In the beginning years of our rebirth we find that God meets our earthly needs and we are much drawn and thankful to Him for it, and we continue to learn that He will ever meet them during the remnant of our earthly time! But once spiritual growth of the Word begins to become more understood concerning our faith, we soon find a greater element than just our needs being meet.
We go from learning to always trust God for our needs (physical and esp. spiritual needs), to being given the blessing of realizing that our connection to Himself is all that is needed to be abundantly supplied in all things; and thus our continued growth teaches us, as much as lies within us, to be mindfully stayed on God (Isa 26:3; 31:1; 48:2) via ever knowing all is used by Him for the increase of our fellowship with Him now and for eternity!
Believers can be so heavenly minded that they will have no earthly “trouble,” just problems waiting to be solved (Jhn 14:1, 27; 16:22). Regardless of how discouraged and disappointed we will be at times (whether from self or another), we are supposed to wait it out for the love of the Father, in knowing all things hear are merely His instruments of teaching and exhorting us to maintain the contemplation that “He has (already) made us accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6).
In John 17:26, the Lord Jesus concludes His prayer to His Father with, “that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them.” It is something inconceivable that we are as much the objects of the Father’s love as His own blessed Son, the One who pleased Him in every detail, glorified Him in every act and word on earth. The Lord Jesus is educating us unto the same love that He has Himself; and nothing gives one such dignity as the knowledge that he is loved by one superior to himself.
There are two aspects of the Gospel. As with the man who fell among thieves, you say I have received great comfort; oil and wine He has poured in. He has healed my wounds; my poor heart and conscience are wonderfully relieved by the grace of God. But that is not all; if you stop there you do not speak of God at all; you are speaking of His goodness to you. If you limit yourself to that you are limiting yourself to your own feelings about it, and the effect it has upon yourself only, and of the relief it has brought you from the terrible distress of a wounded heart.
Now the prodigal son says, “My father kissed me.” The first notice he had of grace reaching him—though not the first work of it he had—was the father falling on his neck and kissing him. When it comes to that side, what would such a soul say? He would say, “Well, I know at least how my father feels about me”; I know how He received me; I have the knowledge of the Father. So the very first action of grace towards the prodigal was to show him the will of the Father. This makes a very great difference between what he could say, and what the man who fell among thieves could say.
To a soul that talks to me only of how happy it is as knowing the finished work of Christ, I can but answer, “Well, that is all very good, as long as it is smooth water; but when it gets rough, what will you do? I can say I am “anchored” in the love of God, and, though I may swing on my moorings, I can never be moved, for I am in safe anchorage (Heb 6:19).
All here comes to me from one spring, and that spring is the heart of my Father. You must connect your heart with the love and not with the benefit (love beings not things - 1Jo 2:15), otherwise you have not got established. I am not only clear of everything that was against me, but I am brought into a new kind of love—the love of my Father. It is not merely His gifts, His power and greatness, but it is the knowledge of what He is in Himself to me.
The Lord Jesus would acquaint us with the love of the Father as that which makes us superior to all that is in the world. Then you will say I am not looking around for anything; I do not want things here to tell me of that love, for I interpret all by that love. Souls are hindered by dwelling on the different ways in which God’s love has met them in different circumstances; but it is not circumstances, it is the Lord Jesus who is to educate me into the Love of the Father.
May our hearts get such a lesson in the love of the Father, that instead of being depressed by trying circumstances, or elated by what are called providential interpositions, we may know that we are the objects of this wonderful love, and are being educated into it by the only One who knew it in all its power as He walked below through this wilderness world.
- J B Stoney
Excerpt from MJS devotional for December 17:
“It is a mistake to measure spiritual maturity merely by the presence of gifts. They may be present and they may be valuable, but the Spirit’s object is something far greater—to form the Lord Jesus Christ in us through the work of the Cross. It is not merely that a man does certain things or speaks certain words, but that he is a certain kind of man. In the long run it is what we are, and not simply what we say or do—and the difference lies in the formation of the Lord Jesus within.”http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/