George Everard, “Up High!” 1884
There is no more galling yoke to be found, than . . . the thraldom of evil passions, tyrant lusts and sinful habits, uncontrolled tempers which burst forth like a hurricane, temptations which hurry a man onward toward the precipice of utter ruin, the dark trinity of “the world, the flesh, and the devil”–all drawing a man along the pathway that leads to eternal damnation! Here is a foe that is terrible indeed!
Yet in Christ, there is freedom from the dominion of sin, and from all the power of the enemy.
Satan is strong, for he is a roaring lion. But Christ is stronger, for He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Yes, He is the almighty Shepherd, who can guard the weakest of His flock from the treachery and deceit of the evil one.
Sin is strong, and it has conquered and destroyed its myriads in every age. But Christ is stronger, for He is our Joshua, and can put every enemy beneath our feet. If united to Christ by true faith, “sin shall not have dominion over you.” Being no longer under the law, but under grace–Christ reigns in you by His Holy Spirit, and by the same Spirit can make you more than a conqueror over every snare of the tempter.
Christian, always remember the secret of success in the sore conflict you have to wage. Let “the joy of the Lord” be “your strength.” Apart from Christ, there is nothing but defeat. You may resolve to do better, you may strive against your besetting sin–but if it is in your own might, you will fail. But draw near to Christ, and keep Him in view continually. Hide deep in your heart His own word of promise, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Fly to Him as your stronghold, whenever danger is at hand. Make Him your shield, when the shafts of the wicked one are aimed for your destruction.
I often think of a lesson I learned one snowy day in Birmingham. A big bully was unmercifully snow-balling a smaller boy. But when the little fellow saw me coming, he ran behind me and kept me between himself and his enemy, until he was able to escape from him.
Ah, here is a lesson for me, thought I. Let me ever make Christ my shield. Let me ever put Him between me and my temptations; between me and my cares, and fears, and perils–and He will answer for them. No evil can overcome His power–and when I thus trust in Him, no sin or evil can overcome me.
Thus will you find strength for victory. You will be delivered from the sin which was once too strong for you. More and more the Spirit of Christ shall fashion you in His image and likeness. More and more shall the evil nature be mortified and kept under control, and Christ Himself make your heart His dwelling-place.