Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Power of Panting

Today I struck gold while reading Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen (get the one edited by Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor, Crossway publishers).  Actually every time I read it I strike gold. One of the best veins yet.Under the heading Constantly Long and Breathe After Deliverance from the Power of Sin, Owen says:

Longing desires after anything, in things natural and civil, are of no value or consideration, any further but as they incite and stir up the person in whom they are to a diligent use of means for the bringing about the thing aimed at. [To translate, longing for an ice cream cone is of little value unless it compels you to get your wallet and drive out to the DQ.] In spiritual things it is otherwise.  Longing, breathing, and panting after deliverance is a grace in itself, that has a mighty power to conform the soul into the likeness of the thing longed after. 
Further he says:
Strong desires are the very life of that 'praying always' [Luke 21:36] which is enjoined us in all conditions, and in none is more necessary than in this; they set faith and hope on work, and are the soul's moving after the Lord.
And as a warning:
Assure yourself, unless you long for deliverance you shall not have it. 
Take comfort, then. If you are panting after  God and always feel you do not have enough, this is a great sign of grace in your life and a cause for rejoicing.

God my refuge

God, in His mercy,  exposes our sin so we see its evil.  He forgives our sin so we no longer bear its guilt.  And he purifies us from sin so we are protected from its danger.