Let’s examine four devotions from Gurnall on the topic of unbelief.
The devil is a sworn enemy against true faith. He persecutes it in the cradle, as Herod did Christ in the manger; he pours a flood of wrath on it as soon as it announces its own birth by crying after the Lord. If your faith is legitimate, “Naphtali” may be its name, and you may say, “I have wrestled with Satan and with my own heart, and at last I have prevailed.” You know the answer Rebekah received when she asked God about the scuffle and striving of the children in her womb. “Two nations,” God told her, “are in thy womb” (Genesis 25:23). If you find strife in your soul, comfort yourself because of it, Christian. This dispute is from two contrary principles, faith and unbelief, which lust against each other; when your unbelief, which is the elder– no matter how hard it fights for mastery– shall serve faith, the younger.
Presumptuous faith lacks balance. It has one lame hand. It has a hand to receive pardon from God but no hand to give itself up to Him. But true faith has the use of both hands. “My beloved is mine”– there the soul takes Christ– “and I am His”– there she surrenders herself to His purposes (Song of Solomon 2:16). Have you ever freely given yourself to Him? Everybody professes this, but the presumptuous soul like Ananias, lies to the Holy Ghost by keeping back the most important part of what he promised to lay at Christ’s feet. The enjoyment of lust is entwined about his heart and he cannot persuade himself to deliver it up to God’s justice. His life is bound up in it, and if God will have it from him He must take it by force; there is no hope of gaining his consent. Is this the picture of your faith? If it is, you have blessed yourself in an idol; you have mistaken a bold face for a believing heart.
On the other hand, if you count it a privilege that Christ should have a throne in your heart, as you have a room in His mercy, you prove yourself a sound believer.