well as His promises.
Help me to discern between true and false love,
the one consisting of supreme love to Thee, the other not,
the former uniting thy glory and man's happiness
that they may become one common interest,
the latter disjointing and separating them both,
seeking the latter with neglect of the former.
Teach me that genuine love is different in kind
from that wrought by rational arguments
or the motive of self-interest,
that such love is a pleasing passion affording
joy to the mind where it is.
Grant me grace to distinguish between the genuine and the false,
and to rest in Thee Who art all love.


Joy said...

Yes, Maddy,
I truly understand and share with you in what you mean about the intimidation of relatives, who do not understand God's call in our lives, and the fear of when they put you into the 'box' which cause you to try to prove that you aren't in that box! How we often depend so on the good words and impressions of others and listen with fear to the negative criticism that are not according to God's Word, but the way of the world and not on the commandments of the Lord, to lean in dependence on Him alone and not on the opinions of mere men!

This prayer is truly beautiful, and so true!! I pray that too, that "Jesus would be precious to me... and may I love His commands as well as His promises"!

Thank you for sharing that, Maddy.
I love you!
Praying for you,

Sarah said...

Dear Madday,
As Joy says, often we too experience this. It is so easy for me to want to please people, to want them to think nicely of me. But the Bible says that this is a snare: 'The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.' Prov. 29:25

May the Lord grant us the fear of the Lord that would turn us away from those snares of death. (Prov. 14:27)

I love the prayer, too. May He teaches what true love is.

love in Him,

Carra - a bondservant of Jesus said...

Dear Maddy,
Praise the Lord for that beautiful revelation, dear sister in our Jesus.

Amen! May this also be my prayer, and all believers. :)

Thank you for sharing. I am praying for you and I pray all is well for you and yours.

With much love, Carra

Maddy said...

Dear Joy,

It was lovely to hear from you, sister. Yes, it is very true that we listen to those worldly criticisms with fear. It is interesting how even when the beautiful fruit of the Lord is seen in the lives of His people, those same people who criticise still think their 'box' of life on the broad path is the best way - even when it has bad fruit.They don't need to prove just why that ideal of theirs is the best way, because it is acceptable in the world's eyes without question! Like evolution hasn't been proven enough to become a Scientific Law, and yet it is treated as such because it is the excuse the world wants, to explain away why the earth was created! May we look to the Lord alone, and place all our hope in Him, our Rock and our Salvation. Praise Him!

Much love,


Maddy said...

Yes Sarah, that fear of man can be such a snare. But the second half of that verse holds a precious promise, doesn't it! May we trust in the Lord always, and yes, may He grant us the fear of the Lord. That He alone is the One we long to please. Praise and Thank Him for His grace.

Much love from your sister in Him,


Maddy said...

Dear Carra,

Yes, this is truly a wonderful revelation He has given us this day, isn't it! All praise to Him. I know He has been showing you this too... the criticisms of the world truly can hurt us, and even more so, can sneakily erode our trust in the Lord and where He has placed us in this life. But He is calling us away from being 'of' the world... may He give us the Grace to obey His calling. May we walk in the 'light of His preciousness'.

Thank you dear sister, we're all praying for you and your family also.

Much love,


Maddy said...

PS. My dear sisters, I'm sorry for my slackness in not responding to your comments on the post before this. I love our sharing, and thank the Lord for it. May He bless you all :)

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Hi there dear Maddy, As I was reading this was thinking of how I have been feeling today the world pressing in on my time and my decisions.
I think as we live in the world, yet are not of the world, life and all the decisions we make in it are a constant battle- family do pressure you- with the best of intentions sometimes which makes it even harder... praise God he is in control when we let Him rule and reign in our lives, may we love Him more each day He gives us...

April said...

That is beautiful, Maddy. your last post, I can not help but print this one up too so I can read it over and keep it! Thank you for letting the Lord guide you and lead you. That is a beautiful prayer. May this be in all of our hearts in true, deep reality!

Maddy said...

Dear Shaz,

Thanks for those words of sharing. Yes, the battle is even in the smallest of decisions we face, isn't it. Amen. Praise the Lord that He is in control when we let Him reign, and that each decision can be made in Him. For when we make decisions on our own, we really can be swept and tossed by the world's opinion, can't we! But when a decision is made in the Lord, He is our Rock, and we can stand firmly on His Truth. He is our Rock which cannot be shaken by any storm or pressure from the world! Praise Him!

I loved to hear from you.

God bless,


Maddy said...

Dear April,

I'm glad that you were blessed by this prayer, as I was so much. Amen, may this be a deep reality in our hearts. We need His Grace so much each day... praise the Lord, He is mighty to save! May He plant our feet upon the Rock.

Much love,