Gleanings 161

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
How we see the Lord dealing in different ways with souls in the wilderness, to bring home to their hearts that all flesh is grass! Whether it be by the agony of sorrow or by a taste of the glory, what a withering sense we again and again have that all flesh is grass! and with it, that all the sympathies of a Father are for us.
The flesh must be broken. The Lord can use us then, not while it is unbroken. While Paul was writhing under Satan's thorn, he could get some estimate, though not a full one, of what the flesh is as God sees it. When it was broken, and Paul did not know what to do, the Lord came to pour sympathy into the writhing heart of Paul.
Ah, what a marvelous display of love comes out to fill the soul with joy at the very time that the Lord is teaching us our own nothingness and misery! When one sees the thought of God and of Christ, in the breaking down of the flesh in us, how one should joy in Him and rejoice! Better, saith Christ, be a poor weak creature in utter weakness, than have any amount of power without my strength."
In Paul we see "a man in Christ" in the third heavens, losing-in what he was in Christ-all sense of the weakness of the flesh, and then coming down to the full experience of utter weakness, and having all Christ's sympathy at the bottom of the will. These blessed tastes the Lord gives us of our portion in Himself. But we shall never know, in anything of its fullness, what that portion is, save as we realize Paul's blessed experience as " a man in Christ." As men whose feet touch the earth, we must have the experience of utter weakness. As a man in Christ, Paul does not speak of the flesh, but whilst we are in the body, there must be discipline to hinder the flesh showing itself out.
When people fail, we are inclined to find fault with them, but if you look more closely, you will find that God had some particular truth for them to learn, which the trouble they are in is to teach them.
I would press two things: the difference between life in the soul, and the light always streaming down from Christ. If Paul deviated from his course, that cast no shadow on the heart of Christ, but Paul must be corrected for it.
The action of faith in the believer's soul is very simple, it is the realization in the soul of the nearness of Christ-a groan caught up by Him in a moment, every fear, every sigh, marked by Him. When the sun is shining on you, you do not measure its distance from you; but walking in its beams, you can look up and see how bright the light that is shining down upon you. And so if your eye be single, light comes right down from "Christ and guides you-there is no care, no anxiety of yours which is not a care and anxiety of His. Why should I have any burden on my heart to trouble me, when I may take it all to Christ?
Believe me, you can only plead with God as you know Christ. He alone is the channel by which God can bless.
No one can get above circumstances unless he knows that he has the ear of God. The power of intercession is a great thing to the servant of God.