Devotional for today

January 11th

To Avoid Darkness, Stay Close to God

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18).

Some are not naturally devotional, and therefore should encourage and cultivate a habit of close examination of their own lives and motives, and should especially cherish a love for religious exercises and for secret prayer. They are often heard talking of doubts and unbelief, and dwelling upon the wonderful struggles they have had with infidel feelings. They dwell upon discouraging influences as so affecting their faith, hope, and courage in the truth and in the ultimate success of the work and cause in which they are engaged, as to make it a special virtue to be found on the side of the doubting.

At times they seem to really enjoy hovering about the infidel’s position and strengthening their unbelief with every circumstance they can gather as an excuse for their darkness. To such we would say: You would better come down at once and leave the walls of Zion until you become converted.

But what is the reason of these doubts, this darkness and unbelief? I answer: These men and women are not right with God. They are not dealing honestly and truly with their own souls. They have neglected to cultivate personal piety. They have not separated themselves from all selfishness and from sin and sinners. They have failed to study the self-denying, self-sacrificing life of our Lord and have failed to imitate His example of purity, devotion, and self-sacrifice.

The sin which easily besets has been strengthened by indulgence. By their own negligence and sin they have separated themselves from the company of the divine Teacher.

We are engaged in an exalted, sacred work. Those who profess to be called to teach the truth to those who sit in darkness should not be bodies of unbelief and darkness themselves. They should live near to God, where they can be all light in the Lord. The reason why they are not so is that they are not obeying the Word of God themselves; therefore doubts and discouragements are expressed, when only words of faith and holy cheer should be heard.