They go from strength to strength. —Psalm 84:7
They go from strength to strength. There are various renderings of these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress.
Our own good translation of the authorized version is enough for us this morning. “They go from strength to strength.” That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our journey, but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot, we sit down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way. But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when he first set out. He may not be quite so elate and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more slowly, far more surely. Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise which still holds good: “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. “Alas!” say they, “we go from affliction to affliction.” Very true, O thou of little faith, but then thou goest from strength to strength also. Thou shalt never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe manhood with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders.
I am crucified with Christ. —Galatians 2:20
The Lord Jesus Christ acted in what he did as a great public representative person, and his dying upon the cross was the virtual dying of all his people. Then all his saints rendered unto justice what was due, and made an expiation to divine vengeance for all their sins. The apostle of the Gentiles delighted to think that as one of Christ’s chosen people, he died upon the cross in Christ. He did more than believe this doctrinally, he accepted it confidently, resting his hope upon it. He believed that by virtue of Christ’s death, he had satisfied divine justice, and found reconciliation with God. Beloved, what a blessed thing it is when the soul can, as it were, stretch itself upon the cross of Christ, and feel, “I am dead; the law has slain me, and I am therefore free from its power, because in my Surety I have borne the curse, and in the person of my Substitute the whole that the law could do, by way of condemnation, has been executed upon me, for I am crucified with Christ.”
But Paul meant even more than this. He not only believed in Christ’s death, and trusted in it, but he actually felt its power in himself in causing the crucifixion of his old corrupt nature. When he saw the pleasures of sin, he said, “I cannot enjoy these: I am dead to them.” Such is the experience of every true Christian. Having received Christ, he is to this world as one who is utterly dead. Yet, while conscious of death to the world, he can, at the same time, exclaim with the apostle, “Nevertheless I live.” He is fully alive unto God. The Christian’s life is a matchless riddle. No worldling can comprehend it; even the believer himself cannot understand it. Dead, yet alive! crucified with Christ, and yet at the same time risen with Christ in newness of life! Union with the suffering, bleeding Saviour, and death to the world and sin, are soul-cheering things. O for more enjoyment of them!
Spurgeon, C. H.
Beloved, have you taken the time to reflect on the Power that indwells you the moment of salvation? That results in ceaseless praise to the throne room of heaven. To experience and observe whom God the Father is fashioning you to become more like our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that results in heart-bursting humility and prayer unceasing. Things that once drove you no longer holds sway, and all the trinkets and wealth afforded those yet unregenerated have lost luster. To heaven’s glance very child of God is a perfect reflection of our beloved Jesus, and we possess holiness, power to bind and loose on heaven and in earth, dunamis Power when engaged in intercessory prayer. Why would we not pray unceasingly knowing every petition is heard and, as High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ ever lives to make intercession on our behalf. True the enemy accuses us all day long, but we need not pay heed to his lying tongue or fear any giants for we are – through Him – victorious and cause demons to tremble we need not shrink in fear but boldly enter the battle knowing Jehovah Nissi is our Banner and every evil presence must flee at the mention of His name. Hallelujah! Now let us be obedient to the Great Commission and take ground in these darkening days for there are many souls yet to have the atoning blood spread abroad upon their soul. May we not rest until all the people who cross our paths pant after what we have. Unregenerate souls notice a peace and confidence, though not in ourselves, that they lack and it is our incredible privilege to share the gospel of Jesus Christ unto the salvation of many souls. We sprinkle, he reaps. Go out this day and every one that follows until death or glorification spreading your nets broad. God will draw those He has promised we merely need testify of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done, and continues to do, in our lives.