A Proverb Improved
"Duties are ours — events are the Lord's." Yes, whatever the Lord commands in his word, or calls us to do by his providence, should be attended to without hesitation or delay. For every duty — he will furnish strength; and for every undertaking — he will furnish supplies. Only let us see clearly that God requires anything at our hands, and then, without consulting flesh and blood — let us set about it. Let us act in faith, believing the promise, trusting in Divine faithfulness, and expecting God to make good his word. He never did fail one who trusted in him — and he never will. His precepts, and the calls of his providence — are often intended to try our sincerity, the depth of our love, and our confidence in him; and if they stand the test, he crowns them with honor and glory.
The Lord often leads his people by a rough road — but he always brings them to a glorious end. His precepts often cross our desires and preferences — but they are always righteous, loving, and wise. Let us therefore make them our daily rule — and leave all results with the Lord.
Is any one brought to Christ, who has been required to practice deception, act dishonestly, or tell falsehoods in business — let him at once respectfully, but firmly, refuse to do so any more, and leave the issue with the Lord. And so in all other cases, where we are required to sin or suffer — the latter is to be preferred. The Lord may try our fidelity, and allow us to sustain loss for a time — but in the end he will illustrate his own word, "those who honor me — I will honor."
Venture for Christ, for you can never lose by Christ. What appears to be a risk, if for conscience sake, and Christ's sake — is a safe investment. Duties are generally made plain, if we really desire to know them, consult God's Word to ascertain them, wait at God's throne, and watch God's providence, for light to be thrown upon them. And when once a duty is made plain, it is to be immediately attended to, not rashly, or vain-gloriously — but prudently and in deep humility. Nothing makes duty so easy as humility; nor does anything make it so difficult as pride. If, therefore, we would be dutiful subjects of the King of kings, if we would be diligent servants of the living God — let us cultivate humility.
And if we would cultivate humility, let us feed our faith by diligent meditation on God's Word, and constant attendance at God's throne; for as humility makes duty easy — so faith produces and deepens humility; and as faith deepens humility, so meditation on the Word of God, and fellowship with God, increases and strengthens faith. Strong believers are always active and obedient, and all who are active in God's cause, and obedient to God's will, are sure to be honored by the Lord. Make duty your delight — and God will supply all your needs, overrule all your trials, pour confusion on all your foes, honor your feeble efforts to glorify him, and crown your end with peace and comfort!