From Bad Habits.
A victim of licentiousness and sensuousness, who often, amid his sinful
pleasures, had the memory of Christian parents before him, felt his was
indeed a life of shame. But the downward steps had destroyed his will,
his self-control, his manliness, his virtue. He had no power to resist,
all was wickedness, irresolution, constant yielding. In vain he hung
back, and tried to save himself from the cursed appetite; at last he
realized that in a few weeks' time he must go to the grave; strength
could not stand such a waste of life. "What a miserable life. What
wicked ways, what wicked thoughts; how I wish I was pure; O, that I
might get free; I do not love this sin any more, I don't want it, but I
can't stop it. O, I wish I could be a Christian, and wholly free."
Such were his constant thoughts. In mercy, the Lord who had been reading
his thoughts, sent him a great reverse in business, and in agony of
heart, he knew not where to turn but to the Lord, and pray for relief.
His prayer, too, asked to be emancipated from his wickedness, and his
strength and health restored. "_Lord, save me and I will_ be thine
forever. I am lost unless thou wilt come and save."
By gradual degrees, in the absorption of his thoughts over other
distresses, his mind was diverted from his usual ways and thoughts of
sinful living; gradually the habits of lust grew less and less strong,
and finally ceased altogether. But the body still remained under
excessive weakness. But faith that the Lord who had saved others, could
save him too, led him to pray, not only for the destruction of the
habit, but entire recovery from its evil effects. His perseverance was
persistent, and met with a _triumphant reward_. After a long; time, he
felt himself wholly healed. New strength, new life, came back to him.
"It seems as if my life had been put back again ten years, and I was
young again." "I never have any more wicked thoughts or imaginations,
while I was once full of them. Since I learned to seek the Lord and love
his Bible, I have never had such peace, or purity. I love the name and
tender mercies of my God." If in a few months, prayer saved that man's
life, and so wholly changed it from a foul blot to a thing of purity,
what can it not do again. _No sin can ever be conquered until in
humility either saint or sinner_ gets down upon his knees, and implores
the love and power of the Lord in _never ceasing prayer_, to wholly
emancipate him from the control of the evil habit. _The Lord will surely
hear it_. He can as truly deliver the body from the most persistent and
enchaining habit, as he can wholly convert the mind and heart. The
result is not always instantaneous; more often gradual, but _always
sure_ if the sufferer _always prays_.
It is simple enough for the sinning one to believe that the _Lord can_,
and seeking the Bible _for the Lord's own promise that he, will; to
cling to it and never surrender_.
The sin may be repeated when you can not resist it, and do not desire
for it, but take all pains to avoid; still pray though you often fail;
still try, still trust the Lord to loose your chains and remove your
desire, and deliverance is sure to come at last.
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