Truth's Expression

I think that very often we are more careful to acquire spiritual ideas and feelings, than we are in seeing that nothing in our manner of life should hinder their growth and expression. Truly the light is sweet, but I must remember that if I do not protect it and use it, it is literally of no use to me.
What would be the gain of a man filling his garden with rare and valuable plants, if, from his neglect, he never derived any benefit from them; but, on the contrary, where lie thought he had a treasury, when he looked again, he found his garden waste, and with the bitter, humbling feeling that what he had acquired he had lost by carelessness and inattention-not considering the tenderness and value of the plants. Better for him to have planted his garden with less valuable plants, and to have felt more dependent on it—for "much food is in the tillage of the poor" (Prov. 13:2323Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment. (Proverbs 13:23))- than to have acquired with expense what through neglect he had lost.
Every spiritual idea or feeling suits the presence of the Lord, and in order to its expression down here, it must displace its contrary in us; for it has that which is contrary to it to contend against. If I do not allow the contrary one to give way, the then spiritual action is checked. It seeks expression to give bone and sinew to itself, and when I am in the expression. I know its power. If my mind is carried into another line, I shall find all my toil go for nothing. " He that earneth wages, earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes" (Hag. 1:66Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. (Haggai 1:6)). Why? Because they were using God's gifts to them for their own glory, instead of using them for Him, and hence the man who made the most was practically the greatest loser!
It has often struck me how much one needs the "honest and good heart" (Luke 8:1515But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)) in receiving the word of God-an honest and true purpose of heart to carry out into expression every idea communicated to one; to such, more would surely be given. I cannot be spiritual without becoming practically unworldly.
The life of Jesus in me saps, if I may so say, the principles of the world in me; so that they lose their influence on me almost imperceptibly, but yet very manifestly, and then I am enjoying the power in myself which displaced them. The beautiful plants are yielding to me their value and sweetness; they connect me with their own region and atmosphere, and the more at home I find myself there, the more quietly, and easily, because seeking nothing here, do I pass through the contrarieties of this evil scene. The Christian who can listen to, and enjoy for the moment, the beauties of the heavenly kingdom, and yet, in spirit seek this world, is worse than if he had never heard of them; for tastes awakened and never fed, must, if the experiment be repeated, decline, and ere long be utterly dormant.
Love the spiritual idea, and be prepared to give it expression, and you will have the joy, the light, and the strength of it in your soul; and better still, you will be given more, and the more you have, the more will you realize your place with your absent Lord.