Thursday, June 25, 2009

buckle up!

I am a peace man-a near pacifist. I must admit, however, that I have always liked the armor of God image. Henry Ware Jr. uses it today in relation to living regular daily life. The "Formation of the Christian Character" continued:

V. The Religious Discipline of Life

Thus it is plain, that your chief business, as well as your great trial, in forming a Christian character, lies in the ordinary tenor of life. The World is the theatre on which you are to prove yourself a Christian. It is in the occurrences of every day, in the relations of every hour, in your affairs, in your family, in your conversation with those around you, in your treatment of them, and your reception of their treatment;—it is in these that you are to cultivate and perfect the character of a child of God. It is in these that your passions are exercised, and your government of them proved; in these that your command over that unruly member, the tongue, is made known ; in these that temptations to wrong doing and evil speaking beset you, and that you are to apply your religious principle in resisting them. In these it is, consequently, that you discover whether your principle is real and genuine, or whether it lies only in feeling and in words. In the quiet of your chamber, in the devout solitude of your closet, when the world is shut out, and your solemnized spirit feels itself alone with God, you may be so exalted by communion with Heaven, and by meditation on heavenly truth, that all things earthly shall seem worthless and paltry, and every desire be set upon things above. How often, at such times, does it appear as if the world had no longer any charms, as if its pleasures and pomp could never again entice or delight us! Our souls are above them. We have no more relish for them than have the angels. And if this were all which is required of us, if nothing opposed to this delightful frame of mind were ever to cross our path, the Christian prize would be already won. But, alas! jn the closet, and in the third heaven of contemplation, we can live but a small portion of the time. We must come down from the mount. We must enter the crowd and distractions of common life. We must engage in common and secular affairs. And there, how much do we encounter that is opposed to the calm and serene spirit of our contemplative hours! how much to irritate and disturb our quiet self-possession! how much to drive from our thoughts the subjects on which we have been musing! how much to revive the relish for transient pleasures and worldly enjoyments, and a love for the things which minister gratification to pride and to the senses! In the midst of these things, dangerous, enticing, seductive, you are to live and walk unchanged, unseduced, unde- fiied; your heart true to its Master, your spirit firm in its allegiance to God, and your soul as truly devout and humble as when worshipping at the altar. Is this easy ? I will not ask ; but is it not your great, your paramount, trial? Is it not here, that the very battle of your soul's salvation is to be fought ? Is not this, as I said, the very field of actual and decisive war, the very seat of the fearful and final campaign ? And the prayers and studies, and observances of your more special devotion, are they not the buckling on of the armor, and the refreshing and preparing of the soul for its real combat ?

Buckle up! and Blessings

1 comment:

PeaceBang said...

I'm revisiting the concept of "spiritual warfare" lately... funny you should bring this up.