Pastor Allan Kircher
Shell Point Baptist Church
26 August 2013
"With my soul have I desired thee in the night."—Isaiah 26:9.
Night appears to be a time peculiarly favorable to devotion.
Its solemn stillness helps to free the mind from the perpetual sin which the cares of the world will bring about;
• The stars looking down/heaven upon us shine as if they would attract us up to God.
• I don’t know how you are affected by the solemnities of the night, but I have sat alone reflecting on the mighty universe.
• I have felt that indeed I could worship him;
• for night seems to be the a very temple for adoration
When I consider the heavens, the work of Gods’ fingers, the moon and the stars which He has ordained; what is man, that God is mindful of him?
Even with the most irreligious person,
• a man farthest from any spiritual thought
• It seems there is some power in the grandeur and stillness of night to draw him up to God.
I trust many of us can say, like David, "I have thought upon thee continually, I have thought upon thy name in the night, and with desire have I desired thee in the night."
But I leave that thought altogether.
• I address myself to two orders of persons
• I endeavor to show what I conceive to be the meaning of the text.
• May God make it useful to you?
First, I shall speak to confirmed Christians; Second, I shall speak to newly awakened souls
Prayerfully, we will say, “With my soul have I desired thee in the night."
I. The first fact I shall draw out is to the confirmed believer
• I’m sure we can admit wholeheartedly:
• The Christian is not always the bright shining sun!
• We have seasons of darkness and of night.
Many have rejoiced/presence of God for a season
• Basked in the sunshine God/pleased/give us.
• Walked along “green pastures”
• By the side of the “still waters”
Then suddenly/month or two/find that glorious sky is clouded
• Instead green pastures/tread the sandy desert.
• Instead still waters/find streams blackish to our taste
• Streams bitter to our spirits.
The best of God's saints have their nights; the dearest of his children have to walk through a wilderness. Take heart!
There is not a Christian, who has enjoyed perpetual happiness,
• No believer/always/sings/song of joy.
• Hey, you can’t always see the same star at night!
• Not every Christian is always happy.
Perhaps/God/gave you/season/great joy at first because you were a raw recruit.
• God didn’t want to put you in roughest part of the battle when you first enlisted!
• You were a tender plant
• He wanted to nurse you before you went into the heat.
But when you become strong the case is different.
• He expects you to make provisions now.
• He expects you to call upon him for strength.
We need clouds and darkness to exercise our faith, to cut off self dependence, and make us put more faith in Christ
This darkness over the soul/Christian rises/temporal distresses.
• A misfortune in the walk of his life.
• Something gone wrong in his business
• Or an enemy has done something against him.
• Death has struck down a child
• Bereavement has snatched away their spouse.
Remember again from last week: John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
• Church! This is where Faith comes into practice.
• This is where your desires match your faith!
Better --Christian's day of sorrow
Than world's days of happiness.
than/reign in the palace/Ahab.
Than a child/Satan in riches.
Cheer up, you with a downcast spirit, if this is you….
• Remember/many saints have passed through the same
• the best and most eminent believers have had their nights.
• Someone else may say, “you have not described my night!”
• Or “I don’t have any evidence of my Christianity”
• There was a season when I flattered myself
• I knew something about godliness and God;
• Now I doubt whether I have any part or lot in the matter.
• I see no hope for me.
• I am afraid I am a hypocrite.
• While others are commending me
• I am accusing myself of all manner of sin and corruption.
I am afraid there cannot have been a work of grace in my heart
• Why do I have these corrupt imaginations.
• Filthy desires,
• Hard thoughts of God, so much pride
• So much selfishness and self-will.
The closer you get to God the more wickedness you see of self.
I do not believe there ever existed a Christian yet, who did not now and then doubt his interest in Jesus.
• Your simple lifestyle of self in evident of this.
I think, when a man says, "I never doubt this?"
• it is time for us to begin to say
• "Ah, poor soul, I am afraid you are not on the road at all
A Second remark to the confirmed Christian is…
Men will follow Christ when everyone cries "Hosanna! Hosanna!"
But, like that seed on the rock/spring up/green/heat comes/they wither away
• Temptations/troubles/overcome them.
• The best test of a Christian is the night?
• In times of temptations/persecutions.
If you can sing at temptations/sing in trouble/sing when driven to despair—this is what proves your sincerity.
A Christian’s piety is shown in adversity not prosperity.
Put a trouble/on/Christian/his endurance/will prove him to be of the true seed of Israel.
A third remark to the confirmed Christian is:
• The other side of the metaphor:
• All the Christian wants in the night is his God. "
• Our text: With desire have I desired thee in the night."
By day there are many things that a Christian will desire besides his Lord
• But in the night he wants nothing but his God.
• Think of your days? Do you think of God during the day?
• Were busy, preoccupied with the things of the world.
• This can only be through the corruption of our own spirit.
• When everything goes well we are setting our affection on everything but Christ.
• We always want something, desiring other things beside God.
• When things are going smoothly
• He wants this and that comfort.
• Striving to gain self
But when trouble/distress arise…
Can we say, “with desire, I desire thee in the night.”
II. The second part of my sermon is to be occupied by speaking to newly awakened souls;
I will endeavor to answer three questions to those who are newly awakened.
• The first question you may ask.
• How do I know that my desires are proofs of a work of grace in my soul?
• you may say
• I think I can go so far as the text says.
• I have desired God;
• I have desired to have an interest in the blood of Jesus
But how am I to know that it is a desire sent of God?
Hear me, then, while I offer one or two tests.
1. First, you may tell whether your desires are of God by their fidelity.
When many hear a stirring sermon, they have a very strong desire to grow in the Lord; but they go home and forget it.
They are like a man who sees his face in a mirror, goes away, and forgets what he looks like.
• Has it been so with you?
• Have you had such a desire?
• Will tomorrow's busyness take it away?
• Do you want Christ today?
• And will you despise him tomorrow?
• Then I am afraid your desires are not of God
• they are merely the desires of a naturally awakened conscience
• just the stirrings of mere nature
• And they will go as far as nature can go, and no farther.
But if your desires are constant take comfort.
• How long have they lasted?
• Are you continually desiring Christ
• Have you been seeking him in prayer for a long season?
• Are you anxious of Christ on Mon as you are on Sun?
Do you seek him in the night—in the solemn loneliness, when no pastor’s voice breaks on your ear, when no truth is smiting your conscience?
• Consistency is essential evidence of divine work.
2. Some persons desire heaven very earnestly
• But they do not desire to rid themselves of wrong doing:
• they desire God….
• But they do not desire God enough to be holy;
• or to bridle their tongues,
• Leave off speaking ill of their neighbors.
They desire righteousness; They desire God in their life.
But they don’t desire it enough to come other than the morning hour.
• You may tell the truthfulness of your desires by their effectiveness.
• If your desires lead you into real "works meet for repentance," then they come from God.
Luke 13:24….“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
Our prophet here informs us, “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you: your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
How many do I hear say I am waiting for God, it is all I do
Stop! How do you know you are not deceiving yourself?
I said it for years, “I am waiting for God.”
• But I kept on with my drinking
• I kept on with my cursed mouth.
• I kept on with my self-righteousness.
I was waiting. Yes, but waiting implies being ready. I wasn’t ready.
When you’re waiting you have to be ready!
• You’re not waiting on a phone call, until you’re sitting by the phone, holding it, staring at it.
• And you’re not waiting on God till you are ready to go with God.
Nobody should say, I’m waiting for God. No, church, it is God who is waiting on you.
• An old writer says, "Hell is paved with good intentions."
I was not aware that there was any pavement at all
• Hell has no bottom
• at the same time I believe the sides of the pit are hung with good intentions;
• men will feel themselves pricked and goaded from side to side with good intentions
• good intentions they once formed but never carried out
• Desires of self, of thinking I can do this.
Oh! brethren, if these are your desires, they are not practical, they do not come of God.
But if your desires have made you give up your wicked ways
If they have constrained you to seek God with full purpose of heart
If they have brought you to give up one sin after another—take comfort, you are in the right road
3. Again: you can tell these desires by their urgency.
• Some of you want to be saved.
• But you want to be saved next week, next month.
• I did the same thing for many a years.
• But when the Holy Ghost speaks he says,
• "Today if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."
It must be now or never.
• "Today give me grace; today give me mercy;
• Today give me pardon."
• Some of you hope to be saved before you die
• before the pit closes on you;
You hope Christ will look down upon you in the years to come.
You may have even set the year, I suppose;
But it is always in the distant hazy future is it?
• But the true desire is now.
• Does the poor man who lies in his death bed say, "Pardon me next month?"
• No, he expects to be launched into eternity in the next second.
• He who feels his danger will cry, "Now!"
He who wants really wants Christ, will cry, "Now!"
He who is spiritually awakened will cry out, "Now or never!"
He who seeks revival of spirit will cry out, “Now!”
What will it do to postpone salvation?
When the ship has struck the rock and is filling with water, what good will tomorrow do?
When the fire is thrusting through the wood in your home, what good will tomorrow do?
• "Tomorrow?" Why, you may be dead before tomorrow's sun has risen.
• To-morrow! where is it?
• It’s in the devil's calendar, not written in any book on earth.
• Tomorrow! It is the fool's desire, he will never gain.
• Tomorrow! There is no such thing.
• It is God's.
• If there is such a day, ours it cannot be.
I have always desired God in my life.
• But why not 20 years ago?
• "If I have desired God, why have I not obtained my desire before now? Before 9 years ago?
Perhaps God has not granted my desire to seek Him, because he wanted me to profit from it.
• He desired to show me the wickedness of my heart.
• He wanted me to see the blackness of my sin.
• The horrible pit of sin.
• So, He let me go down into the dungeon.
• So that I come out and prize Him even more.
• I can speak more of his loving kindness and tender mercy.
• I can see more of God now, then I did years of false desire.
I could not have preached like I do now if I had not been dragged about by the devil for many years.
So He may be keeping your desires waiting.
• He knows that delay will fan the desire even more.
• He knows that delay is no loss to you, but much gain for you.
• Then you will see the need more clearly.
• Seek Him more earnestly.
• Cry more bitterly
• And your heart will be more earnest for Him.
There is no poor sinner who loves mercy more than when they have been carrying it for a season.
• Perhaps that is the reason why God keeps you waiting.
One more thought here. Perhaps it has come already.
• I think some of you are pardoned and you do not know it.
• I’m talking of your desire of God. Your walk with Him.
• People have got the strangest notions in the world about conversion.
Some people feel they need to have some sort of electric shock when they were converted.
• If you think this will happen, you will be waiting a long time.
Some people think they are not pardoned because they have never heard a voice in their ears.
I should be very sorry to have my salvation dependent this.
• I should be afraid that the devil had applied it
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief,"
I think you would find that after all you are not excluded.
• Oh! may God speak loudly in your soul
• That you may know that he has forgiven you!
But there is one more serious enquiry: and it is,
• "Will God grant my desire at last?"
• Yes, poor soul he will.
• It is impossible that you should have desired God and should be lost
Never can anyone say, “I desired mercy of God and He would not give it to me: I sought grace at the hands of Jesus and he would not give it to me.”
Never will that ever happen, at least on God’s side of the fence.
If a man says this Satan is so pleased, saying, “here is a sinner that perished praying: God has not kept His promise
We know God says, “whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved:
• But there are many who reject that call:
• And when you do; they howl for joy in hell!
They would sing a blasphemous song against the Almighty God that just one poor desiring soul should be there!
I will tell you one thing:
• I have heard many wicked things in my life
• I have heard many men swear and blaspheme God, till I have trembled
• but there is one thing I never did hear a man say yet
• and I think God would surely not permit any man to perpetrate such a lie
• I never heard even the most wicked man say,
• "I sincerely sought God with full purpose of heart
• and yet he has not heard me
• and will not answer me, but has cast me away."
It is impossible; God hears the cries of His children.
Although I know that people can be infinitely wicked
• It is possible for man to say this..
• But I can say I never heard it;
• and I believe there are some of you here who can say
Even in my lifetime, I have never heard a sinner say,
“I have sought God and He will not hear me, He has cast me away from His face and will not give me mercy.”
And I think, as long as you live you will never hear that case.
• Then why should you be the first?
• Why, poor sinner, should you be the first?
• Do you think you are a chosen mark for all the arrows of the Almighty?
• Are you to be the first instance in which mercy fails?
• Would God wish to see you damned?
• Has He not said, "As I live, says the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, but would rather that he should turn to me and live."
Do you think it would be a pleasure to the Almighty to have your blood?
• Oh! far be it from you to conceive it.
• Don’t you think that he loves to pardon?
• Has He not said himself he delights in mercy?
And is it not written, "As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
• What advantage would it be to God to destroy your souls?
• Would it not be more to his honor to save you?
Yes, because you would sing his praise in heaven, would you not?
Do you suppose that God would give his Son to die for sinners, and yet would not save sinners?
Scriptures say, "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners," and you are a sinner; you feel that you are a sinner; you know it.
• Then he came to save you?
• Only believe that.
• As a poor sinner you have a right to believe it.
He came into the world for a certain purpose and what he came for He will do.
"Whosoever believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned."
God grant that you may never know what it is to be damned!
God give you to believe now; for, "today, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts."