C. H. Spurgeon
|Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
These Notes from Spurgeon, famed for his expository preaching in England at Park St.
and Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, are well worth studying, adapting, and making
your own, for any sound preacher of the Gospel. He is deservedly known
to this day as "the Prince of Preachers," and is arguably the greatest
preacher who has lived since New Testament days! - Webmaster
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2. Power With God.
As a prince hast thou power with God. Genesis 32:28 POWER with God is a sublime attainment: it leads to the possession of every form of power. No wonder that it is added, "and with men" When Jacob had prevailed with God he had no reason to fear Esau. Observe that it is the power of a single individual, exhibited in a time of deep distress: how much more power will be found where two or three agree in prayer! Let us note—
I. WHAT THIS POWER CANNOT BE.
· Cannot be physical force. "Hast thou an arm like God?" (Job 40:9).
· Cannot be mental energy. "Declare if thou hast understanding" (Job 38:4).
· Cannot be magical. Some seem to fancy that prayers are charms, but this is idle. "He maketh diviners mad"(Isa. 44:15). "Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do" (Matt. 6:7).
· Cannot be meritorious. "Is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect?'' (Job 22:3)."If thou be righteous, what givest thou him?" (Job 35:7).
· Cannot be independent. It must be given by the Lord. "Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me" (Job 23:6).
II. WHENCE THIS POWER PROCEEDS.
1. It arises from the Lord's nature: his goodness and tenderness are excited by the sight of our sorrow and weakness. A soldier about to kill a child put aside his weapon when the little one cried out, "Don't kill me, I am so little."
2. It comes out of God's promise. In his covenant, in the gospel, and in the Word, the Lord puts himself under bonds to those who know how to plead his truth and faithfulness." Put me in remembrance; let us plead together." (Isa. 43:26).
3. It springs out of the relationships of grace. A father will surely hear his own children. A friend will be true to his friend. Story of the power of a child in Athens who ruled his mother and through her his father who was the chief magistrate, and so controlled the whole city; love thus made a babe to have power over a prince and his people. The love of God to us is our power with him.
4. It grows out of the Lord's previous acts. His election of his people is a power with him since he is unchanging in his purposes. Redemption, regeneration, calling, communion, are all arguments for our final preser- vation, for mercy will not forsake that which wisdom has commenced. Each blessing draws on another like links of a chain. Past mercies are the best of pleas for present and future aid.
III. HOW CAN IT BE EXERCISED.
1. There must be a deep sense of weakness, "When I am weak then am I strong" (2 Cor. 12:10).
2. There must be simple faith in the goodness of the Lord. "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12). Faith is the prevailing grace — It treads on the world, and on hell;
It vanquishes death and despair:
And, what is still stranger to tell,
It overcomes heaven by prayer.
3. There must be earnest obedience to his will. "If any man doeth his will, him he heareth" (John 9:31 ).
4. There must be fixed resolve. "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me" (verse 26).
5. With this must be blended importunity. "There wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day" (verse 24).
6. The whole heart must be poured out. "Yea he wept and made supplication'' (Hos. 12:4).
7. Increased weakness must not make us cease. Jacob was lame yet he prevailed. "The lame take the prey" (Isa. 33:23).
IV. TO WHAT USE THIS POWER MAY BE TURNED.
1. For ourselves.
· For our own deliverance from special trial.
· Our honorable preferment. "Thy name shall be called Israel"
· Our future comfort, strength, and growth, when, like Jacob, we are called to successive trials.
2. For others.
· Jacob's wives and children were preserved, and Esau's heart was softened. If we had more power with God we should have a happier influence among our relatives.
· In other instances, Abraham, Job, Moses, Samuel, Paul, etc., exercised power with God for the good of others.
· We shall win souls for Jesus by this power. He that has power with God for men will have power with men for God.
O for a holy ambition to possess power with God!