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“I CAN” versus “I CAN’T”
“I CAN” versus “I CAN’T”
‘It is too hard’, whispered the adversary, as pressure and trial multiplied, and not recognising the voice I said ‘Yes, I cannot stand it’. Then my spirit sank under a cloud of depression, and the vision of victory grew dim and distant.
‘Your spirit has gone under in the conflict’, said a servant of God. I replied, ‘Yes, I know it has’, but how I did not know then. ‘Have you said, I can’t stand it?’ Why, yes, I had! Then light flashed in, and I saw where ground had been given to Satan. I saw that by assenting to his suggestion I had virtually surrendered arms to him, and had stepped down from my position with Christ in victory.
At once I took my stand anew, putting on “the helmet of salvation”, for it was through the mind Satan had gained an entrance, and grasping the sword of the Spirit I refused him any further hold, and proved the power of Christ’s victory to throw off the cloud. But that is not all, the lesson has been of great value to me during the months that have intervened. I have found when the old suggestion has come back, as I have persistently refused to listen, meeting the enemy with “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME”, and looking to Him to “Strengthen with might by His Spirit”, to make me strong in Him to stand and to endure, Satan has been put to flight, and my spirit kept above with Christ in full liberty, free from any cloud from Satan settling on it to crush me down. I do praise God for showing me this secret of victory, and how the spirit may be kept free from Satanic oppression.
The need for this liberty of spirit is great, both for personal life and aggressive service, for we may be attacked with depression in any path, and it is one of the enemy’s most fruitful methods of hindering the advance of God’s children; and to yield here is certain defeat. But we can refuse to accept the cloud, and having done all, remain victors on the field.
Refuse the cloud of depression about your circumstances, your personal state and experience, your work for Christ; allow no burden between you and God, for burdens from God do not come between. The spirit must be free from Satan’s burdens for real service in the Spirit. How difficult, how impossible it is to pray always in the Spirit with a cloud from Satan hanging over and crushing our spirit! So let us take the victory and throw off the cloud.
It is true the old ‘I’ cannot, but we reckon it crucified, and the new man in Christ can. The Revised Version rendering of Philippians 4 v13 gives the ground. It is IN HIM, united to Him in His death and risen, ascended life, that we may say with Paul, “I can do all things IN Christ that strengtheneth me”. “Be strong IN the Lord, and in the power of His might.” “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion.”