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"The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty." Zephaniah 3:17
What a mighty God we have to deal with! And what would suit our case, but a mighty God? Have we not mighty sins? Have we not mighty trials? Have we not mighty temptations? Have we not mighty foes and mighty fears? And who is to deliver us from all this mighty host except the mighty God? It is not a little God (if I may use the expression) that will do for God's people. They need a mighty God because they are in circumstances where none but a mighty God can intervene in their behalf.
Why, if you did not know feelingly and experimentally your mighty sins, your mighty trials, your mighty temptations, and your mighty fears, you would not need a mighty God. This sense of our weakness and his power, of our misery and his mercy, of our ruin and his recovery, of the aboundings of our sin and the super-aboundings of his grace--a feeling sense, I say, of these opposite yet harmonious things brings us to have personal, experimental dealings with God; and it is in these personal dealings with God that the life of all religion consists.
O what a poor, dead, useless religion is that in which there are no personal dealings with God--no calling upon his holy name out of a sincere heart; no seeking of his face, or imploring of his favor; no lying at his feet and begging of him to appear; no pitiable, lamentable case for him to have compassion upon; no wounds or sores for him to heal, no leprosy to cleanse, no enemies to put to the rout, no fears to dispel, and, I may almost say, no soul to save!
And yet such is the religion of thousands. They draw near to God with their lips, but their hearts are far from him, and while they outwardly say, "Lord, Lord," they inwardly say, "This man shall not have dominion over us." If you differ from them, and need a God near at hand and not afar off, a mighty God in the very midst of your soul, of your thoughts, desires, and affections, you may well bless him for the grace which has made you to differ, and thankfully bow your neck to sufferings and trials, as means in his hand to bring you and him together.