Archive for the ‘Tersteegen Gerhard’ Category

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

What does it mean to be too busy? That is a question I often ponder and one I suspect you ponder too. Is there such a thing? When you read of Jesus going and praying through the night and appearing in the early morning hours, it is hard not to question his personal temperance. I know questioning what Jesus was doing isn’t the first thing one thinks of doing, but are there limits?

I choose not to suggest an answer, since I believe God apparently grants supernatural strength to those who are living for Him. Note the following example of Gerhard Tersteegen, the German Pietist, who was greatly used of God in his day.

Tersteegen was in ministry in the early 1700s. Though he was naturally reclusive, yet he had such a relationship with Jesus that God began sending people to him from far and near.

“For thirty years, starting at the age of 30, he remained incessantly busy doing good to others, though his own health was always delicate, and from time to time he had severe attacks of illness and of neuralgic pain. From morning to night he never had a moment to himself; the number of those who flocked to him for counsel was so great that there were frequently twenty or thirty persons waiting in his outer room for a chance to speak with him, while his meetings were always attended by as many as could crowd into the rooms of the ground floor of his little house—about four hundred people. People came to him from England, Holland, Sweden, and Switzerland; sick person would send for him, and he would pass hours or whole nights at their bedside. If he went into the neighboring country for rest, people would watch for him by the roadside and carry him off to the nearest barn, where a congregation would immediately assemble. He had an immense correspondence, and new editions of his hymns and other religious works were constantly demanded. To his quiet temperament this incessant labor and absence of solitude was most uncongenial, but he accepted it willing as his appointed task…. In all his dealings, it is recorded, he was most ‘circumspect, punctual, and practical,’ though ready to set aside his ordered plans at any call of obvious duty.” (H. E. Govan, Gerhard Tersteegen: Life and Selections)

Something tells me I need to first make sure I have an authentic relationship with Jesus, such that my work is really the work He has chosen for me, and that I have something real and personal to share—religion is more caught than taught.

What do you think?

You can learn more about Gerhard Tersteegen at the Gerhard Tersteegen Page at path2prayer.com

The River Still Flows

Friday, August 1st, 2008

“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God….” Psalms 46:4

I found an old poem this morning which brought joy to my heart. Though I don’t know the author’s name, because it comes from a book of poetry of the German Pietists called, “The Hymns of Tersteegen, Suso and Others,” I am confident it comes from one of the people who so desired to have a heart experience with Jesus in the 1600-1700s.

The River of God

From the Rock that God has riven
Flows the sacred river,
Through the wastes of barren ages,
Ever and for ever.

Still on this side and on that side,
Grow the healing trees-
Bearing fruit for all the hunger
Leaves for all Disease.

From the everlasting fountains
Still it flows along,
Making glad the holy city
Of eternal song.

From the throne of Christ in glory,
Rock that God has riven,
Onward still the crystal river
Bears the life of Heaven.

Sheep lie yet in quiet pastures
By the waters still,
Lilies grow in God’s green meadows,
Cedars on His hill.

Still to drink the living waters
Come the souls athirst,
Eyes behold the Face of Jesus
Even as at first.

Clad in white there walk beside Him
Still the blessed throng-
Through the ages sound unsilenced
Psaltery and song.

Onwards weary generations
Pass through deserts dread.
Void and silent skies above them,
Under them the dead.

Whilst unseen the Lord’s fair garden
Round about them glows,
And the barren wilderness
Blossom as the rose.

Whilst beside them unimagined
Glide the waters fair-
Whilst around, the psalms ascending
Tell that Christ is there.

C.P.C., From Hymns of Tersteegen, Suso and Others.

Find many more beautiful writings on Christian devotion at path2prayer.com

This link will direct you to pages with information on how to have a stronger devotional life: Help me have a stronger devotional life

You can also find sermons from Gerhard Tersteegen at path2prayer.com

 

False Humility

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

I came across the following quotation from Gerhard Tersteegen while reading his Spiritual Crumbs from the Master’s Table. Tersteegen, for those of you who don’t know, was a saintly German Pietist to whom many crowded for counsel and edification in the early 1700s. In this quotation he speaks of the false humility of saying that we would be happy to onlyhave the crumbs from God’s table, when we could have ALL the fullness available. In fact, he says those who neglect seeking after the full blessing are unworthy of the least blessing. Needless to say, I want all the blessing!

“When I reflect, that God is so rich in grace and mercy-that the latter have been so dearly purchased for us by the blood of Christ-that such a super-abundance of grace and measure of sanctification may be attained, even in this life, by the impartation of the Holy Spirit-ah! I am truly grieved, and my heart breaks, when I call to mind the many precious souls, who after having been called, in the beginning, frequently manifest such great earnestness, and afterwards, suddenly become so satiated, and so lukewarm, as though they had already attained to fullness and perfection. When I reflect how many have such a noble attraction and vocation, so that they possess the greatest capability of becoming truly good and spiritual, but who, nevertheless, as soon as they have attained, though but a small particle of grace, rest satisfied with it, and stop short, as it were, half way-it is enough to pierce me to the heart. How would it pain us, dearest souls! in the eternal world, to see that we had had the water of grace at our very lips, and might gave enjoyed it, in its most abundant fullness, and yet notwithstanding, shamefully neglected to do so?

It is therefore a false and highly sinful humility for a person to say, he would gladly be the meanest in the kingdom of heaven, that he would be heartily satisfied with the crumbs, which fall from the gracious table of our Lord; that every thing is unmerited grace, and every one must be satisfied with what is distributed to him. For he that does not thirst after the best things that are placed upon the gracious table of our God, is not worthy even of the crumbs. He that can attain the highest state in the kingdom of heaven, and does not desire it, is also unworthy of the lowest. We do not, by merit, receive the least measure of divine influence, much less the fullness; but because it is promised and purchased for us by grace; we ought therefore to hunger after it, and strive for it with all earnestness.” Gerhard Tersteegen, Spiritual Crumbs From the Master’s Table, pp. 234,235

Read more about Tersteegen on the Gerard Tersteegen page at path2prayer.com

Vile, Incorrigible Self…

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

This comes from Gerhard Tersteegen:

Apart from Thee
I am not only naught, but worse than naught,
A wretched monster, horrible of mien!
And when I work my works in self’s vain strength,
However good and holy they may seem,
These works are hateful—nay, in Thy pure sight
Are criminal and fiendish, since thereby
I seek, and please, and magnify myself
In subtle pride of goodness, and ascribe
To Self the glory that is Thine alone.
So dark, corrupt, so vile a thing is self.
Seen in the presence of Thy purity
It turns my soul to loathing and disgust;
Yea, all the virtues that it boasts to own
Are foul and worthless when I look on thee.
Oh that there might be no more I or mine!
That in myself I might no longer own
As mine, my life, my thinking, or my choice,
Or any other motnion, but in me
that Thou, my God, my Jesus, might be all,
And work the all in all! Let that, O Lord,
Be dumb, forever, die, and cease to be,
Which thou dost not Thyself in me inspire,
And speak and work.

Shortly I will start posting chapters from Gregory Mantle’s precious book Beyond Humiliation: The Way of the Cross from which this poem is taken. I would urge you to take the time to prayerfully read Mantle’s little volume. It is one of the BEST books on dying to self and victory I’ve read, in the same league as Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret by Mrs. Howard Taylor, The Life of Victory by Charles Trumbull, The Victorious Life by an Unknown Christian, and Born Crucified by L. E. Maxwell. I have two other books of Mantle and they don’t compare. This book, however, is wonderful and to be prayerfull considered.

Attaining God’s Peace

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

Notice the following from a sermon I am reading from Gerhard Tersteegen:

“Jesus is kindly disposed towards us; he does not wish to embitter our days; he seeks to give us real peace, and a truly happy heart: let us only empty our hearts for him, that he may establish them in real and blissful peace. Alas, that amongst called and awakened souls there should still be so much complaining and so little true peace to be found, although they so much desire it! The reason is because we do not sufficiently yield up everything for it; we do not let Jesus become our all; we still dissemble secretly with the world; we still secretly cleave to some particular object, and in this way we cannot be otherwise than restless and disturbed. Our conscience, indeed, does not permit us to cleave to the world and sin in an obvious manner; but subtleties and secret bands hinder us notwithstanding, from attaining to a thorough and permanent peace; what a miserable life!”

I want that life; I know there is secret cleaving in my life-not so secret if I know about it-and I am sure it is part of what disturbs my peace. Maybe you struggle in the same way. Join me today in seeking to be entirely yielded and empty of all that would disturb that peace.

Learn more about the better life that Jesus wants us to experience at path2prayer.com.

God’s Spiritual Forge

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Here is another one of Tersteegen’s poem. I believe we all experience this. The result in his life was a bearing of fruit that was remarkable and deeply affected thousands of people. Perhaps we would all do well to be more accepting of “God’s forge.” He knows what He is doing and has promised that in all things He is working for good, and I believe, doing it as quickly as He can. Unfortunately, sometimes we are wanting to do things our way, or in our own timing, and in the end His work is marred.

THE SPIRITUAL FORGE (DIE GEISTLICHE SCHMIEDEKUNST)
By Gerhard Tersteegen

A ROUGH and shapeless block of iron is my heart;
So hard, so cold-The Master cannot use it so.
Love must my Furnace be:-I enter in through prayer:
I keep quite still, and leave the smoking fire to glow.

Then doth the gentle wind of Love begin to breathe:-
I hold me still-and let the hotter flame burn on.
The iron’s blackness must be melted quite away:
When softened and made fair, the Fire’s fierce work is done.

The way of self-denial, and of daily death-
This is the Anvil upon which my soul I lay.
Blow after blow, The Master’s strokes begin to fall,
Till, turned and bent, the softened ore at last gives way.

Yet still, it will not wholly yield in every part;
Therefore, The Master Workman for His aid doth Borrow,
One, who with rougher, stronger hammer strikes the blows:
Strike on, O Mighty One! Thus soon will end my sorrow.

The Master’s Hand directeth all the work full well:
According as the fashioning doth most require,
The strokes must fall. And now once more the ore He lays
Within the Flame;-and strokes again succeed the Fire.

Whilst in that glowing heat, “The Iron shines;” methought, “
All clear and bright:-now, surely, soon the work is done!”
But when the burning was withdrawn, all cold, and black,
And shapeless grew the metal:-thus my hope was gone.

On the Refining-Board of inner woe and pain,
Next must the ore, in all its coldness, firm be pressed.
The keen-edged File must work-a thousand splinters fly:-
Now follow finer, closer strokes, upon the rest.

O Master, Who this art dost understand aright,
Make Thou my soul well fitted for Thy use at last!
Not o’er my heart may polished brightness seem to shine
But, inly chastened, let me in Thy Fire stand fast.

Learn more about this experience at path2prayer.com