For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
When Satan tempts to sin, and he finds resistance, that initial resistance might be from carnal strength and motives instead of God’s strength and armour. Carnal motives have the fear of and more than God: ‘How shall I do this and anger man, displease my master, provoke my parents, and lose the good opinion of my minister?’ It should be: ‘How can I do this and sin against God?’ Herod feared John, and did many things. If Herod feared God, he would have labored to do everything. Motives of the natural man will not withstand the enemy’s arrows. If your strength is in God, you will hold your ground. We must say: ‘I cannot obey my lust, for to do so, I must go over my bleeding Saviour, and therefore, foul tempter, I hate you and your ways!’ This is a foundation that will stand. If we do sin, we weep that we have offended so good a God. When a Christian sins, he hates it, and not like Esau; he wept because he lost the blessing, and not because he sold it. Satan trembles to see a soul diligent in the use and exercises of grace; but when the creature trusts in the means, this is dangerous. Many souls do not only perish praying, repenting, and believing after a sort, but they perish by their praying and repenting while they carnally trust in these. If we are to be saved, we must come naked to Christ in regard to our duties; we cannot flee to Christ in truth while trusting in them. Some are so locked into them, that they cannot come without them, and so in a day of temptation are trampled under the foot of God’s wrath and Satan’s fury. The poor publican threw down his arms with no confidence in himself, and cried for help at the hands of mercy: ‘Be merciful to me a sinner!’
Over the past fifty years there has been a great resurgence of interest in the writings of the Puritans. The reading of their works has brought great benefit to the people of God in many lands. Christians from many different backgrounds and cultures owe a great debt of gratitude to those faithful pastors and preachers who continue to speak through their writings even though they have long since entered into their heavenly reward. The Puritans really knew how to teach and apply God’s Word in the Spirit’s power!
Richard Rushing has compiled this book of daily devotional readings from his favorite Puritan authors because of the great help he has gained from their works. “How thrilling it has been for me to read the Puritans on the glory and attributes of God, divine providence, fellowship with God, holiness of life and the mortification of indwelling sin, heavenly mindedness, prayer, evangelistic zeal, and trust in the Lord during times of affliction. At every turn these truths are eloquently taught, faithfully applied, and kindly offered as the subject of sweet spiritual meditation.”
This book is sent forth with the prayer that it will open a door to the vast stores of treasure to be found in the writings of the Puritans and that it will stimulate further exploration of this rich spiritual inheritance.