When I started reading this book, [b]The Valley of Vision[/b], I was struck by the brokeness of the Puritans. After more study and thought, I came to the revelation that only when we crucify ourselves day by day, and minute by minute, can we be of any use to God. Only then, when we place ourselves on the cross, that is in our hearts, can Christ sit on His throne, that is in our hearts, and do His work through us. Only by crucificing our rotten, stinking flesh is Christ able to use us. Only then can His supernatural power be evident in the lives of believers, and within His Church.[b]The Valley of VisionLORD, HIGH AND HOLY, MEEK AND LOWLY[/b]Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, Where I live in the depths but see theeIn the heights;Hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory,Let me learn by paradoxThat the way down is up,That to be low is to be high,That the broken heart is the healed hear7That the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,That the repenting soul is the victorious soul,That to have nothing is to possess all,That to bear the cross is to wear the crown,That to give is to receive,That the valley is the place of vision.Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen fromDeepest wells,And the deeper the wells the brighter Thy starts shine;Let me find thy light in my darkness,Thy life in my death,Thy joy in my sorrow,Thy grace in my sin,Thy riches in my povertyThy glory in my valleyPuritan Payers and DevotionsThe Valley of Vision published by The Banner of Truth Trust 2006
REPOSE Heavenly Father,My faith is in thee,My expectation is from thee,My love goes out toward thee,I believe thee,accept thy Word,acquiesce in thy will,rely on thy promises,trust thy providence.I bless thee that the court of conscienceproves me to be thine.I do not need signs and wonders to believe,for thy Word is sure truth.I have cast my anchor in the port of peace,knowing that present and futureare in nail pierced hands.Thou art so good, wise, just, holy,that no mistake is possible to thee.Thou art fountain and source of all law;what thous commandest is mine to obey.I yield to thy sovereignity all that I am and have;do thou with me as thou wilt.Thou has givem me silence in my heartin place of murmurings and complaints.Keep my wishes from growing into willings,my willings from becoming fault-findingwith thy providences,and have mercy on me.If I sin and am rebellious, help me to repent;then take away my mourning and give me music;remove my sackcloth and adorn me with beauty;take away my sighs and fill my mouth with songs;and when I am restored and rest in theegive me summer weather in my heart. From Valley of VisionPuritan Prayers & Devotions from 1600-1892
The apostle Paul, after much self-examination,realized he was helpless and wretched apartfrom God. Then God brought the revelationthat nothing in this earthly life can everseparate us from the great love of Christ!!
_________________Martin G. Smith