Evening, October 16, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“For with You is the fountain of life.” — Psalm 36:9
There are times in our spiritual experience when human counsel or sympathy, or religious decrees, fail to comfort or help us. Why does our gracious God permit this? Perhaps it is because we have been living too much without him, and he therefore takes away everything upon which we have been in the habit of depending, that he may drive us to himself. It is a blessed thing to live at the wellhead. While our water bottles are full, we are content, like Hagar and Ishmael, to go into the wilderness; but when those are dry, nothing will serve us but “You, God see me.” We are like the prodigal, we love the pig troughs and forget our Father’s house. Remember, we can make swine troughs and husks even out of forms of religion; although they are blessed things, if we put them in God’s place, then they are of no value. Anything becomes an idol when it keeps us away from God: even the brazen serpent of Moses can be despised as the idol “Nehushtan,” if we worship it instead of God. The prodigal was never safer than when he was driven to his father’s embrace, because he could find nourishment nowhere else. Our Lord favors us with a famine in the land that it may make us seek after himself the more. The best position for a Christian is living wholly and directly on God’s grace–still abiding where he stood at first–“Having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” Let us never for a moment think that our standing is in our sanctification, our sacrifices, our gifts, or our feelings, but know that because Christ offered a full atonement, therefore we are saved, for we are complete in him. Having nothing of our own to trust in, but resting upon the merits of Jesus–his passion and holy life– furnish us with the only sure ground of confidence. Beloved, when we are brought to a dry and parched condition, we are sure to turn to the fountain of life with eagerness.