There Was No Man There

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
But I thought there was. But because I thought, it did not alter the fact, "that there was no man there"
It was when returning, one very dark night, from preaching Jesus Christ in the country—so dark was the night, that it was with very considerable difficulty I was able to keep the conveyance out of the ditches on either side of the road.
Trotting slowly and carefully along, I was suddenly startled on seeing, as I thought, someone close behind.
I suddenly turned round, and (for the moment forgetting that "the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him,") saw, as I thought, two highwaymen on the point of getting in from behind. Instantly the horse was lashed into a gallop, regardless of the danger of the darkness of the night; and after distancing my supposed pursuers, I began to think—Can it possibly be only an idea I thought? But suppose I thought wrong. Was there, after all, any one there at all?
The fact was, "There was no man there;" it was only that I thought there was.
But why make such a ridiculous mistake? Well, this was how. I had on a stiff waterproof coat, which, on suddenly turning round, made an unusual rustling noise; and this, in the darkness of the night, with my own imagination and fears, I magnified into two highwaymen. I thought—well, and suppose I did think, my thinking did not alter the fact.
Like the four lepers in 2 Kings 7, who came to the camp of the Syrian host, expecting to meet with enemies, and perhaps death, "behold there was no man there;" and now, instead of starving at the gate of Samaria, "they did eat and drink."
Why starve then, when there was abundance close at hand? Because they thought what was not true. They thought something stood between them and food and water, when actually "there was no man there."
It was just like me and my two highwaymen, who turned out to be nothing more than my own imagination and, thoughts; and it is just like you, poor unsaved one. Your own imagination and thoughts and will, are the only barriers between you and your partaking of the Bread of Life, Christ Jesus.
You are refusing to believe what God says, choosing rather to believe the devil and your own deceptive heart, which is "desperately wicked."
What more can you possibly ask God to do than He has done?"
Could God have given a greater gift than His own Son?
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
God does not ask you to pray for Christ to die (that is finished,) but God is actually beseeching you to be reconciled.
A little longer doubt God's gift—a little longer think your thoughts,—and you will "go down quick into hell." It is useless hoping to be saved, and at the same time deliberately refusing to believe what God says.
Do not, I beseech you, any longer put in your buts, or ifs, or doubts, or fears, or thoughts, but take God at His word; honor God, by believing what He says, and then to your joy you will know that He has forgiven all your sins for Christ's sake.
Remember, if you go into hell, it is your own doing. Now there is a Savior offered you. Have you no desire, no thirst for Him? Soon there will be no Savior, but an insatiable burning, everlasting thirst. The rich man in hell does not yet have one drop of cold water to cool his tongue. Take heed lest "I thought," contrary to what God says, sinks you into the same awful pit.
"How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God!"
As long as Naaman turned away, and said, "Behold, I thought," he remained an unhealed leper; but as soon as he did "according to the saying of the man of God," he could say,. "Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel."
And thus we hear God saying in Isa. 55:77Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7), not only, "Let the wicked forsake his way," but also, "and the unrighteous man his thoughts," and why? Because He says, "For My thoughts are not as your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways."
"I thought" has taken many a self-righteous one down to destruction, and the only safeguard is in the "It is written" of God's Word. Thou will our "I thought" be changed into the divinely authorized "I know."