If we truly desire His Presence more than all else, we will turn away from every conflicting thought and look steadily up to Jesus.
The real secret of perfect rest is to be jealously, habitually occupied with Jesus.
The resurrection will mean no more than the death has meant. Only so far as we are really dead shall we live with Him.
Every true life is death-born, and the deeper the dying the truer the living.
May 14. “But God” (Luke 12:20). What else do we really need? What else is He trying to make us understand? The religion of the Bible is wholly supernatural. The one resource of faith has always been the living God, and Him alone. The children of Israel were utterly dependent upon Jehovah as they marched through the wilderness, and the one reason their foes feared them and hastened to submit themselves was that they recognized among them the shout of a King, and the presence of One compared with whom all their strength was vain. “Wherein,” asked Moses, “shall we be separated from all other peoples of the earth, except it be in this that Thou goest before us.” A church relying on human wisdom, wealth or resources, ceases to be the body of Christ and becomes an earthly society. When we dare to depend entirely upon God and without doubt, the humblest and feeblest agencies will become “mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds.” May the Holy Spirit give to us at all times, His own conception of these two great words, “But God.”
Christ is developing a perfect life within us. Some say man can never be perfect. “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” We are all a lot of failures. This is true, but we should go further. We must take God's provision for our failure and rise above it through His grace. We must take Jesus as a substitute for our miserable self. We must give up the good as well as the bad and take Him instead. It is hard for us to learn that the very good must go, but we must have Divine impulses instead of even our best attainments.
A precious secret of Christian life is to have Jesus dwelling within the heart and conquering things that we never could overcome. It is the only secret of power in your life and mine, beloved. Men cannot understand it, nor will the world believe it; but it is true, that God will come to dwell within us, and be the power, and the purity, and the victory, and the joy of our life. It is no longer now, “What is the best that I can do?” but the question is, “What is the best that Christ can do?” It enables us to say, with Paul, in that beautiful passage in Philippians, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound, everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.
May 21. “We will come unto Him and make our abode with Him” (John 14:23). The Bible has always held out two great promises respecting Christ. First, I will come to you; and, second, I will come into you. For four thousand years the world looked forward to the fulfilment of the first. The other is the secret which Paul says has been hid from ages and generations, but is now made manifest to His saints, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. This is just as great a revelation of God as the incarnation of Jesus, for it makes you like Christ, as free from sin as He is. If Christ is in you, what will be the consequences? Why, He will put you aside entirely. The I in you will go. You will say, “Not I, but Christ.” Christ undertakes your battles for you. Christ becomes purity and grace and strength in you. You do not try to attain unto these things, but you know you have obtained them in Him. It is glorious rest with the Master. Jesus does not say, “Now we must bring forth fruit, we must pray much, we must do this or that.” There is no constraint about it, except that we must abide in Him. That is the center of all joy and help.
Many Christians fail to see these blessings as they are centered in Him. They want to get the blessing of salvation, but that is not the Christ. They want to get the blessing of His grace to help, but that is not Him. They want to get answered prayer from Him to work for Him. You might have all that and not have the blessing of Christ Himself. A great many people are attached rather to the system of doctrine. They say, “Yes, I have got the truth; I am orthodox.” That is not the Christ. It may be the cold statue in the fountain with the water passing from the cold hands and lips, but no life there. A great many other people want to get the blessing of joy, but it is not the blessing of Christ personally. A great many people are more attached to their church and pastor, or to dear Christians friends, but that is not the Christ. The blessing that will alone fill your heart when all else fails is the loving heart of Jesus united to you, the fountain of all your blessings and the unfailing one when they all wither and are exhausted—Jesus Christ Himself.
There are two cares in this verse—your care and His care. They are different in the original. One means anxious care, the other means Almighty care. Cast your anxious care on Him and take His Almighty care instead. Make no account of trouble any more, but believe He is able to sustain you through it.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible