Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Set your face like flint
We never do anything in this world until we set our faces thoroughly to it. The warriors who win battles are those who are resolved to conquer or die. The heroes who emancipate nations art those who count no hazards and reckon no odds, but are resolved that the yoke shall be broken from the neck of their country. The merchants who prosper in this world are those who do their business with all their hearts, and watch for wealth with eagerness. The halfhearted man is nowhere in the race of life; he is usually contemptible in the sight of others, and a misery to himself. If a thing be worth doing, it is worth doing well; and if it be not worth doing thoroughly, wise men let it alone.
Especially is this a truth in the spiritual life. Wonders are not done for God and for the truth by men upon their back asleep, or out of their beds, but still asleep. Souls are not saved by men who scarcely know or care whether they are saved themselves. Errors are not dashed from their pedestals by those who are careless concerning truth and count it of little value. Reformations have not been wrought in this world by men of lukewarm spirit and temporizing policy. One fiery Luther is of more value than twenty like the half hearted Erasmus who knew infinitely more than he felt, and perhaps felt more than he dared to express.
A man if he would do anything for God, for the truth, for the cross of Christ, must set his face and with the whole force of his will resolve to serve his God. The soldier of Christ must set his face like a flint against all opposition, and at the same moment set his face towards the Lord with the attentive eye of the handmaiden looking towards her mistress. If called to suffer for the truth, we must set our face towards this conflict as Jesus set his face towards Jerusalem. He who would conquer in this glorious war, and overcome the Lord at the mercy-seat, must be resolved! resolved with his whole soul, resolved after matured thought - resolved for reasons which are too weighty for him to escape - resolved that from the throne of grace he will not depart without the blessing. Never, never shall a man be unsuccessful in prayer who sets his face to win the promised mercy.
From a sermon entitled "The Dawn Of Revival, Or Prayer Speedily Answered" delivered February 10, 1867. Image by Jeff Pang under Creative Commons License.