HE IS ALL POWERFUL! HE IS ALL KNOWING! HE IS PRESENT IN EVERY PLACE! HE IS “GOD THE ALL!”
One of my favorite books is “The Valley of Vision,” a book of Puritan prayers compiled by Arthur Bennett, and published by The Banner of Truth Trust. It’s a wonderful book, full of praise and glory to God, beautifully expressed in old time Biblical terms not greatly popular in our day of “easy-believism” and “feel good” pseudo-Christianity. Consequently the prayers within the book speak much more of God’s sovereignty, his grace, his will and his purpose, than of humankind’s efforts to add to what God has done, is doing, and will do.
In keeping with those thoughts, I’d like to share one of the prayers from the “Valley of Vision” entitled “God the All.” It follows:
O God whose will conquers all,
There is no comfort in anything apart from enjoying thee and being engaged in thy service; Thou art All in All, and all enjoyments are to me what thou makest them, and no more. I am well pleased with thy will, or should be in all respects. And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair, I would choose to refer all to thee, for thou art all wise and cannot do amiss, as I am in danger of doing. I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal, and it delights me to leave them there. Then prayer turns wholly into praise, and all I can do is to adore and bless thee. What shall I give thee for all thy benefits? I am in a straight betwixt two, knowing not what to do; I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer, and can only rejoice that thou doest all, and none in heaven or earth shares thy honor; I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed name, but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to thee. I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith, that the whole work of redemption is thine alone, and every good work or thought found in me is the effect of thy power and grace, that thy sole motive in working in me to will and to do is thy good pleasure.
O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man’s creaturely power and goodness, when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate. This by bitter experience, thou hast taught me concerning myself. (In that I concur, and say – Amen! [Bill])
The depth of thought, and of expression found in that prayer, are no longer in vogue in “mainstream Christianity.” In our day and age, it’s more about what we foolishly think we can do to improve on God’s Sovereign will and grace, than what he has done for his children, (to which absolutely nothing can be added, and from which absolutely nothing can be detracted.) What is not being talked about (or realized) in most churches, is that there is a new Reformation taking place even now. As the earlier Reformation came in a time of great apostasy within the Universal Church, so it is today. Consequently, by the will of Almighty God, myriads of people are realizing anew that God in Christ is indeed, “All in All!” How can we, in our “Valley of Vision,” sensibly expect anything less than revival, and subsequent reformation among God’s people? Do it again Lord Jesus! Do it again! Amen!
From a sinner saved by God’s sovereign grace,