But I withhold my pen; for vain were the fancy, by treatise or sermon or poem or tale, to persuade a man to forget himself. He cannot if he would. Sooner will he forget the presence of a raging tooth. There is no forgetting of ourselves but in the finding of our deeper, our true self — God’s idea of us when he devised us — the Christ in us. Nothing but that self can displace the false, greedy, whining self, of which, most of us are so fond and proud. And that self no man can find for himself; seeing of himself he does not even know what to search for.
It is just the old way–that of obedience. If you have ever seen the Lord, if only from afar–if you have any vaguest suspicion that the Jew Jesus, who professed to have come from God, was a better man, a different man–one of your first duties must be to open your ears to His words and see whether they seem to you to be true. Then, if they do, to obey them with your whole strength and might. This is the way of life, which will lead a man out of its miseries into life indeed.
God is all right—why should we mind standing in the dark for a minute outside His window? Of course we miss the inness, but there is a bliss of its own in waiting. What if the rain be falling, and the wind blowing; what if we stand alone, or, more painful still, have some dear one beside us, sharing our outness; what even if the window be not shining, because of the curtains of good inscrutable drawn across it; let us think to ourselves, or say to our friend, ‘God is; Jesus is not dead; nothing can be going wrong, however it may look so to hearts unfinished in childness.’ Let us say to the Lord, ‘Jesus, art Thou loving the Father in there? Then we out here will do His will, patiently waiting till He open the door. We shall not mind the wind or the rain much. Perhaps thou art saying to the Father, ‘Thy little ones need some wind and rain: their buds are hard; the flowers do not come out. I cannot get them made blessed without a little more winter-weather.’ Then perhaps the Father will say, ‘Comfort them, my son Jesus, with the memory of thy patience when thou wast missing Me. Comfort them that thou wast sure of Me when everything about thee seemed so unlike Me, so unlike the place thou hadst left.
Doubt swells and surges, with swelling doubt behind!
My soul in storm is but a tattered sail,
Streaming its ribbons on the torrent gale;
In calm, ’tis but a limp and flapping thing:
Oh! swell it with Thy breath; make it a wing,
To sweep through Thee the ocean, with Thee the wind
Nor rest until in Thee its haven it shall find.
“If ye have faith and doubt not, if ye shall say unto this mountain,’Be thou removed and vast into the sea’, it shall be done.” Good people have been tempted to tempt the Lord their God upon the strength of this saying. Happily for such, the assurance to which they would give the name of faith generally fails them in time. Faith is that which, knowing the Lord’s Will, goes and does it; or not knowing it, stands and waits. But put God to the question in any other way than by saying, “What will You have me to do?” Is an attempt to compel God to declare Himself, or to hasten His work; the man is therein dissociating himself from God so far that, instead of acting by the Divine Will from within, he acts in God’s face, as it were, to see what He will do. Man’s first business is, “What does God want me to do?”, not “What will God do if I do so and so?”
God does not, by the instant gift of His Spirit, make us always feel right, desire good, love purity, aspire after Him and His Will. Therefore either He will not, or He cannot. If He will not, it must be because it would not be well to do so. If He cannot, then He would not if He could; else a better condition than God’s is conceivable to the mind of God. The truth is this: He wants to make us in His own image, choosing the good, refusing the evil. How should He effect this if He were always moving us from within, as He does at divine intervals, toward the beauty of holiness? For God made our individuality as well as, and a greater marvel than, our dependence; made our apartness from Himself, that freedom should bind us divinely dearer to Himself, with a new and inscrutable marvel of Love; for the Godhead is still at the root, is the making root of our individuality, and the freer the man, the stronger the bond that binds him to Him who made his freedom.
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡