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!"
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
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
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."