Take Heed

I knew a man years ago who was very active in preaching, and very intelligent in the Scriptures. He was looked upon in the district where he lived as a steady useful servant of the Lord. Suddenly his service ceased and he drifted into the world and finally came to an untimely and shocking end. One who had been intimate with him in what seemed his bright days told me that he believed he knew the secret of his absolute departure from the Lord. It was prayerlessness. He had said on one occasion to his friend, "I don't think God intends me to pray as you do. I can never spend more than five minutes on my knees at one time. I must be up and doing something."

I knew another man, more gifted and intelligent than the other, who gave great promise of being a true help in the church of God. He, too, made shipwreck, and I think I know the secret of his fall. In his brightest days he said to me, "I never got any good, or blessing out of any trouble that ever I had." He was not exercised by the chastening of the Lord.

These are two things that we shall do well to pay earnest heed to. We cannot prosper in our own individual spiritual lives if we are prayerless; we must drift away from the Lord if we are unexercised by the chastening of the Lord. And to continue in service if our own state is bad is to run the risk of great disaster. May the Lord give to us the spirit of grace and supplication, and make us keenly sensitive to the chastenings of divine love. The first puts us into contact with divine power and grace. The second shows us the weakness and the evil ways within us, and turns our feet in the way of holiness, and assures us that perfect love that seeks only our good.