"A man"s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?"— Proverbs 20:24
Does not your heart sometimes quake with fear lest you have nothing but a nominal profession, lest the god of this world is blinding you, and lest your conscience be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin? It is good to have such fears. He who fears not, who has no solemn apprehensions, no anxious inquiries, who is never exercised with some internal trepidation of soul, it is much to be feared has never known what it is to have "the candle of the Lord searching the inward parts of the belly."
But if God has quickened your soul into spiritual life, and you have ears to hear, I would just put two questions to you—Have you obtained righteousness by a manifestation of Christ"s righteousness; pardon by the application of Christ"s blood; love by a shedding abroad of love; deliverance by a discovery of God"s outstretched hand? My other question is this—If you have not, and let conscience bear its honest testimony—if you have never experienced righteousness, pardon, love, and deliverance, is there a cry in your soul after them? Is there anything like fervent supplication that God would bestow them? Is there anything of a groan in the depth of your spirit that the Lord would reveal them? These are marks of life; and he that has these marks will have the blessing, because God has quickened him into spiritual life. It may be long delayed, but it will come at last; "it will surely come, it will not tarry." It may be withheld for wise purposes, and you may have to travel through many a dark season and many an anxious hour, but deliverance is sure; it is reserved for you in Christ, and you are reserved for it, kept by God himself unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.
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Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Proverbs 20". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https://pro.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany