This is one of my favorite quotes by one of the most famous missionaries of America, a dear friend of the resolved Jonathan Edwards. The dairy of David Brainerd is a very influential book in my life as I see the heart of a great man respected by even great reformers of our country in the 1700s. I ridiculously desire for that type of intimacy with my magnificent creator! This week, John Piper was talking about the coinciding of waiting on the Lord and active obedience in faith to the Lord and mentioned that there should always be preparation and petitioning of the Lord’s will every morning with the intention of seeking guidance for the whole day. I pray that I will create a new discipline of this and be able to pray much every morning and meditate on the Word before rushing into each day. Accountability anyone?
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (English Standard Version)
“26And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
If you truly have the Spirit, it causes you to walk in God’s statues and be careful to obey His rules. Do a grammatical sentence outline, looking at subject, verb, object. We don’t innately follow His rules because indwelling sin is still inherent, the flesh we fight against. The Spirit makes you CAREFULLY obey His rules! Not only that, but it will be your desire to (study the Psalms, especially Psalm 19, in fact, memorize it, believe it).
The word carefully captured my attention, making me realize that I have not always been careful to obey the law written on my heart (read Romans 1), but now I definitely do, and I feel the warfare in my soul fighting flesh (read Romans 7). I’m glad God fights the battle for me, and I don’t have to, because I would be CRUSHED by my sin, because I’m totally depraved. Chew on that.
I went through David Brainerd’s Diary as edited by Jonathan Edwards, and it reminded me of how heavy my sin is on the cross that Christ bore for my sin, how depraved I am and how filthy my life has been, even though my life is relatively good in terms of the American standard. My sin is vomit; it is the greatest filth there is, to be more abhored than being in a confined room filled with every gross insect, a pool of slimy bugs. This must have been an awesome weight on the shoulder of the Anointed One, and how can I but allow the tears of agony flow? It would be better to shove a stake in my heart than to continue in any sin, because every sin, including what we consider small sins like gluttony, is what Christ died for, and shall I take pleasure in anything that he had to painfully be separated from the Father for? Oh the awesome weight on my heart.
Now I consider that awesome weight of my sin which bloodily murdered my Saviour — I am a murderer, and I enjoyed it with the fullness of my heart, I killed Jesus Christ — and the anguish in His face and soul on that cross. I take that pain I caused Him, the one that brings me to tears, and multiply it by the countless amount of people (probably a hundred billion by official estimations) who Christ died for, and cannot comprehend the weight of sin on His shoulders, not even including the people for the rest of history He will have died for.
Oh this weight! But wait! Paul’s epistle to the Romans reminds me of how much greater His grace is than this sin! That I’ve been saved by this grace through my faith! Oh how great is the rejoice of my whole being for his infinite grace; I cannot comprehend! I repent of my own filthy righteousness and live fully on the righteousness imputed upon me earned from Christ’s life!!! REJOICE OH MY SOUL! His Joy has covered my sorrows! This fullness of Joy, this incomprehensible Peace, this Love that I would not understand as deep unless He willed for us to bring sin into the world, that we would create it much to our demise!
I would like to end with this quote from Spurgeon: “I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chosen me afterwards; and he must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why he should have looked upon me with special love.”