John Wesley on Prayer Lesson 61

*Established to All Eternity

Show this same diligence to the very end.

Hebrews 6:11 NIV

We confirm a gift of God in our souls by a deeper sense of whatever He has shown us—a greater tenderness of conscience and a sharper sensibility of sin. We now walk with joy and not with fear. We look on pleasure, wealth, praise, all things of the earth, as worth nothing in the clear, steady light of eternal things.

Can you say, “You, Lord, are merciful to my unrighteousness; my sins You remember no more?” Then, for the time to come, see that you fly from sin as from the face of a serpent! For how exceeding sinful does it appear to you now!

On the other hand, in how amiable a light do you now see the holy and perfect will of God! Now, therefore, labor that it may be fulfilled in you, by you, and upon you! Now watch and pray that you may sin no more, that you see and shun the least transgression of His law!

When the sun shines into a dark place, you see the motes you could not see before. Now the Sun of Righteousness shines in your heart, and you see the sins you could not see before. Now be zealous to receive more light daily, more of the knowledge and love of God, more of the Spirit of Christ, more of His life, and of the power of His resurrection. Now use all you have already attained. So shall you daily increase in holy love till faith is swallowed up in sight and the law of love is established to all eternity.

*From How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.

In this sixty-first lesson on prayer, Wesley uses the exhortation “Now” to encourage us to pursue God in whatever area of revelation the Holy Spirit is presently illuminating in our lives.

Jesus, in John 3:8, when speaking to Nicodemus, says, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (NASB).  The Message paraphrase renders this verse, “You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

The Spirit of God not only brings new birth in our lives, but continues to blow within us, as he wills. We do well to discern how the Spirit is moving within us now and allow the whirlwind of the Breath of Life to move us in eternal directions.

C.S. Lewis gives voice to this thought in “Mere Christianity,” “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for a bird to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

King David, in lamenting the oppression of his enemies, exclaims in Psalm 55:6, “…Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.”

But, as C.S. Lewis says, to fly away and be at rest, we must first be hatched, that is, born anew, by the Spirit.

Wesley begins this lesson with, “We confirm a gift of God in our souls by a deeper sense of whatever He has shown us—a greater tenderness of conscience and a sharper sensibility of sin. We now walk with joy and not with fear. We look on pleasure, wealth, praise, all things of the earth, as worth nothing in the clear, steady light of eternal things.

“Can you say, ‘You, Lord, are merciful to my unrighteousness; my sins You remember no more?’ Then, for the time to come, see that you fly from sin as from the face of a serpent! For how exceeding sinful does it appear to you now!”

But to fly is hard work. That is why we must wait upon the Lord to strengthen us. As Isaiah says in Chapter 40, verses 28-31:

28Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. 30Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary (NASB).

Lord, teach us to wait!

Published by doctorpaddy

An ordained minister, Christian communicator, and educator.

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