“Should the whole frame of nature be unhinged, and all outward friends and supporters prove false and deceitful, our worldly hopes and schemes be disappointed, and possessions torn from us, and the floods of sickness, poverty, and disgrace overwhelm our soul with an impetuous tide of trouble; the sincere lover of God, finding that none of these affects his portion and the object of his panting desires, retires from them all to God his refuge and hiding place, and there feels his Saviour incomparably better, and more than equivalent to what the whole of the universe can ever offer, or rob him of; and his tender mercies, unexhausted fullness, and great faithfulness, yield him consolation and rest; and enable him, what time he is afraid, to put his trust in him”
– William Dunlop
Let us not stop in our pursuit of God until this be the temper and the very spirit of all that we are.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good”
Such is the invitation of the Spirit. There is a calling and a beckoning to come and feast upon Him. The eternal living bread of God is available to all through His blood that we may be strengthened and transformed into His very likeness. The Word of God is to be tasted and savored. Its rich and powerful ministrations of life are to become our sustenance. His Life is not meant to be observed from a distance as a spectator, nor handled as a religious commodity; it is to be eaten as our daily bread.
“For my flesh is meat indeed…”
Those who do not eat cannot see. It is as we partake of Him and taste of His glory that we are enabled to see!
“O taste and see that the Lord is good”
Life has but one purpose and that is to grow into His likeness by the participation of our lives with Him. Without the tasting and eating and digesting of Him our life is lived from an ethereal realm of statements, teaching and doctrines. The heartbeat of the living Christ is absent. Our life becomes one of an outward appearance rather than an inward reality.
“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
“O taste and see. Make a trial, an inward, experimental trial of the goodness of God. You cannot see except by tasting for yourself; but if you taste you shall see, for this, like Jonathan’s honey, enlightens the eyes. That the Lord is good. You can only know this really and personally by experience. There is the banquet with its oxen and fatlings; its fat things full of marrow, and wine on the lees well refined; but their sweetness will be all unknown to you except you make the blessings of grace your own, by a living, inward, vital participation in them. Blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Faith is the soul’s taste; they who test the Lord by their confidence always find him good, and they become themselves blessed”
– Charles Spurgeon
“I firmly believe people have hitherto been a great deal too much taken up about doctrine and far too little about practice. The word “doctrine,” as used in the Bible, means teaching of duty, not theory”
– George Macdonald
“They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed”
There is light in none other. It is the Light of God shining forth in the face of Jesus Christ whereby men and women are enlightened. The light of His life is what causes His people to arise out of the clutches of this world; its darkness, its ways, its offerings and temptations. In seeing Him, in beholding His countenance, we are lifted into heavenly places; the veil is parted and we behold His Glory.
“…unto them that look for him shall he appear”
Looking implies dependence; the eyes are guided by that which one desires. We look for Him for He is our salvation. He is our comforter. He is the hope which makes us not ashamed to declare Him to the world and more importantly to one another. In the seeing of Him the offenses and rejection of friends and foes are dissipated. “Their faces were not ashamed”; their hopes of life and godliness renewed. The ability to rise up from every circumstance and every failure is invigorated by His light of pure wonder. Let us not shrink back because of disappointments in life. Let us ever be renewed in the beauty and power of the light that beckons us to higher and deeper things.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”
“While salvation is a free gift, the ‘winning Christ’ can only be through unreserved consecration and unquestioning obedience. Nor is this a hardship, but the highest privilege”
– Hudson Taylor
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ“
– Philippians 3:8
“Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph”
This was a simple statement but one of immense implications for the people of God. It was the beginning of a period of time in which His people endured great hardship and suffering. The Word does not go into detail concerning the political events of the time nor what ensued. It was the results that mattered. This change was one of great import and no doubt ordered of the Lord. Throughout the history of His people (natural or spiritual) their tendency is to become mingled with the ways and wisdom of this world. The call of God for them to be separate and holy is ignored and this mixture becomes unbearable to the One who rules and reigns over all. The suffering of His people at the hands of the evil of this world sets the stage for the judgments of God which inevitably follow. It is in this time that we are instructed to walk in the ways of Christ whereby we overcome as He overcame.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good”
It is in these times that God sets things in place to once again “divide the light from the darkness”. God Himself watches over His own for in the mingling of the light with darkness His salvation ceases to shine forth and His face is hid from those who dwell upon the earth. When His people become political and invest themselves in the ways and wisdom of this world they cease to be the light of God to their generation. Upon entering into the political arena their warfare becomes carnal, worldly and powerless and the culmination of these things is spiritual decay and bitterness of soul. The true church of Jesus Christ is not of this world; she seeks a Kingdom which is above and she is an ambassador of that Kingdom. Paul exhorted the saints of his day to pray for the rulers and princes of that day; a government which was soon to fall because of its own wickedness. The Roman army had surrounded Jerusalem and placed it under siege for its rebellion. The fall of Jerusalem to the Roman army is still regarded as the single most horrific genocide in human history. This incident is never mentioned by the writers of the New Covenant; the Jerusalem they were seeking was not of this world.
We are to be a heavenly people free from the politics and policies of this world. A change is coming in our day as the principalities of this world are aligning themselves for a final assault upon the people of God. It is a day for us to seek with all of our hearts to be hid in Christ in the reality of a living, holy and intimate nature. He is our salvation. It is by being held in the graces and wonder of Christ that we can face this day with the enduring love of God. We must remain vigilant to keep our trust and hope in Him. Let us not render evil for evil but by the very life of Christ overcome evil with good, overcome hatred with love and, having our eyes fixed upon His return, in order to keep ourselves free from the bitterness of the day.
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life”
“Of one thing we are very sure. There will be a full restoration of the apostolic gifts and the full power of Pentecost before the coming of the Lord. To the faithful few who are true to God, to the overcomers, to them that place their all upon the altar of a full consecration, God will pour out in the fullest measure the power that was given to the disciples on the day the Church was born. We believe that there will be miracles of healing, supernatural manifestations of God’s mighty power, that will break even the most calloused hearts. There will be another outpouring, this time a cloudburst of the latter rain. We not only feel it in our Spirit, but the Word of God corroborates what we feel. Be true, my friends; keep tight hold of His hand. God has some wonderful things in store for you.”
Dr. Charles S. Price – 1939
“One thing must be avoided at all costs. We must not let the world seep into the Church. When we let the world dilute our Gospel and water down our values, we’ll disappear from sight. Let’s keep the Church holy – and wholly committed to Scripture”