Spurgeon on obscurity, the last becoming first, and having authority over our bodies

From time to time I have shared some nuggets from things I have read from Charles Spurgeon.  The great 19th century preacher has many times challenged and encouraged my heart and mind.  What follows is taken from the morning reading for May 19 in his devotional, Morning and Evening.  I have changed the paragraph structure of the original and added emphasis through using bold fonts, etc.  I also have inserted some words to help with the meaning (in italics) and some comments of my own [in brackets] that hopefully are more helpful than distracting. Hear what Spurgeon says:

“I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” Ecclesiastes 10:7

Upstarts frequently usurp the highest places, while the truly great pine [are hidden] in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence [God’s sovereign plan] whose solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it is so common a fact, that none of us should murmur if it should fall to our own lot.

When our Lord was upon earth, although he is the Prince of the kings of the earth, yet he walked the footpath of weariness and service as the Servant of servants: what wonder is it if his followers, who are princes of the royal blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and contemptible persons?

The world is upside down, and therefore, the first are last and the last first. See how the servile sons of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while Jezebel is boasting in the palace; yet who would wish to take the places of the proud rebels? and who, on the other hand, might not envy the despised saints?

When the wheel turns [when Christ returns and judges this world], those who are lowest will rise, and the highest will sink. Patience, then, believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time.

[Now in typical Spurgeon fashion, he makes sure that we apply the truth to our own lives – every one of us! Note how he makes now a very heart-level application of the principle:]

Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers [our reborn spirits: who we are in Christ] walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness [we must allow the Spirit to rule over our flesh].

The Holy Spirit loves order, and he therefore sets our powers and faculties in due rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may keep under our body and bring it into subjection. We were not new created [that is, “born again”] to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father.

So how does this speak to you today? Feel free to comment!

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