But God was with him

Vance Havnerby Vance Havner

But God was with him. Acts 7:9

This is one of the many “But Gods” in the Book that spell quite a difference. Joseph’s brothers sold him into Egypt, but God was with him. Joseph himself put it this way: “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” (Gen. 50:20). What men thought was overruled by what God wrought. “Man proposes but God disposes.”

“He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb. 13:5, 6). No plottings of men, no combinations of circumstances can defeat the man who has God as his helper. Here is the secret of many a life, conspired against by ill health, poverty, evil men, foes in the household, the world, the flesh and the devil, but victorious, anyway – God was with him. The devil and men often overstep themselves, sell Joseph into Egypt, but God makes him Prime Minister! “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

And even in the last dark chapter we need not tremble at our Adversary, but triumph with our Ally – “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

But God was with him. What a difference that makes!

by Vance Havner

 

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Controlled by the Holy Spirit

A.B. Simpsonby A.B. Simpson

He that ruleth his spirit [is better] than he that taketh a city —Proverbs 16:32

Temperance is true self-government. It involves the grace of self-denial and the spirit of a sound mind. It is that poise of spirit that holds us quiet, self-possessed, composed, deliberate and subject to the voice of God and the conviction of duty in every step we take. Many persons do not have that poise and serenity. They are drifting at the impulse of their own impressions and moods, the influence of others or the circumstances around them.

No desire should ever control us. No purpose, however right, should have such mastery over us that we are not perfectly free. Our pure affection may be an inordinate affection. Our work itself may be a selfish passion. That thing that we began to do because it was God’s will we may cling to and persist in, ultimately, because it is our own will.

Lord, give us a spirit ever controlled by Thy Spirit and will and the eye that looks to Thee every moment as the eyes of a maiden to the hands of her mistress (Psalm 123:2). So shall Thy service be our perfect freedom, and our subjection divinest liberty.

by A.B. Simpson