Guarded and Sustained


“There is no holiness, then, if You withdraw Your hand, Lord. There is no wisdom if You cease to guide, no courage if You cease to defend. No chastity is secure if You do not guard it. Our vigilance avails nothing if Your holy watchfulness does not protect us. Left to ourselves we sink and perish, but visited by You we are lifted up and live. We are truly unstable, but You make us strong. We grow lukewarm, but You inflame us.”- Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, 60.

“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”- Psalm 18:1-3.

Our salvation is in very good hands because it isn’t in ours. This quote from Thomas a Kempis is one of my favorite. When looking inward, we can become extremely discouraged incredibly fast. We are full of mixed motives, contrary affections, and simple war. We are boxed in oftentimes by our own desires, paralyzed by fear and anxiety. We fear and fret about our holiness and our security, oftentimes to a desperate and dangerous degree . But in Christ we should not fear, nor should we fret. For what holiness do we have or could want but that He provides and is certain to provide it? What wisdom do we need or could want but that He has given it and will give it? What courage do we desire but that He has provided or will provide it? What purity could we ask for but that He has supplied and will supply it? There is no holiness, wisdom, courage, chastity, or vigilance if He does not supply and work it within us supernaturally by His Spirit. And He has promised that He will. He watches over us with far more diligence and scrutiny than we ourselves could ever muster. Though we, left to ourselves, would perish and despair, He has lifted us up in Himself, raising our gaze heavenward. He is the flame that burns within, our security and our hope. Do Christians want security? They have it in Christ. It frees us up to make mistakes and frees us up to hope. We are sustained and guarded not by any works we could do, but by His simple faithfulness and power.


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