My for His Highest

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, . . . so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God. Psalm 123:2. This verse is a description of entire reliance upon God. Just as the eyes of the servant are riveted on his master, so our eyes are up unto God and our knowledge of His countenance is gained (cf. Isaiah 53:1. R.V.). Spiritual leakage begins when we cease to lift up our eyes unto Him. The leakage comes not so much through trouble on the outside as in the imagination, when we begin to say—‘I expect I have been stretching myself a bit too much, standing on tiptoe and trying to look like God instead of being an ordinary humble person.’ We have to realize that no effort can be too high. For instance, you came to a crisis when you made a stand for God and had the witness of the Spirit that all was right, but the weeks have gone by, and the years maybe, and you are slowly coming to the conclusion, ‘Well, after all, was I not a bit too pretentious? Was I not taking a stand a bit too high?’ Your rational friends come and say—‘Don’t be a fool, we knew when you talked about this spiritual awakening that it was a passing impulse, you can’t keep up the strain, God does not expect you to.’ And you say— ‘Well, I suppose I was expecting too much.’ It sounds humble to say it, but it means that reliance on God has gone and reliance on worldly opinion has come in. The danger is lest, no longer relying on God, you ignore the lifting up of your eyes to Him. Only when God brings you to a sudden halt, will you realize how you have been losing out. Whenever there is a leakage, remedy it immediately. Recognize that something has been coming between you and God, and get it readjusted at once.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Psalm 123:3. The thing of which we have to beware is not so much damage to our belief in God as damage to our Christian temper. “Therefore take heed to thy spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.” The temper of mind is tremendous in its effects, it is the enemy that penetrates right into the soul and distracts the mind from God. There are certain tempers of mind in which we never dare indulge; if we do, we find they have distracted us from faith in God, and until we get back to the quiet mood before God, our faith in Him is nil, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is the thing that rules. Beware of “the cares of this world,” because they are the things that produce a wrong temper of soul. It is extraordinary what an enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention from God. Refuse to be swamped with the cares of this life. Another thing that distracts us is the lust of vindication. St.Augustine prayed—‘O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.’ That temper of mind destroys the soul’s faith in God. ‘I must explain myself; I must get people to understand.’ Our Lord never explained anything; He left mistakes to correct themselves. When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow the discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31. Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound. It is not your devotion to God that makes you refuse to be shallow, but your wish to impress other people with the fact that you are not shallow, which is a sure sign that you are a spiritual prig. Be careful of the production of contempt in yourself, it always comes along this line, and causes you to go about as a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than you are. beware of posing as a profound person; God became a Baby. To be shallow is not a sign of being wicked, nor is shallowness a sign that there are no deeps; the ocean has a shore. The shallow amenities of life, eating and drinking, walking and talking, are all ordained by God. These are the things in which Our Lord lived. He lived in them as the Son of God, and He said that “the disciple is not above his Master.” Our safeguard is in the shallow things. We have to live the surface commonsense life in a commonsense way; when the deeper things come, God gives them to us apart from the shallow concerns. Never show the deeps to anyone but God. We are so abominably serious, so desperately interested in our own characters, that we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life. Determinedly take no one seriously but God, and the first person you find you have to leave severely alone as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.
I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. John 17:4. The death of Jesus Christ is the performance in history of the very mind of God. There is no room for looking on Jesus Christ as a martyr; His death was not something that happened to Him which might have been prevented. His death was the very reason why He came. Never build your preaching of forgiveness on the fact that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. It is untrue to Jesus Christ’s revelation of God; it makes the Cross unnecessary, and the Redemption “much ado about nothing.” If God does forgive sin, it is because of the death of Christ. God could forgive men in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted to be Saviour because of His death. “We see Jesus . . . because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour.” The greatest note of triumph that ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ—“It is finished.” That is the last word in the Redemption of man. Anything that belittles or obliterates the holiness of God by a false view of the love of God, is untrue to the revelation of God given by Jesus Christ. Never allow the thought that Jesus Christ stands with us against God out of pity and compassion; that He became a curse for us out of sympathy with us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by the Divine decree. Our portion of realizing the terrific meaning of the curse is conviction of sin, the gift of shame and penitence is given us; this is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the wrong in man, and Calvary is the estimate of His hatred.

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