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07 January, 2014

Coming up From the Wilderness- From Volume 5

For My New Year's Resolution!

My prayer  for you and me today is that God would lavish our hearts with His deep tenderness, and saturate our soul with His love and patience, that He would do whatever it takes to refine and mold  us completely to His image.... 

To find out why this short prayer, read January 1 post

This is an excerpt from the new uploaded Kindle which contains all the 11 volumes of J. C. Philpot's quotes

Download This Free Kindle HERE 

"Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
 leaning upon her Beloved?" Song of Solomon 8:5

To come up from the wilderness, is to come up out 
of OURSELVES; for we are ourselves the wilderness. 
It is our wilderness heart that makes the world 
what it is to us . . .
  our own barren frames; 
  our own bewildered minds; 
  our own worthlessness and inability;
  our own lack of spiritual fruitfulness;
  our own trials, temptations, and exercises;
  our own hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

In a word, it is what passes in our own bosom 
that makes the world to us a dreary desert. 

Carnal people find the world no wilderness. It is an 
Eden to them! Or at least they try hard to make it so. 
They seek all their pleasure from, and build all their 
happiness upon it. Nor do they dream of any other 
harvest of joy and delight, but what may be repaid 
in this 'happy valley', where youth, health, and good 
spirits are ever imagining new scenes of gratification.

But the child of grace, exercised with a thousand 
difficulties, passing through many temporal and 
spiritual sorrows, and inwardly grieved with his own 
lack of heavenly fruitfulness, finds the wilderness 

But he still comes up out of it, and this he does 
by looking upward with believing eyes to Him who 
alone can bring him out. 

He comes up out of his own righteousness, and 
shelters himself under Christ's righteousness.

He comes up out of his own strength, 
and trusts to Christ's strength.

He comes up out of his own wisdom, 
and hangs upon Jesus' wisdom.

He comes up out of his own tempted, tried, 
bewildered, and perplexed condition, to find rest 
and peace in the finished work of the Son of God.

And thus he comes up out of the wilderness of 
self, not actually, but experimentally. Every desire 
of his soul to be delivered from his 'wilderness
sickening sight' that he has of sin and of himself 
as a sinner. Every aspiration after Jesus, every 
longing look, earnest sigh, piteous cry, or laboring 
groan, all are a coming up from the wilderness. 

His turning his back upon an ungodly world; renouncing 
its pleasures, its honors, its pride, and its ambition; 
seeking communion with Jesus as his chief delight; 
and accounting all things but loss and rubbish for 
the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus his Lord 
as revealed to his soul by the power of God; this,
also, is coming up from the wilderness.

When we gaze upon the lifeless corpse

From the cradle to the coffin, affliction and sorrow are
the appointed lot of man. He comes into the world with 
a wailing cry, and he often leaves it with an agonizing 
groan! Rightly is this earth called "a valley of tears," for 
it is wet with them in infancy, youth, manhood, and old 
age. In every land, in every climate, scenes of misery 
and wretchedness everywhere meet the eye, besides 
those deeper griefs and heart-rending sorrows which lie 
concealed from all observation. So that we may well say 
of the life of man that, like Ezekiel's scroll, it is "written 
with lamentations, and mourning and woe." 

But this is not all. The scene does not end here! 

We see up to death, but we do not see beyond death. 

To see a man die without Christ is like standing 
at a distance, and seeing a man fall from a lofty 
cliff—we see him fall, but we do not see the crash 
on the rocks below. 

So we see an unsaved man die, but when we gaze 
upon the lifeless corpse, we do not see how his soul 
falls with a mighty crash upon the rock of God's eternal 
justice! When his temporal trials come to a close, his 
eternal sorrows only begin! After weeks or months of 
sickness and pain, the pale, cold face may lie in calm 
repose under the coffin lid; when the soul is only just 
entering upon an eternity of woe! 

But is it all thus dark and gloomy both in life and death? 
Is heaven always hung with a canopy of black? Are there 
no beams of light, no rays of gladness, that shine through 
these dark clouds of affliction, misery, and woe that are 
spread over the human race?

Yes! there is one point in this dark scene out of which
beams of light and rays of glory shine! "God did not 
appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation 
through our Lord Jesus Christ."  1 Thessalonians 5:9

There, on the other side, is my solitary soul

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gains the
 whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what can
 a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mt. 16:26

Here is my scale of profit and loss.

I have a soul to be saved or lost.

What then shall I give in exchange for my soul? 

What am I profited if I gain the 
whole world and lose my soul? 

This deep conviction of a soul to be saved 
or lost lies at the root of all our religion. 

Here, on one side, is the WORLD and all . . .
  its profits 
  its pleasures,
  its charms,
  its smiles,
  its winning ways,
  its comforts,
  its luxuries,
  its honors, 
to gain which is the grand struggle of human life.

There, on the other side, is my solitary SOUL,
to live after death, forever and ever, when the 
world and all its pleasures and profits will sink 
under the wrath of the Almighty.

And this dear soul of mine, my very self, my
only self, my all, must be lost or saved. 

Even your own relatives think you are almost insane

"The Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, 
 because it neither sees Him nor knows Him." 
    John 14:17

The world—that is, the world dead in sin, and the 
world dead in profession—men destitute of the life 
and power of God—must have something that it can 
see. And, as heavenly things can only be seen by 
heavenly eyes, they cannot receive the things which 
are invisible. 

Now this explains why a religion that presents itself 
with a degree of beauty and grandeur to the natural 
eye will always be received by the world; while a . . .
  heartfelt and
religion will always be rejected.

The world can receive a religion that consists of . . .
  rites, and 

These are things seen.

Beautiful buildings,
painted windows,
pealing organs,
melodious choirs,
the pomp and parade of an earthly priesthood,
and a whole apparatus of 'religious ceremony', 
carry with them something that the natural eye can 
see and admire. The world receives all this 'external 
religion' because it is suitable to the natural mind 
and intelligible to the reasoning faculties.

But the . . .
  divine religion,
which presents no attractions to the outward eye, but 
is wrought in the heart by a divine operation—the world 
cannot receive this—because it presents nothing that 
the natural eye can rest upon with pleasure, or is 
adapted to gratify their general idea of what religion 
is or should be.

Do not marvel, then, that worldly professors despise a 
religion wrought in the soul by the power of God. Do not 
be surprised if even your own relatives think you are 
almost insane, when you speak of the consolations of 
the Spirit, or of the teachings of God in your soul. They 
cannot receive these things, for they have no experience 
of them; and being such as are altogether opposed to 
the carnal mind, they reject them with enmity and scorn.