Are We Overcoming Or Covering Over?
God demands reality in our experience, reality in our love to Him and in our love for each other. Sometimes I have said, “O, Lord, arouse me if in any way I am coming short, if in any way there is unreality in my experience!” I have beseeched the Lord that He would use His sharpest instrument rather than let me be asleep or believe one thing which was not according to His Word. We are too close to Christ’s coming to gloss things over now.
Reign in Life
“For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).
We “shall reign in life.” God wants us to see and know whether we are overcoming or whether we are just approximating. God never averages anything. God never pronounces a false judgment. He is never going to say, “Come, thou good and faithful servant,” except to those who are good and faithful.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest...” (1 Cor. 3:13). How we should pray, “Lord, go through our service; go through our profession; go through our experience NOW!” It will be tried by fire at last and we cannot afford to be building with wood, hay and stubble.
There is fearful unreality too often in our testimonies. We have learned pious phraseology and often there is no reality behind it in the life. Before we speak glibly about the Cross of Christ and about separation and consecration, we need to know if we have experience backing our words.
God is probing deep into the hearts of His people. We “shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” The character necessary for reigning with Christ, God develops in a life of daily hardships, by attacks of the enemy, by misunderstandings. The grace of God cannot do in a minute that disciplining which takes time and training. The grace of God cannot make a mature Christian in five minutes.
If with the grace of God we cannot get along here with people we meet and live with, we are not reigning with Christ. To reign means to overcome. Right where God puts us, God wants us to reign. Every day He provides us with opportunities to reign over hard and difficult things. If we cannot reign over little things in this life, how can we reign with Him on His throne? If everyone around us has to be angels, we are not very deep in God.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I press toward the mark [margin, goal]” (Phil. 3:14). If, in the life to come, we are to sit with Christ on His throne, the Word of God teaches we are to reign in this life, reign over self, reign over Satan, reign over the world.
One with the Lord in Everything
Christ died to make us holy. Love is jealous over the object of its love. It is love that is searching us through and through, seeking to make us in all things like Jesus. “...He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). Are we one with the Lord in everything? It would be a sad thing for us to have anything between us and our Lord and not know it. Has the Lord first place in our life?
The Holy Spirit leads back to Calvary. In the Welsh Revival it was “Calvary.” Evan Roberts writes of the conflict in his soul when he said, “Lord, bend me! Lord, bend me!” He said the thing that alarmed him was that he was unmoved by the story of Calvary. Saved by it, but somehow his sensibilities were unmoved by the sufferings of our Lord, when he cried out, “Lord, bend me! Lord, bend me!” He says this is what bent him: that the Holy Spirit showed him, “...God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8), and that love did not commend itself enough to Evan Roberts.
Does that love commend itself enough to us to constrain us to sacrifice everything for it? The Lord is calling upon us now to decide the question whether we are going to lay down our very lives for Christ’s sake and show that selfless love and devotion to Him and His that impelled Him, through the eternal Spirit to offer Himself without spot to God for us.
– Reprinted from an earlier issue of Herald of His Coming. Author unknown.