We cannot of ourselves produce any of the experiences of the Christian life. We cannot regenerate ourselves, for we are born again not of the will of the flesh but of God (John 1:13). We cannot confess Jesus as Lord but by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:3). We cannot understand the Bible but by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; I John 2:27). We cannot live the Christian life – Christ lives in us (Philippians 1:21; Galatians 2:20). The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 2:14). We can consent and cooperate, but this is a supernatural work of God from start to finish.
HOW GOOD WERE “THE GOOD OLD DAYS”?
Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
“Distance lends enchantment to the view,” and in retrospect we crown the past with a halo. Like Saul, we try to call up Samuel, and sigh, “If only Wesley or Finney or Moody were alive now!” Elisha did not pine for Elijah: he asked, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?”
Someone wrote to an editor, saying, “Your paper is not as good as it used to be.” He replied, “It never has been.”
Some of the old worthies could take pretty mean cracks at each other. If you go all the way back to the Early Church, consider the plight of Corinth. And even in Acts it was not long after Pentecost that “there arose a murmuring.”
We do not inquire wisely when we cast longing eyes in the direction of the past. The days of Elijah are gone but the God of Elijah lives today. There are no untarnished haloes in any generation, and looking at heroes of any era is disappointing. Look not to “the good old days” but to the God of all the days.