The Realization Of God

by William Mealand

SO to live that God is an ever-present reality is a blessed experience. It is a life filled with occasions in which we sense the perfect working of the will and way of God. And as we acknowledge the wisdom of His ever-following thought we realize something of what it means to "abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

Thus to know God as the great need-supplier, even as Father, is to know Him as the great heart of all things, from whence are the issues of life. And if God, being love, is the heart, the Son is the mouth, the expressive Revealer of all that the heart has purposed and planned. For He came to make God known and to be the bearer of life, His declarations being spirit and life. And so that we may realize how infinitely worth while such knowledge is, God's spirit brings order to the chaos of our darkened minds.

There is then a new creation, where all is of God. And in such an environment we are to be "growing in the realization of God." A change has taken place. We are now in correspondence with a new order of things, things above and celestial. And in these there is a satisfaction for the heart which things below can never give. We lose the little for the great, the near for the far, but all the while such loss is gain.

Do we think it a limited life when we break with the old contacts and recognized correspondences? Then, as Henry Drummond has well said: "This limited life would be really the fullest life. It would be rich in the highest and worthiest, and poor in the smallest and basest correspondences." All that we forgo in living to God makes for strength, for poise, and tranquillity of spirit. Moreover, there is a detachment wherein we most truly walk at liberty.

Only God can wisely ordain for us and fashion our lives, and if we let Him, then we shall see both from experience and observation, that "God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God." Now, in the living of everyday life we have to do the same things as those who do not love God. But whereas they lose themselves in the interests of life, we who would fain be living to God, see in these self-same things meaning and purpose. They therefore educate us, and in and through them we realize God.

God makes us see what is unseen by this world's devotees. They are blinded by the near, not seeing afar off. Their trouble is myopia--shortsightedness. Living in accord with the spirit and wisdom of this world, their lives are not in line with God. There is no proportion, no symmetry, and in a sense they have not lived, until like the Psalmist they breathe the prayer: "Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God!" (Psa.143:10).

If then, we are to be growing in the realization of God. We must have an implicit belief in His directive love and wisdom. To this God will ever respond, putting into our lives those things which will keep alive our sense of His sufficiency for human need. And this note of confidence must always companion us, a confidence born of deep conviction, from which will emerge an experience of God for which we are grateful beyond measure.

Even the world, with all its groping blindness, recognizes depth of conviction and feeling with regard to the acknowledgment of God. It hungers for bread, but is given a stone. How incumbent upon us, then, to live out in life's smallest things, our deeply- felt sense of God. It was the lack of this giving of glory to God which constituted the charge of Daniel against Belshazzar: "The God in Whose hand thy breath is, and Whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified" (Dan.5:23).

God made us for Himself, gifting us with possibilities which can only actualize as we live to Him. Not by the thoughts and wishes of others, or even by our own, will life be wisely governed and its conduct rightly conditioned. No one but God can truly know us. Familiar as may be our nearest kin, our dearest friends, with the sound of our voice, the fall of our foot, and the touch of our hand, they but know the outer vesture. The deeps of our nature are hidden from them.

Indeed, we hardly know ourselves. The old Greek philosopher set man a sorry task when he said, "Man, know thyself." Men may think they know themselves, but in one revealing moment their estimate is shattered. In such circumstance it is wisdom indeed to acquaint one-self with God, Whom to know is life, and life at its highest and best. The lofty word, then, comes to us all: "Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me."

But how shall we understand God, how have fellowship with Him, unless we trust Him in all the circumstances of life? Not alone when all is well, but when all is seemingly far from well. His perfect will never sends us along the rough pathway, unless something is to be gained which more than compensates for the hard experience. Every need can be filled by Him, and every case understandingly met. With Him the future is an open book. With us a closed one, and better so. Each day is then a day as from His hand, with no mistakes, no fret or fume.

God interweaves the present with the future, and sometimes we are permitted gleams of light on this wondrous relationship, for in His light we see light. And happily instructed are we if we see the tracery of His thought, the designed wisdom of His way with us. The perception will deepen our estimate of His far-seeing wisdom and of His ability to bring about our highest good.

Living to God should be our normal experience. Our being should be so open to Him, as that all its requirements are related to Him. This will make for simplicity, and a satisfaction denied to those who are fond of planning and ordering their lives. The prudence and caution of this world's wisdom may mar our realization of God, even as may an eager impulse or an ill- considered step. When God makes our duty clear, the forward movement will always hold the necessary inspiration for achievement and continuance.

We live in deeds, not years,
In thoughts, not breaths,
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs.

Heart-throbs. Or may we not say the life of the spirit, as unto Him Whose we are and Whom we serve? It is said that a certain bishop sent a young man to a position involving much hardship. The young man's friends tried to dissuade him from accepting it, and he went to the bishop and told him that he believed he would not live two years if he accepted the appointment. The older man listened and replied somewhat in this way: "But you and I do not mind a little thing like that--do we?"

We have more reason to be afraid of life than of death. But where do we live? Residence is mostly governed by occupation. We dwell here or there as circumstance may dictate. But we live where our heart is. So, the money maker lives at his office, and the scholar, it may be, in his books. Yet, minding so exclusively earthly things, what answering life accrues? All such contacts give but passing pleasure. Lacking life, they do but lull the questing restlessness of those who live adrift from God.

How restful then, and how satisfying, that realization of God which brings down upon us His own peace. All our wishes met in Him, and all our proposals held happily subject to His wise disposal. Surely, this would indeed mean, "not a shade of worry, not a surge of care."

Do we dream, to think that we can live like this? By no means. It is a life most practical, a life most real. It is just that God is brought in, not only when we need Him most, but when to outward seeming we may well go on our own. Yet, to bring God into the small, and apparently trivial, is to be prepared for His strength, giving entrance into the crises of life.

Let us then be growing in the realization of God. Living to God, life will have purpose veined with passion, the passion for seeing Him in His spirit-limned Word, far-seeing way, and wondrous work. For in Scripture, providence, and nature we may trace a lofty thought, an understanding love, and a perfect arrangement it is impossible to perceive apart from God's tuition.

Think how, in Paul's spirit-given words, we are brought to celestial heights, to perception of glories of Christ unveiled as never before. And then, the way of God with sinning man, even with ourselves as transformed, and as being conformed to the image of His Son. In nature, too, we trace His hand, to learn how even there the best is yet to be.

Happy are we in the living of such a life, with a vision of God that gives repose. Resigned to Him, ours is a reception continually confirming His wisdom and love. He makes us stewards of His gifts, and in all the circumstances He can so well control, He would have us unmurmuring and unafraid.

As, then, we find God to be real in life, we prove how perfectly He can ordain for us, and how, again and again, He can stir our hearts to wonderment, and our lips to thankful praise. Thus we go from strength to strength, and from glory to glory.

"And closer yet, and closer the hidden bonds shall be,
Enlinking all who love our Lord in pure sincerity.
And wider yet, and wider shall the circling glory glow,
As more and more are taught of God His mighty love to know."

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