Renewal: A Classic Devotion from C.H. Spurgeon

“Let the people renew their strength.” Isaiah 41:1

All things on earth need to be renewed.  No created thing continueth by itself. “Thou renewest the face of the year,” was the Psalmist’s utterance.  Even the trees, which wear not themselves with care, nor shorten their lives with labor, must drink of the rain of heaven, and suck from the hidden treasures of the soil.  The cedars of Lebanon, which God has planted, only live because day by day they are full of sap fresh drawn from the earth. Neither can man’s life be sustained without renewal from God. As it is necessary to repair the waste of the body by the frequent meal, so we must repair the waste of the soul by feeding upon the Book of God, or by listening to the preached Word, or by the soul-fattening table of ordinances.  How depressed are our graces when means are neglected! What poor starvelings some saints are who live without the diligent use of the Word of God, and secret prayer!  If our piety can live without God, it is not of divine creating; it is but a dream; for if God had begotten it, it would wait upon Him as the flowers wait upon the dew.

Without constant restoration we are not ready for the perpetual assaults of hell, or the stern afflictions of heaven, or even for the strifes within.  When the whirlwind shall be loosed, woe to the tree that had not sucked up fresh sap, and grasped the rock with many intertwisted roots.  When tempests arise, woe to the mariners that have not strengthened their mast, nor cast their anchor, nor sought the haven.

If we suffer the good to grow weaker, the evil will surely gather strength and struggle desperately for the mastery over us; and so, mayhap, a painful desolution, and a lamentable painful disgrace may follow.  Let us draw near to the footstool of divine mercy in humble entreaty, and we shall realize the fulfillment of the promise, “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” Amen.

Spiritual Discipline-Solitude

Spiritual Disciplines are practices which strengthen the believer, and creates greater intimacy with God. An intimacy which defines and provides a platform for the ultimate expression of who and what we are. One such practice is solitude. A time of quiet, soft stillness and calmness when hearts and minds become clear, and can hear our Creator. Solitude involves separating oneself from people and things, but namely people so the spirit can re-connect with the heart source – God. Various groups of people have practice solitude, and reported its benefits – clarity, spiritual resolve, increased faith during times of testing and trials, etc.   Scripture also mentioned how Jesus went to solitary place to pray, speak with the Father, and even went into the wilderness at the beginning of his earthly ministry resulting in power and divine obedience.
Our lives are far too cluttered. We have so much on our plates, we hardly have time to think.  We need solitude for our souls and our minds.  Begin the year by practicing solitude as part of your spiritual disciplines.  I believe it will result in your having a closer walk with God.
Here is a link to a good article on http://www.soulshepherding.org/2012/08/solitude-2/.
Check it out and let me know what you think.