Gleanings 66

I may see what appears very attractive down here; but, looking up there, I see Christ, and I feel that till He comes down, earth cannot be blessed. This world to me without Him is only a wilderness: there is no rest here. All blessing -even for the earth-is shut up in Christ; all happiness, all true joy, hid in the person of the Lord. You cannot get anything like real happiness without Him. Oh, how much happier a way of learning that our rest is not here, is that thought that nothing can make us happy till He comes, than to be vainly seeking rest while He is absent, filling our mouths with sand and gravel.
" I am the bright and morning star." Does God desire to see the Lord Jesus as the bright and morning star? When the hour is come, God will give the word, and Christ will leave His throne, to bring up His bride. But the morning star is not for God-it is a hope for a people in the dark night. This title does not come in once in the Old Testament; there we find the Sun of righteousness. But this bright and morning Star comes to usher in the morning without clouds.
The Lord knows what the hearts of His people want here-it is Himself, His own blessed person. Ah! is the Lord Jesus looked for by us as the bright and morning star? It is not the glory, but Himself that is set forth. "I am the bright and morning star; " and, oh, it is Himself that I want. What would glory be to me without my Lord?
Just observe the sort of glory here. What is this bright and morning Star as to glory compared with the Sun of righteousness? Oh, but they who love Christ know the sweetness of this title; all their heart's affections are bound up in His person, that it is which their hearts are set upon. How sweet it is in the midst of all the evil of this wilderness scene to connect the hope of His coming with " I am the bright and morning star," and the spirit and the bride say " Come! "
In 2 Cor. 11:22For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2), we get just the true idea of the bride. Do you know anything of such a thing as a body, a people, affianced to Christ?
If the marriage of the bride, the Lamb's wife, is to be, and you and I are a part of that affianced body, where can creature title come in?
How that name of Bride supposes all affections on the part of Christ! If He looks down and sees one here and there, poor feeble things in themselves indeed, but all they are part of that body and He has washed them in His blood, what can He see in them but failure! but He has given them the Spirit and made them one with Himself, He will have a bride fit for God's own dwelling-place. If you do not know the personal love of Christ to His bride you cannot invite Him to come.
God did not stop when He had taken the bone out of Adam, but builded a woman; and so He not only calls and washes poor prodigals, but builds out of poor prodigals a bride for His Son: making them the members, the flesh and bones, of His Son. It will be a part of His glory to have a bride formed out of poor prodigals.
The bride may have all sorts of precious things -but she herself is for the Lord.
What! I, a poor thing, a leaf in the wilderness carried here and there, can I say "Come, Lord!" Ah, but if God has given me the Spirit and made me one with my Lord, I can. If He had merely shown me all the glory, it would have had no effect, but the Spirit of God brought the truth to bear on my heart: the Spirit of the living God always bringing a fresh taste of the love of Christ to my heart.
Oh, how the Spirit is straitened by us as He goes through the wilderness with us and finds so little answer in our hearts, and cannot get the waters to flow! Do not speak of self, failure, or circumstances, though we have deeply to humble ourselves: Satan would always try to put these between us and Christ; but we may set everything round the cross, in the light of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and if there were but one believer alone in the world, the Spirit in the bride is sufficient to enable that one to say " Come!" It is not the bride only, but the Spirit, knowing all the affections in the heart of Christ, says, "Come!" How sweet to have Christ wanting you to say " Come." Have you known the sweetness when in solitude, when none have been near, of that thought in your heart, hardly breathed in words, " Come, Lord, come "? Shall the thought, "I may be caught up to-night," alarm my heart? No! I am as sure of being His, as Rebecca was of being Isaac's, and surer: and so are all believers who can say " Come."
We are in the wilderness now, and we count by weeks and days, and the time seems long; but One up there looks upon you, and says to you, " Surely I come quickly." To you it may seem long, but to Him it is but a little while.