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Choice Quotes, Part 9

By G.V. Wigram

      In the Lord's people it is to be the positive, not merely the negative; not gathering up things, but throwing them off; getting the heart fitted to feed on Christ, and the feet free to walk with Christ.

      It is up there above whence power comes that pushes us right off the world's platform, keeping us occupied with and knowing a great deal more about heaven than about earth: walking in Nazariteship and saying, "Blessed Lord, the only thing I have to do is to live to thee and to die to thee." Only as we do this are we imitators of Christ's life. A certain joy this gives, which nothing can take away, able then to rejoice alway, come what may; saying "Christ is mine, and if He laid out His life for me, I want to lay out mine for Him, that whether I live or die, He may be magnified."

      Wonderful is the thought of God being so occupied with me as to bring me into desires after spiritual things; and when I cannot tell what it is I want, He says, "I know it and will give it you." It brings out the weakness of the vessel. I learn the poverty of nature, but somehow I find certain desires in my heart that are dear to the heart of God, and He understands all about these desires, and I am brought into the consciousness that that which is working in me connects me with Christ and with God. I am sure that the Spirit of Christ is in my heart, and sure that He is in heaven for me; but I am brought into consciousness of the weakness of the vessel, realizing by this weakness the strength made perfect in it.

      Evil in us cannot hinder God's love. It will flow in and so fill your soul that you will have no room in yourself to be occupied with self. Is it not more blessed to think of the flow of that love than of your own shortcomings? Not that it will cover sin; if sin be allowed, it brings in discipline, but the soul owns it as all right. If anything of self is shown out, He will not pass it by. The believer is one whom He means to be a channel for the eternal life to flow in, and He will not spare discipline for that which would hinder it. His whole heart is set upon you, and He cannot pass by a single thing.

      "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment." But there is a godly fear, which nips in the bud many an evil thing; a fear which, if a saint were saying "I should like to do this or that," would make him feel "but the eye of God will be looking at me, and I shall give it up."

      What part have I to play in connection with redemption? None but implicit subjection; forced to repudiate everything connected with self, and receive blessing of God's providing.

      The want of a distinct apprehension of the difference between the flesh and the Spirit, keeps people in a very low state. They may be safe for eternity, and yet may grieve and quench the Spirit. If you have got salvation but have Jewish notions of a Jewish walk, you will be incessantly grieving the Spirit, accrediting something in your walk which God wants to strip off. God cannot accredit Demas's love of present things. He cannot accredit anything of the flesh in Christians. If the Spirit of Christ is in me, all that is of myself must be judged.

      In a cup of water, how could you displace the water? By putting something heavier into the cup. If you have a heart full of lusts and vanities, how are, you to give them all up? By the precious gold of God poured into the vessel -- all there will be displaced by it.

      Do not talk of what you have given up, if God has given you Christ. Can you compare anything with Him? Are they not unsearchable riches you have in Him? Are you not obliged to say "Father, thou only canst know what that gift of thine is -- thou knowest about His cross and glory." Oh, what heart can conceive what it will be to look in that face! What will you say then of the beauty of Christ! Oh, when one thinks of what that anointed One is personally! Who shall read the fulness of the Godhead in Him, and not feel like a little child looking at the Father who gave Him, and feeling "He knows all about Him," and there the heart rests.

      Evangelists say, "Can the gospel suit a person who does not see that he is a sinner?" It suited me! I found by it that God had given Christ, and that Christ, as a living Man -- God manifest in flesh -- with all human affections, occupied in heaven with me, was revealed to my heart. The first effect was to bring out a flow of affections towards Him; the rest came afterwards, and I had to learn all my sinnership. But my heart was caught by the beauty of that Christ. I have not got Him yet, but God has got Him for me. Rays of light shine down from His face, but I shall not see Him as He is, till He comes to take me up. I can raise my voice and join the saints in songs of praise till I see Him face to face, and am glorified together with Him.

      Where love is in activity in the heart, action precedes thought. The Father is on the prodigal's neck, and the reason is given afterward. Love leads the heart captive. The Father's eye crosses an object, and His heart and mind single it out at once. "There is my prodigal son."

      So in John at Patmos. The Spirit knew how great the tie was between Christ and John, and gives an impulse to his heart's affections, so that it all bursts out in a moment. Christ stands before him -- there He is! and John breaks forth "Unto him that loved us . . . . be glory and dominion, for ever and ever." Christ, in certain ways, had told of heights of love in the divine character, and of depths of misery in the objects of this love. He had let all this height and depth into the heart of poor John, and John singles Him out (Rev. 1: 4, 5), and his heart is instantly put into the position of worship: "To him be glory and dominion, for ever and ever, Amen."

      Christ Himself is that which feeds our hearts, and His love so realized that it becomes the one object of our hearts to love Him.

      The heart of Christ is with us in the very least thing that is trying us, but all is to be received at the hand of the Father, and discipline shows us what that hand is in the correction of evil as we pass on.

      Until our heart gets broken, and we see the folly of our own wisdom, we do not care for the sympathy of Christ. When we find wave upon wave, sorrow upon sorrow, then our hearts look out for some stay. It is a horrid discovery we have to make of the slowness there is about us to take our place under the yoke with Christ. He lets all things roll in upon us, and our souls cannot get away. He touches us to the very quick, because He must teach us the lesson we have to learn.

      Ah, the secret of a disciple's quietness under trial, is the knowing that things do not happen by chance. If we see them in the light of God, we have rest immediately; not only rest in the future, but rest for today. Seeing things in the light, and under the power of the hand of God, makes all the difference as things roll in upon you. My walk may be inconsistent and unsteady, I may need deep humiliation, and have loss and very dearly bought experience, in order to be able to say that I see the Father's hand present in everything.

      One of the most important things to get a start onwards. If the start has been made, is there in us all a going on to God? He had no such thought as to give truth for the imagination to play with. He wants to feed our hearts, that we may grow; and if we do not on we shall find His hand in discipline. Oh, what a place our God has set us in! going before us as the Provider, giving blessing, and never refusing help. We shall find that nothing is right until seen in the light of Christ, and in connection with all that is given to poor sinners by that One who is the Servant of blessing to all and who has the keys of everything.

      It does not matter what it is if you have not got the thing in the light of the personal affections of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not form a correct judgment about it. The experience John had of the Lord's dealings at Patmos, is that of His people now. Christ's love did not come with greater freshness to John's heart than it does to our own. It was not because John was an apostle that there was a greater echo in the Lord's heart towards him than there is towards any poor saint on earth now. Are you walking in the light of the affections of that Lord Jesus who loved you and washed you from your sins in His own blood? Is that name of Jesus causing a vibration in your heart as you walk along the wilderness? And in service to the Lord, does that glory of His for ever break on your soul with the sense of full blessing and joy in the One who was dead and is alive at God's right hand? And if it brings the sense of your own weakness -- oh, is He your Upraiser, ever ready to put His hand on every poor servant who has fallen down? Oh! for our hearts to be more fixed on Him -- more bound to that blessed One!

      We were chosen in Christ before the foundations of the world, and we shall be in Him when the heavens and earth have passed away. What can touch this eternal union? And "the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one."

      It is one thing for the living water to descend from Christ into the heart, and another thing how -- when it has descended -- it moves the heart to worship. All power of worship in the soul, is the result of the waters flowing into it, and their flowing back again to God.

      Can you draw near to the Lord, saying, "Nothing can satisfy me save coming before thee, and speaking of thy glory, standing as a testimony of thy love in the world, to tell of thy glory and to praise thee?"

      In Genesis 3: 14, 15, we see the commencement on God's part, of His purpose to carry on a conflict with the serpent, and the firm purpose expressed, that Satan should be worsted. Satan had got this man and woman down, God comes and takes the matter up against Satan, "Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed -- the seed of the woman shall bruise thy head." That was the beginning of the conflict which has not ceased up to the present time. No one can escape it. Believers are to be delivered by the Seed of the woman, but cannot get out of conflict as long as they are down here.

      The serpent's head shall be bruised: that is a truth which stands, and acts on my soul, giving strength. Suppose a man in a scene with Satan on the one hand and the Seed of the woman on the other. If anyone said to him, "Call on the name of the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved, it might give him joy, but his position would be just the same, he would still be on the ground of conflict. I want not only the consciousness that I am saved, but that I am to get deliverance from this evil world, because God is on my side where the conflict is going on. Can you not take delight in the good news that the earth is to be delivered from Satan, the liar and murderer? Do you find no joy in God's having declared that He will overpower that wicked one? It is good news, I can rejoice and see beauty in the thought of God destroying the destroyer. I see the glory of Christ in it. I see a beauty in the thought of there being no spring of power against Satan, save in God, and that I can calculate upon God's coming in: Satan did not.

      What discoveries were made to the early Christians of the depths, the immeasurable, unfathomable, depths of evil within! What can give any heart simple rest, in such an experience? Nothing but the thought of God's taking up the evil in conflict with Satan, declaring that He would provide One to bruise his head. If I have got firm hold of that, whatever be the discovery of evil I make in myself, I shall not be daunted. I find such depths of evil, all sorts of evil, in my heart, that I cannot fathom it. It requires the power of Jehovah Himself to sound and measure it. I must have been daunted, had He not put forth that word. I can have rest from all that the power of darkness can do, because the Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head. Who is the Seed of the woman? Only One, born of a virgin -- only One, the Son in the bosom of the Father before He was the seed of the woman.

      It is a very solemn thing to feel that one is in the place where this conflict is going on between God and Satan; and one cannot get off the scene of conflict, but how blessed is the knowledge that God is for us in it!

      When I think of the walk of Christians from the day of Pentecost to the present time, what can I say of it as corresponding with that which is given? And why is not that taken away? Why is there the constant putting forth of it in the leading on and restoring of the soul? Why? It is only mercy. If I cast my eye forward and think of what is to come, and have a thought of those who are absent from the body and that Christ will raise those bodies to fashion them like His own, what can I say, save that it is "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and for ever?" The self-same grace displayed' by God in the gift of His Son, which we shall taste all through the wilderness -- just the same taste now as when first converted, always the same in different circumstances, the same when we get home. All the glories of Christ are only the development of the grace of Him who died upon the cross. All glory is a part and parcel of that display of it upon the cross.

      God tells us that the Son of His love has a glory yet to come, and He shall not be robbed of it, that is, the presenting many sons to glory.

      There were two parts of the world, there was Egypt with everything to minister to the flesh, and there was the wilderness; the latter equally expressing the power of Satan, but a place in which nothing can harm me if I am there with the cross, if I am walking with the heaven-side of the cross. It is a wilderness, the whole place is marred and spoilt to me, because I have to walk as Christ did. He never had a home down here. He could turn aside for a while with a little company of His own, but it was a wilderness to Him, it did not bear the stamp of His Father's heart.

      One can look on the wilderness as the place formed by God for the display of Himself; Christ being hid in God.

      When we know that it is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, ought there not to be fear and trembling, and a solemn feeling -- not on the ground of what we are, but of what God is doing in us? If He has taken me up for Christ, and is blessing me and working in me, to make me like Christ, there ought to be a very practical feeling in my soul as to walk.

      The life of a believer is inseparable from the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Among all the glories and marvels of that blessed One, there is nothing more precious than that He is the life-giver, and is Himself the life. If you have not got Christ as your life-giver, you have not the rest and peace which are inseparable from that life. The life so given bears the impress of Him. The living water in the heart of a poor sinner bubbles up to the spring from whence it came. Who can let go his hold of the things that are clamouring in our hearts down here? Who can rise above it all as a secondary thing but the one who knows Christ as a life-giver?

      "Sonship" supposes none but children, and nothing standing between the Father and us.

      Do not tell me of the wonders of creation, I will tell you of something surpassingly wonderful: God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Can there be any wonder like that? And because of it a poor creature like me made able to lift up head in His glory, able to worship there. Wonder cannot be separated from worship. Adoration and wonder linked together.

      There is something to move the whole soul with wonder and delight, to think that we have such a God! One whose love led Him to give His Son that we poor ruined sinners might be brought to Himself.

      Oh! do not let the blessing given to you be uncultivated blessing!

      If we turn to the world at its best, all is vanity of vanities -- but there is a power enabling us to pass through it -- a golden chain hanging down from heaven, which we have laid hold of.

      We must either be subject to one who would like to tear everything to pieces, or to One who, delights to bless. Every man living is either in one place or the other, either nothing but a football of Satan's, or a poor withered flower picked up to be worn by Christ in His infinite grace.

      When in prison, Paul was weighing everything to see what would be most to the glory of Christ.

      Our light affliction which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Oh what afflictions Paul took pleasure in! What was the secret? "While we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen." Our connection is with unseen things: a risen Christ, in glory filling the eye, the mind continually weighing the things of the Sanctuary above, with the things of time and sense down here, the believer can turn and trample on them, and combat all of the flesh and the devil, that would take the mind off to things seen.

      That one thought, asking in everything, "What will be for Christ's glory?" is impossible to us if the question of our salvation be not settled. How can I be thinking what is for Christ's glory if I am pondering as to whether He has perfectly saved me? Job's heart was not happy in God, and all that came upon him tore his heart to pieces. Paul, was happy in Him, and let all outward things go on as they might, the inward joy in God was not disturbed; nothing took him by surprise.

      Take your heart full of cares, and get into the presence of the God of peace in heaven, what will be the effect? Will they remain in you there? What are they? Only outside things connected with self. Can you find one sorrow of one individual believer from Abel downwards, of which you could say that sorrow was not in connection with the God of peace? Not that He is the sender of sorrow, but the God of peace, sitting in heaven and causing everything to work together for good to us, taking flesh into the account, sweeping the very ground of the heart, taking strength from the strong, causing pulsation to cease. But is anything terrifying when we get into His presence? No all is peace in the presence of the God who counts the hairs of our head.

      "In everything give thanks." Is there a lust or a single thing in me that I would try to hide from God? No: I would like His knife to cut, to root up every evil, so that I may bear more fruit.

      How apt we are to limit thanksgiving to things that we can understand to be good, but we have to give thanks for all things. If we are within the veil and living there, we shall know what it is to give thanks for all that is most contrary to what we should naturally choose. Are there any who have one thing they cannot give thanks for? Whatever that particular thing may be, they have not got into the light of God's presence. If they had they would know what cause they had to thank God for that very thing, as for all else.

      There was a peculiarity of sorrow in that feeling of Paul's when he said, "Not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." He did not come behind any, either in service or in suffering for Christ, but ah! he could not forgive himself that, before grace came, he had persecuted the church. When he had learnt to see God's thought of marvellous wisdom about the church, the heavenly bride, and to see its beauty as the expression of God's thought how could he forgive himself, or ever get rid of the recollection that he had been a persecutor of it? "This beautiful thing, this church, the body of Christ, and I, miserable thing, in ignorance of God's bright glorious luminous thought, I, like a very blood-hound of Satan, would have hunted it down in the hope of utterly crushing it." His soul was bowed down so low, he had got his face thoroughly in the dust, with the sense of his own unworthiness and nothingness, and of God being everything. If any looked at him, he said, "Do not look at me, I am less than the least of all saints, not meet to be called an apostle; and am I the man picked out to make known the mystery? I know that I belong to the body of Christ, but I do not know where to put myself so as to meet my thought of self -- I would go down lower than all."

      How all that is in Christ just came out to suit such a one as that poor thing at the well of Samaria! How came He to be there when she came? How came He to be on earth? Why did He come out of heaven at all? There is no other answer save the father's in regard to the prodigal: "It was meet and right," etc. I cannot ask why God should show mercy -- He declares, "I will have mercy on whom I will." Blessed be His name He has a character of His own, and He will show it forth in having mercy on poor sinners. How? Ah, by their being justified by the Son of His love! If a builder, there must be a foundation-stone. His own Son must come off the throne, out of glory, if poor sinners are to go up into it: and oh! the willingness of that Son!

      "I have meat to eat that ye know not of." In His soul there was a deep need that went far beyond the need of the body, and He had been meeting that need of His soul, while the disciples were looking after bits of bread for the body. He hungered and thirsted till the work His Father had sent Him to do was done thoroughly. And ah! blessed Lord! because Thy Father is seeking worshippers, Thou canst turn any poor sinner into a worshipper as Thou didst that poor woman. When one thinks of that woman, Where is she now? absent from the body, present with the Lord, and when He comes forth, there will she be with Him, the possessor of eternal life, a monument from first to last of redeeming love, to the eternal praise of God.

      When once the soul has bowed down before Christ, it finds there is such an infinite unsearchable fulness in Him. Do you not when you have to do with Him, find an open fountain from which flow thousands of rills of blessing in connection with Himself? It is all my salvation and all my strength to see that it is all in Himself. How are you sure that you will not break down? Because you have got something that is clean outside the range of the creature, it is God, and His Christ. Do you think they are competent to make you sure? If God has put His hand to it, it is the security the competency of God Himself.

      Ah! has Christ ever touched the quick of your soul in solitude? Do you know the exquisite tenderness of His touch? He does not tear and lacerate. The necessities and trials of saints down here are created by God in order to show them what Christ is for them. If I have taken Him as Lord, I do not expect an easy way; God never meant us to have it as disciples. He takes us into a rough path, to show us what Christ is, and that in it His grace may be able to vent itself. There is a yearning in His heart up there to let this grace be displayed in a poor needy people down here -- a longing that His strength should be made perfect in their weakness. Do you know for yourself the grace of that living Christ? Do you know what Christ has to do with you and you with Him? Do you know yourself as one of a flock that belongs to Him, that He is tending and guarding through the wilderness, and carrying on to glory to be for ever with Himself?

      Do believers like the details of their lives to be spied out in the light? And how is it they come to be spied out? Because the Lord Jesus would have people in present association with Himself. He had an object in dying, to bring them into that association with Himself, and if I am not prepared for it, I am not prepared for Christ, as the risen head, to claim me as a part of His body at the present time. As a man is occupied with every one of his members, so Christ, the head, is occupied with every one of His; and if I do not want that occupation of Christ with me in everything, how shall I be able to say, "The love of Christ constrains me because He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him who died and rose again for them?" Who would like to say to Christ, "Well, sorrow in this world forced me to seek a Saviour, and now that I have found Thee as one who has saved me, I do not want to have any more to do with Thee?" Would it not be treason against the love that led Him down to my depths of woe, if I said it? But is it not, practically, so with many souls?

      With Paul the love of Christ was not a constraint from fetters outside, as when he was bound to a soldier, but a constant hold of Christ on the heart, saying, "I am led captive by Christ; that love of His binds me like a fetter and makes me go as a captive whither He would." It was not Paul's love but Christ's.

      "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive according to that he hath done." Everything will come out there! there can be no disguise it all in the pure bright light before the throne of the discernment of Christ, where all the full intelligence of His mind will beam out on His people. It is not the question of being saved, but of how we, as saved ones, have been walking. Is it strange, since it cost Christ so much to accomplish that sacrifice, that when He gets His people home, He should say, "Now let us look at their walk, no question as to personal acceptance, but let me see whether they have walked according to my Father's thoughts, who would have His sons and daughters walking as those who are separated unto Him by the blood of His Son; as those bought with such a price, did they walk worthy of it?"

      I can by faith say of all that is in connection with the first Adam, "it is a thing ended." I can reckon myself to be dead, buried, and raised up, with Christ, because God reckons me to be so. The rock, Christ, was smitten in death, and afterwards life flowed down to us. The life of Christ in heaven is that which I am made a partaker of. And as to my walk down here, if I have His Spirit, is it to be different as to its results in me from what it was in Him? Are we walking down here as Christ walked? All the counsels of God let into His soul, the will of God His only thought and, as to everything belonging to the world, dead. To Him, death characterized the whole scene. Moral death was everywhere. Where the weak flesh of the disciples shrank, Christ let all roll in upon Him -- morally dead to the whole thing. No one could pretend to be what Christ was, but we have to walk as He walked, as sons of God in the world, dead and risen with Christ. As to all our mind and motives, "like master, like servant."

      Christ could look on the vilest sinner whose deeds are only worthy of hell, and all that sin might be blotted out entirely. Ah, but then there would be another thing -- if His blood has blotted out my sin, I have to walk as the servant of such a master ought to walk. Ah! how infinitely short do we fall in our walk from that of the early christians. The death of Christ shut out the world from them; they were morally dead to it, being connected in spirit and ways with Christ above.

      I ask you, who are sons and daughters of God, Can God look down on you, saying, "There are my sons and daughters passing through the world, showing forth the death of Christ, and walking in the power of what Christ is at my right hand, walking as a people blest in Him?"

      There is never anything so sweet as trouble in which we have nothing but Christ. Is not Christ enough? Christ had nothing but the Father, was He enough?

      Which is happiest, to be like water in a still place never moved, or to be poured from vessel to vessel, finding it all Christ, and Christ, and Christ? The Lord does not let the prospect of glory into the soul when any are settled on their lees, but when they are poured from vessel to vessel. He chooses the time of trial as a time to give the sweetest taste of His love. When in a time of difficulty, faith may break down, but Christ will not. He sees when the storm comes, and makes that the time to come to us, walking on the waters, and at His word the storm subsides in a moment.

      If I have met a person in the street, and sorrow is mentioned, and I have said, "God has done that for blessing," a bright side has been seen directly, God's side of it.

      In Eden, nothing that the hand of God could give, enabled man to taste His redeeming love; but in the paradise of God, the place of His joy, we find a place where all His redeemed people will be gathered in the full sense of it, and with nothing to remind them of the past; but it is not a place where man as a mere creature could find his joy. If we take the close of the book of Revelation, and compare the description there with Eden, we find God showing in every point the superiority of one over the other.

      The thing I see most important to understand is that God has pitched a tabernacle of mercy in the heavens, so that a ruined creature can draw near and worship. There can be no thought of being in heaven without worship. I know who is in heaven, and I cannot be there without my heart melting with adoration and worship.

      When God gives living water in the soul, all need in the soul has a perfect answer; and not only that, but the water springs up. It is not difficult to know whether one has such a fountain welling up in the soul, although not always walking in the power of it.

      How blessed to find when under trial, or in weakness and temptation, a little stream rising up in connection with God which gives power to go on: to see this power in saints on a death-bed, enabling them to rise above all the misery of human anguish, giving thoughts of the Father's love and of joys above, by which thoughts of self are all broken down; and to see this stream rising with more and more power; it is something that comes without effort, springing up into eternal life. When saints walk onward with this stream in them rising up to eternal life, they do not thirst for anything by the way.

      The believer should be able to say, "I have seen the glory of the Father revealed in the Son. Out of His fulness I have received this new nature, the Spirit of adoption, the earnest of the inheritance, the seal of the Spirit. God has let me into the light of His presence where all glory is playing round the Lord Jesus; and He has set me in the relationship of a son with Himself in that glory." That earth-rejected Christ, seated at His right hand, will say, "Behold me and the children given me of the Father!" The Father looks on Him as the Firstborn, and sees the church in Him, receiving grace for grace.

      It is a searching thing to ask ourselves to what extent we have that singleness of eye which Paul had; and to what extent, with such singleness of eye, we are living the life of Christ, going straight on to one point, cost what it may. Could you and I bear the scrutiny of the Lord's eye as to this? Are our consciences at rest as to singleness of purpose to live Christ. It is an immense thing to say, "God is my exceeding great reward, and the life I live is to be spent to God, and I will set myself. to spend it to Him, cost what it may." It was just that which gave Paul his strength in service. Over and above acceptance through Christ in God, which was perfect, there was this life of Christ in him; and that was what he had to live up to, and blessedly could he say, "To me to live is Christ."

      Oh, that there was that character of Nazariteship in us! Like Paul, could we say, "It is a little thing if you hear that my head is cut off, it is only that I shall go straight to the arms of Christ. If it is not cut off, I shall have another occasion to magnify Him down here?" His life being in Christ, he is sure that that life will always come out, no matter where.

      Would that when any of us are ready to depart, we might have that blessed power to say, "The whole of my life has been spent for Christ, and the testimony of God!" Not to be with any of us as with Demas -- loving this world, and turning back.

      If Christ has given me life, He takes care of it and makes it shine forth, unless I grieve His Spirit. Is salvation merely taking up my cross and going through the wilderness? No. He who has taken me up and made me His, will bring me through it all; but till I see Him and have a glorified body, I have not got full salvation. Peter and Paul have it not yet. It is the being with Christ in the Father's house.

      I have the knowledge that all the glory of God is in the face of Jesus Christ, and the rays of light that have shone into my soul are infinitely more precious than every other thing; but when I see Christ as He is, I shall be clothed upon like Him; I shall see Him with my eyes, hear Him with my ears; there will be no distance whatever between Him and me. Christ proposes to us to, stand in the Father's house in bodies of glory like unto His. You have His competency to be in heaven. You are a partaker of His nature. You could not be there save on that ground. If any fall asleep, they are present with Him. He enables me to say to the Father, "I have as true a light to come into thy presence as He who is on thy throne; for I come by and through and in Him who has given me the right and title without a thought of what I was.

      Why do believers go so heavily through the wilderness, going through the sand, and their feet sinking so heavily down in it? It is because they do not see that their acceptance with God is as perfect as that of Christ; God seeing all the beauty of Christ upon them, and they will be presented by Christ to God, glorified with all His glory. I am on my road to glory, able to sing songs in the night.

      If Christ has said that He means to bring us into the Father's house, He will be occupied about us the whole of the way, and will have us to know it too. If thinking of self, I shall not be able to sing songs in the night.

      If we want to follow Christ, we must have fellowship with the sufferings of Christ, bearing the stigma as did Paul. If thinking of the flesh and of what belongs to the first Adam, it will be sorrow all the way; if of the second Adam, it will be joy all the way.

      Philippians 3: 21. We shall find when we see Christ, all the perfection of what He is. He cannot look into dead souls without giving them life. He cannot look on this body of humiliation without making it a body of glory. Your body carries in it all the seeds of corruption, and is all through life a dying body; and the more you think of Christ, the more conscious you are of the contrast between your body and that of Christ. Everything in ours to humble us, pain and weariness, and exercises of mind, all sorts of thoughts arising, and we have to put them down, but there they are. How sweet the thought that the body of glory is to be fashioned by Him, according to the mighty power whereby He subdues all things to Himself. There may be temper, or anything else, that we would not have had seen by any eye save His, but how blessed to know that He will subdue it all. He has only to speak the word, and all the beauty and magnificence of the glorified body will be given to each believer.

      Whilst on earth, He means us to have the sorrows and trials of the wilderness. We may have to walk through a forest of difficulties, but we shall have Him with us. He meant us to be tried that we might learn His grace, and find in His love a blessed well-spring of joy all the way through. Blessed it is when we realize that Christ is with us! Is there any time when He is not so? No, but our poor foolish hearts get occupied with all sorts of things. Yet if there is one heart full of joy down here, it will be the heart of that one whose eye is on Christ, occupied only with Him.

      "Rejoice in the Lord." You may say, "I cannot rejoice;" but if the Spirit of God gives a command, He gives power too in connection with it. Looking at exhortations as coming from the Lord, one finds help by bringing in the thought of His power with them. My hands may hang down, but if the command comes, "Now are you to rejoice in the Lord," I can begin rejoicing, and I find He gives strength for it.

      One evil after another starts up in this heart of mine and I might well be discouraged and cast down; but the answer to all is, "Did not God give me to Christ before the foundation of the world?" A Peter might curse and swear, and deny Christ but "having loved his own, he loved them unto the end." He is up there in heaven as a Saviour God -- as the One who can pour out peace and joy. I can say, "He is on the throne of God for me, He knows what a price He paid for me." But is it because He loves me that He leaves me down here as a sheep for Satan to drive and harass? Yes, because He will break down all that is not of Himself in my heart. But having loved His own, He loves to the end.

      He cannot be in heaven without revealing to us now that He wants us there; wants us all around the throne. What would it be if, after all the travail of His soul, there were no saved ones there? What if He who sits upon the throne were to see all the seats around it vacant? What were we worth when Christ picked us up? What are we in self worth now? -- Nothing at all. But we are united to Christ, and He never forgets His own, given Him by the Father before the foundation of the world. He has prepared their glory -- not on the ground of their worth -- but on the ground of what passed between Him and the Father, when we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.

      A believer once asked me why anyone should find fault with him for wanting to be a rich man. I answered him by 1 Timothy 6: 10. Adding "If you gather riches for yourself, awful sorrows will come;" and so they did. He lost wife and child, and had other things which touched him to the quick.

      Would any like to be as Lot, settled down in Sodom? God burnt up the place, and drew him out of it; showing that He would not be a party to such a walk as that.

      Do you ever feel that you ought to praise, and yet your heart is out of tune, and you cannot have any thought of what to say? Just repeat over what God has done for you; and that will be the best praise you can give. God has made manifest His power in the gift of His Son, and in the work He has accomplished. Ah, not only are we able now to give thanks for the marvellous way He has led and brought us through the wilderness; but soon, in bodies fit for His presence, we shall be able eternally to show forth His praise.

      Nothing but redemption can bring to the heart of a poor sinner what God's character is as Love. God is God. Let Him have His own way; yes, let Him have it! There is nothing like it for His glory -- nothing like it for our needs. He knew right well what He did in giving Christ. He came not only to save a people, but to have a saved people with Himself in glory.

      We never rightly see the full measure of the blessing wherewith God has blessed us, unless we see that it all sprang up in His own mind, as the God rich in mercy. God always keeps the place of the God rich in mercy. There is no end to what He will give. He has given us His Son, and He will send Him a second time off the throne to take us up in bodies of glory, to show out in us the riches of His mercy.

      God always acts as God. How utterly beyond all the thoughts of man, His having sent down His only-begotten Son to put away sin, because none but He could do it. Redemption through His blood only, and those who believe, marked off in a peculiar way before the foundation of the world.

      When I think of the throne of God, and Christ there, the only One who has the right and title to be there, and when I say that God chose me in that Christ before the foundation of the world, and I am accepted in the Beloved, how could my own or any other human mind have ever formed any thought or intelligent idea of such a purpose in the mind of God!

Back to G.V. Wigram index.

See Also:
   Choice Quotes, Part 1
   Choice Quotes, Part 2
   Choice Quotes, Part 3
   Choice Quotes, Part 4
   Choice Quotes, Part 5
   Choice Quotes, Part 6
   Choice Quotes, Part 7
   Choice Quotes, Part 8
   Choice Quotes, Part 9
   Choice Quotes, Part 10
   Choice Quotes, Part 11
   Choice Quotes, Part 12
   Choice Quotes, Part 13
   Choice Quotes, Part 14
   Choice Quotes, Part 15


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