“Take heed to your spirit.” Malachi 2:15
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Sinful lusts may become so inactive as to seem quite dead; but if we grow careless, they spring up again on a favorable occasion and sometimes appear in a spiritual shape and take a spiritual name. Thus, though the carnally minded delight exceedingly in sensual indulgences, yet, in order to acquire the reputation of being perfect, they will sometimes endure great mortification. Therefore we ought always to be jealous of ourselves, lest we become satisfied with a partial conversion and thus exhibit in our spirit, language, and behavior, a mass of inconsistencies. The flesh is never more dangerous than when it covers its lusts with the veil of apparent holiness and zeal. Oh, may I be taught to take heed of my spirit and to know the deceitfulness of my heart.
Gracious God, be my teacher, and not only my teacher but my sanctifier, that I may be sanctified through the truth! Thoroughly renovate my soul. Make me entirely new. Let the work be so powerful, so clear, that all that see me may acknowledge me, that I am one whom the Lord has blessed.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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