•  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Concentration of purpose.—This is indeed the great lack among the people of God. How much of our lives is spent, not in positive evil, but frittered away and lost in countless petty diversions which spoil effectually the positivity of their testimony for God! How few can say, with the apostle, "This one thing I do"! We are on the road—not at least intentionally off it—but we stop to chase butterflies among the flowers, and make no serious progress. How Satan must wonder when he sees us turn away from the "kingdoms of the world and the glory of them," when realized as his temptation, and yet yield ourselves, with scarce a thought, to endless trifles, lighter than the thistle-down, which the child spends all his strength for, and we laugh at him. Concentration of purpose is what, most of all, the devil dreads for us as Christians.
God's love and care.—Our God always loves us, always cares for us, never allows us to pass through any dark cloud of sorrow, unless He knows the cloud to be better for us than the sunshine.
Communion with God.—Communion with God is a real thing, in which He pours into the soul, in a greater or less degree, the deep joy of His presence—of that favor and perfect love in which He communicates with the soul, revealing Himself—and gives by His presence the happiness of a relationship in which no breach is suspected nor thought of, in which the soul lives.
A system that abides.—"Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world" shows that we belong in the counsels of God to a system set up by Him in Christ before the world existed, which is not of this world when it does exist, and exists after the fashion of this world has passed away.
Perfect peace.—Phil. 4 Is God ever troubled by the little things that trouble us? Do they shake His throne 1 I go and carry it all to Him, and I find Him all quiet about it. It is all settled. He knows quite well what He is going to do. I have laid the burden on the throne that never shakes, with the perfect certainty that God takes an interest in me, and the peace He is in keeps my heart, and I can thank Him even before the trouble has passed. He does not give us to see before us, for then the heart would not be exercised.
God our resource.—He has said, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." The day may be one of trial, a hot day; the way weary, not a green thing there on which the eye can rest; the land, "a dry and thirsty one, where no water is," not a single spring, to the new man, from the ground, but at the same time there is the rain from heaven; nothing can intercept that. God, who commands the heavens, can make the valley of Baca a well and the rain also to fill the pools. "All our fresh springs are in God.”
Pursuit of holiness.—The practical maintenance of holiness is the true effort of a heart that grace has mastered. But yet—as with the prisoner who struggles to his window and wipes out every stain, making it shine again, with a zeal no sense of duty could arouse, his thought is only of the sunlight he is yearning for, so it is with the soul that is alive to God. All true life leads to Him, and holiness is eagerly pursued, only to be forgotten in the enjoyment of its end and aim. Hence the exhortation of the word: "Follow holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Doing God's will.—If I have no motive but my Father's will, how astonishingly it simplifies every-dung. If you never thought of doing a thing, except because it was God's positive will that you should do it, how many things of your life would at once disappear, not in a constant struggle against one thing and another, but in the quiet consciousness that the grace of God has provided for everything, that you do not take a step but what His love has provided for.