In What Way Shall We Attain This Settled Happiness of the Soul?

In what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul?  How shall we learn to enjoy God?  How shall we obtain such an all-sufficient soul-satisfying portion in him as shall enable us to let go the things this world as vain and worthless in comparison?  I answer, this happiness is to be obtained through the study of Holy Scriptures.  God has therein revealed Himself unto us in the face of Jesus Christ.

– George Mueller

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 118

The Chief Activity of the Soul

If human happiness, whose perfection it is to be united with God, were hidden from man, he would in fact be bereft of the principal use of his understanding.  Thus, also the chief activity of the soul is to aspire tither.  Hence, the more anyone endeavors to approach to God, the more he proves himself endowed with reason.

– John Calvin

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 16

The Evil Ways of Little Sins

Greater sins do sooner startle the soul, and awaken and rouse up the soul to repentance, than lesser sins do.  Little sins often slide into the soul and breed, and work secretly and indiscernibly in the soul, till they come to be so strong, as to trample upon the soul and to cut the throat of the soul.

– Thomas Brooks

as quoted by Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 210

Jesus’ Declaration is Neither Deluded or Devastating

The declaration of Jesus that we must be born again (John 3:7) is neither deluded or devastating to the one who would be captain of his soul.  Not many biblical realities are better designed by God to reveal our helplessness in Sin (John 3:8).  It is the Wind, not we, who finally rules the soul.

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 9

When the Watchman Fails…

When the watchman fails, not only is he lost, but the whole city is laid to waste.  When the mind surrenders its watch over the soul by neglecting its duties, the affections and will are sure to follow.  Do you think the kind of meditation and prayer described here are too hard to keep up day after day?  Remember that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (II Timothy 1:7).  Hold before your mind the rewards God promises: “My dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (I Corinthians 15:58).  And never forget the warning about dropping your guard: “Be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position” (II Peter 3:17)

– Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin, copyright 1998, page 76

Shaken to the Core by How Much God Loathes Sin

Remember that the mind is the watchman of the soul, commanded to judge and determine whether something is good and pleasing to God, so the affections can long for it and the will can choose it.  If the mind fails to identify a sin as evil, wicked, vile, and bitter, the affections  will not be safe from clinging to it, not the will from giving consent.  This is one side of the castle wall, the first line of defense: to keep in mind that every sin is a forsaking of God (Jeremiah 2:19), to never forget the polluting, corrupting, defiling power of sin – to be shaken to the core by how much God loathes sin.

– Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin, copyright 1998, page 63