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The Secret of a Happy Day: Quiet Hour Meditations

by J. Wilbur Chapman (1859-1918)

Thirteenth Day: "He RESTORETH my soul."
There are certain causes for spiritual declension, and they are always to be found in ourselves.

It is true we have the old nature with us, while at the same time we have the new nature, the life of God, but it is no license for us to sin, for Paul writes, "The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." If you lived yesterday in the flesh, it was at the cost of the Spirit. If you live to-day in the Spirit, it shall be at the cost of the flesh.

There is really no excuse for failure if we are living as we ought to live, with Christ between us and temptation, and Christ between us and sin. But, because we have failed, it is well to know the reason; and it may be because—

1. There was some neglect of the Bible—the bread of life, the water of life, the staff of life; and he will be a weak, trembling, falling Christian who lets one day pass without a little portion of it running through his life—like the light to reveal imperfections and like the water to make the temple clean.

2. It may be that there is some unconfessed sin hiding away in the secret recesses of your heart. The children of God do not leap into grievous sin at a bound; there was first some little sin that tarried, was courted, then encouraged to stay, and finally conceived and brought forth a brood of iniquity, which was strong enough to overthrow the ripest saint.

3. It may be that, when God called you to some service, you disobeyed; and disobedience puts you out of tune with heaven. The fact that you are in the world proves that you are indispensable to the working out of God's plan; the fact that He called you to do something for Him clearly indicates that His will must be yours, or there is confusion and strife.

But, whatever the cause, He waits to restore you to the old strength, the lost peace, the old, sweet song that was formerly yours; and He will do it to-day.

Suggestions for To-day.
1. Start the day with the word of God, and remember that when Jesus won the victory over Satan He said, "It is written."
2. Confess your sins that are past; and, if you fail to-day, confess to Him instantly.
3. Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.
4. Make a covenant, just for this day.

"Lord, for to-morrow and its needs
  I do not pray;
Keep me from stain of sin
  Just for to-day;
Let me both diligently work
  And duly pray,
Let me be kind in deed and word,
  Just for to-day;
Let me be slow to do my will,
  Prompt to obey;
Help me to sacrifice myself,
  Just for to-day.
Let me no wrong nor idle word
  Unthinking say,
Set thou Thy seal upon my lips,
  Just for to-day.
So for the morrow and its needs
  I do not pray
But keep me, guide me, hold me Lord,
  Just for to-day."

From The Secret of a Happy Day: Quiet Hour Meditations by J. Wilbur Chapman. Boston: United Society of Christian Endeavor, ©1899.

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