The nearer we draw to the heart of God the less taste we will have for controversy. The peace we know in God's bosom is so sweet that it is but natural that we want to keep it unbroken to enjoy as fully and as long as possible. The Spirit-filled Christian is never a good fighter. He is at too many disadvantages. The enemy is always better at invective than he will allow himself to be. The devil has all the picturesque epithets, and his followers have no conscience about using them. The Christian is always more at home, blessing than he is opposing. He is, moreover, much thinner-skinned than his adversaries. He shrinks from an angry countenance and draws back from bitter words. They are symbols of a world he has long ago forsaken for the quiet of the kingdom of God where love and good will prevail. All this is in his favor, for it marks him out as a man in whom there is no hate and who earnestly desires to live at peace with all men. In spite of his sincere longing for peace, however, there will be times when he dare not allow himself to enjoy it. There are times when it is a sin to be at peace. There are circumstances when there is nothing to do but to stand up and vigorously oppose. To wink at iniquity for the sake of peace is not a proof of superior spirituality; it is rather a sign of a reprehensible timidity which dare not oppose sin for fear of the consequences. For it will cost us heavily to stand for the right when the wrong is in the majority, which is 100 percent of the time.
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Sometimes our trouble is not moral but physical. As long as we are in these mortal bodies our spiritual lives will be to some degree affected by our bodies. Here we should notice that there is a difference between our mortal bodies and the 'flesh' of Pauline theology. When Paul speaks of the flesh he refers to our fallen human nature, not to our physical bodies, which are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Spirit there is deliverance from the propensities of the flesh, but while we live there is no relief from the weaknesses and imperfections of the body. One often-unsuspected cause of staleness is fatigue. Shakespeare said something to the effect that no man could be a philosopher when he had a toothache, and while it is possible to be a weary saint, it is scarcely possible to be weary and feel saintly; and it is our want of feeling that we are considering here. The Christian who gets tired in the work of the Lord and stays tired without relief beyond a reasonable time will go stale. The fact that he grew weary by toiling in the Lord's vineyard will not make his weariness any less real. Our Lord knew this and occasionally took His disciples aside for a rest.
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