A Word to Young Converts

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 7
YOUNG Christians are exposed to special and constant danger. They have not yet learned that full trust and confidence in God which older converts ought to enjoy, and the devil (who, whilst they were going on in their old course, and in full swing for hell as it were, gladly left them 'alone) sees now that they are about to slip through his fingers, and brings all his power and cunning to bear upon them. The conflict, indeed, now begins; there must be two parties to a fight.
Before the convert had allowed. God's blessed work to be accomplished, and the Holy Spirit to take full possession of him, the devil had it all his own way ("Ye were servants to sin once")—there was no opposition—but now blessed be God, resist the devil and he shall flee from thee, is a fact. An accomplished fact, but it does not say there shall be no combat, that the devil will quietly give up possession. On the contrary. 1 Tim. 6:1212Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12), “Fight the good fight of faith." 2 Tim. 5:4, "No man that warreth, entangleth himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who hath-chosen him to be a soldier; " and even Paul, at the end of his victorious life, speaks of the warfare, “I have fought a good. fight, I have finished. my course; I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." Blessed words," All them also." Any aid that we can give to the young soldier, it is a duty and a blessing to afford.; and may God in His infinite love bless these few words to others, as the thought of them has been blessed to the writer, for His glory's sake.
Walking along, then, one morning, and thinking it was not a good day with me, and that I was not getting on in my journey to God as I could wish, and looking within for the cause, the words of a dear Christian came to my heart “If you want to be wretched look within; if you want to be distracted look around; if you want to be happy, look up.”
The cause of my depression was plain. I was looking within and around, looking at the state of myself and my surroundings, instead of looking up at that Saviour who had washed me in His own blood whiter than snow, and at that God, who saw me not as I was, but only through Christ as fit for His presence.
I prayed God to give me something to dwell upon that would help to lead me out of myself, and the following thought came into my mind, and was visibly demonstrated to my sight:
I was walking in a filthy street, and had to cross a field, through which a new road had been partly made, that is to say the outside narrow kerbstone had been set up right across the field, on to the broad fine pavement on the other side; the roadway in prospective was covered with large rough stones, and what was to be the pavement was one mass of mud. There was only one narrow way across—the kerbstone—but it was firm and clean, and hard as a rock. The entrance to the pathway from the filthy street was through posts and wooden railings, which formed, as it were, a divided cross, and through this cross was the ONLY WAY on to the narrow path, which lead to the clean place beyond, and it was only by keeping one's eyes fixed on that clean place that one could walk across the narrow way. Once on the path it was firm and strong, and all that was required was to look and walk right a head, but look either to the right hand or to the left, anywhere but right ahead, down one went either into the stones or the mud, and in walking thus one naturally put out the hands to balance oneself, with anything that might be in them; and the Bible that I had in my hand was my balancing pole.
Is it not so with the veil removed from the eyes? What can be filthier than the world in which one was walking? What more stony than the worldly pleasures in which one formerly delighted? What muddier than one's natural self? But by the grace of God see this, and, blessed be His name, He shows the narrow opening through the cross, this pathway to heaven—and it's always open! There's no gate, no shutting (as yet), no fee to pay, nothing to do, nothing to bring. No! only to go through in faith, believing, and at once one is on a rock, and then for the way—straight on—the eyes fixed ahead. Look to the right, and one is down the stones of the world hurting one's feet, and fighting and struggling to recover one's balance.
Again, look to the left, see the mud of which one is composed, and down goes the balance, over falls the walker, to be replaced on the clear path only after a fight of longer or shorter duration, according to the time he is before ceasing to gaze at himself, and look only at Christ, who can alone set him up again; but let him look straight on, and he can walk all the way over. There may be little disturbances of balance, yes, there will be, but they will depend upon himself, and not upon the way, there is the road if he will walk it in the way God tells him to go, and it leads right over, no break, and there is the balancing pole that never fails to keep one straight, if only trusted in. And trusting in it, and it alone, nothing can upset the truster. May God keep us all looking forward and up—up at that Saviour who is indeed the Way—the only Way—by which we have acceptance; and what an acceptance it is, what a place. “Ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Blessed knowledge, may God grant us all the power by faith to accept the joyful position, and as real sons and daughters, to say "Abba, Father.”
One word to any who may read this, and know nothing of the Saviour, or who, knowing, refuse Him—to the former I would say—yet not I but God—Know Him now, He came to save you. Christ, the Son of God, gave His life for you—and. He entreats you to come to Him just as you are—at once— to- day—now. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Then you can sing:—
"I do believe, believe, I will believe
That Jesus died for me
Upon the cross, he shed His blood,
From hell to set me free.”
How long, O Lord, how long! Oh! has that ever struck you? A time will come, yea, verily, is near, when the door will be shut, the way barred, when a merciful Saviour will no longer hold out the blessings of salvation to you, but when there will be nothing left you but endless torment. Yes, refuse the Lord, and but a little time and it will be too late, and then the only way you will see Jesus will be when He comes as a righteous judge to take vengeance. Oh! be warned in time, for now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. God grant it—to-day, now, ere it be too late.
E. C.