POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

To Live Upon God

John Bunyan, the English preacher and author from the 17th century, has much to say to us today. A man who suffered great persecution under a crackdown following the Act of Uniformity spent a great period of his life in prison for the gospel. In the later version of his autobiographical work, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, commenting upon 2 Corinthians 2:9 he says this By this scripture I was made to see that if ever I would suffer rightly, I must first pass a sentence of death upon every thing that can be properly called a thing of this life, even to reckon myself, my wife, my children, my health, my enjoyment, and all, as dead to me, and myself as dead to them. The second was, to live upon God that is invisible, as Paul said in another place; the way not to faint, is to "look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." I struggle with what it means to daily "Live upon God that is invisible" - when I think of the things I do live upon, I shudder:
  • Food - sometimes too much of it
  • Stuff - always too much of it
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Opinions - or "counsel" from others
  • Reputation
  • Success
The list could get longer... How do we know if we truly are living upon the Lord - with him as our strength, our portion, our song, and our greatest treasure? Such is a hard question. It helps if I examine my affections - the things that I truly love. How do I love the gifts of God. Do I love the gift, or the giver. The Lord, I believe, helps us answer through various trials, persucutions, and sufferings. He at times will remove the objects of our love so that we might see that it had become an idol. Looking at the life of John Bunyan, whom the Lord allowed to suffer, who learned to live upon God who is invisible.