“Faith On Trial: Spiritual Thinking”


… a synopsis of the writing of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me —  until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” Psalm 73:16-17                                                         

While in great anguish of mind contemplating the prosperity of the wicked and the difficult trials that beset the righteous, the Psalmist went into the sanctuary of God and gained a whole new perspective: his focus turned from self to God, and to God’s people.  He began to realize that his whole problem up to that point was that he was relying on his own understanding in being envious of the wicked; he was thinking rationally, at best fractionally, and not spiritually.

While rational thinking subsists on the ground level, spiritual thinking is not irrational, but equally rational, however taking on a higher level, a thinking that considers all facts and possibilities beyond what rational thinking would deem reasonable.  All things are possible.

The late Earl of Oxford and Asquith once said that the greatest gift a man could ever have is the capacity for “cubical” thinking, the ability to see all sides of a subject.  “Truth is like a cube. You must see all its facets”. 1  Prejudice is a power that predetermines outcomes, by shutting out all other aspects of the truth except one side. This self-elected blindness accounts for much of the tragedy in this world, and oftentimes for most of our own errors in life.

The Psalmist remarks, then understood I their end. The end that awaits the ungodly. Spiritual thinking not only considers all possible angles, but also facilitates thinking things through to their final results.

Jesus Christ foretells the outcomes of two disparate paths: the broad, effortless way of living, versus the “strait and narrow way”:  one eventually leads to destruction, while the other leads to life. How paradoxical that the word “strait” is defined as “a position of difficulty, perplexity, distress, or need2, and yet it leads to life, but the broad and easy way leads to destruction

The Psalmist began to understand the end that awaits the ungodly.  There is a certain hopelessness and dearth of happiness in the godless view of life.

Charles Darwin, the author of “The Origin of the Species”, confessed at the end of his life that, as a result of focusing on only one aspect of life, he had somehow lost the power to enjoy poetry and music, even the capacity to appreciate nature itself.  The final days of H.G. Wells were similar, he who had advocated so much for the mind and understanding, and had ridiculed Christianity, at the end of his life confessed that he was utterly baffled and bewildered.  His last book, “Mind at the End of its Tether”, is an eloquent testimony to the Bible’s teaching about the tragic end of the ungodly.

In contrast, the godly life might seem to be so narrow and miserable, but even a hireling prophet such as Balaam, evil as he was, proclaimed, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!” (Numbers 23:10)

Throughout the hallmarks of life on earth, time and time again, these words have been proven true … But the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (Proverbs 4:18)

Footnotes:
1  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Faith on Trial”, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1965, p. 46
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/strait

 Reference:
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Faith on Trial”, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1965, p. 32-53

Photo credit: Seascape by Happy Jack

32 thoughts on ““Faith On Trial: Spiritual Thinking”

  1. it´s in the narrow way we find out who our Savior really is. how blessed we are to be called there, and how filled with grace to be able to say Yes. wondeful writing!

  2. A most thought provoking piece and, you’ve backed up everything with magnificent quotations as well ~ One psalm I share with friends is #37 which depicts your subject here so perspiciously. I love your writing and You dear friend ~ Deborah

    • Thank you so much, Deborah. Yes, it does seem that Psalm 37 and Psalm 73 (as expounded in this post) mirror each other. And thank you for reblogging as well! I treasure your gracious comments. Love, Dee

  3. ………for through His light, we are become a light that man cannot see, a torch against the darkest night……… I love this, Dee…….and I am reminded (more often than not) that I am grateful that God is God……. Always love, Bobbie

  4. Dearest Dee, thank you for this post … I pray that we would hold firmly to our convictions of the truth, but have compassion and heart to move with others around “the cube” so that they might follow us to find HIM. I love this post! blessings to you dear blogging friend!

    • Dearest Heidi, I am so blessed by your presence and your sharing of His love and truth. Truly to have the compassion and the heart to move with others around “the cube” is a high calling and adventure. Love, Dee

  5. Wow, Dee. This is good stuff. The end of the road always seems to change one’s perspective, huh? If we only knew then what we know now, as they say. And youth is wasted on the young… But the Word of God gives one a full perspective at any age and at any point in life—not that we can understand it fully necessarily, but the application of the Word is not all that difficult and is possible for all.

    Also, this post gives one a fresh understanding of why “The Way” can be difficult, and sometimes very difficult: It’s supposed to be. To add to the above definition, the “strait” (KJV) or narrow (small) gate is harder to enter and the way that leads to life is also narrow because there is pressure on both sides pushing in on it making it very narrow and difficult to traverse. Not impossible, of course, or anywhere near impossible, just difficult.

    But, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” [Philippians 4:13]

    Thanks.

    • Thank you, RJ. Yes, truly the Word of God is the lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, and it is through the light of His Word that we are able to have the strength “to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth” of matters that confront us in our earthly lives, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses understanding.

      The “strait” or narrow gate is also difficult to enter in as we have to leave “self” behind, and as you say, by God’s grace we are able to do it. Thank you for your comprehensive thoughts on this post. It is very much appreciated. Blessings, Dee

  6. You last blog on going into the sanctuary of God to find peace reminded me that we can go to church to find this same peace. Yesterday I was sick and did not go to church. I can tell something is missing from my spirit. Blessings.

    • The sanctuary of God is truly a pre-ordained place by God for us to fellowship with God and with other believers. How true that when we go to God’s house, we find the peace that lifts us up from our cares in life. Thank you for your comments, Carolyn, and I hope you are feeling better. Blessings, Dee

  7. A very well written piece filled with Truth – a hallmark of your writing, Dee. Love reading you.

    I’m quite busy with several projects including another book that I am writing (as ghostwriter) for a businessman. But I shall try to keep abreast of all your posts – as I don’t want to miss any.

    Peace,
    Eric

    • I am always amazed at how prolific your writing is, Eric, and I remember you once commented on your blog that you never experience writer’s block. I wish you the very best in all your projects.

      Thank you for your kindness and encouragement towards my writing. I delight in reading your posts and learn a lot from the thoughts they foster within myself, as well as from the lovely bloggers that share their thoughts on your blog.

      Peace,
      Dee

  8. What great thoughts and beautiful picture. to get to the end of life and realize that you missed the point, that is sad. I’m praying more people realize that “point” before they get to the end of their lives.

    • That is quite a poignant point, Ann. Yes, to reach the end, and to realize you missed the point is indeed sad. I join with you in praying more people will know the Truth and that the Truth shall set them free. Blessings to you always, Dee

  9. There is much excellent logic in your article – something sadly lacking in our thought processes these days. Blessings to you as you exalt the name of the Lord Most High!

    In Christ,
    Tami
    \o/
    Praising Jesus who created thinking 😉

    • I find much excellent logic in the writings of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones as referenced in this post, and it is a blessing to be able to incorporate these in this post in a condensed, cohesive manner. I am thankful for your visit and the follow. I look forward to reading your writings and the fellowship. Blessings to you, too, Tami! Dee

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