Words of Wisdom and Revelation # 11
"Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You!" Psalm 73:25
We may know the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts--by having true desires after God. By the beating of this pulse--we conclude there is life.
A true desire after God is sincere. We desire God for Himself, for His intrinsic excellencies. The savor of the ointment of Christ's graces draws the virgins' desires after Him. Canticles 1:3. A true saint desires Him not only for what God has--but for what He is; not only for His rewards--but for His holiness. No hypocrite can thus desire God. He may desire God for His jewels--but not for His beauty!
A true desire after God is insatiable. It cannot be satisfied without God; let the world heap her honors and riches--they will not satisfy. No flowers or music will content him who is thirsty. Just so, nothing will quench the soul's thirst--but the blood of Christ! He faints away, his heart breaks with longing for God. Psalm 84:2; Psalm 119:20
A true desire after God is active. It flourishes into endeavor. "With my soul have I desired you in the night--yes, with my spirit within me will I seek You early." Isaiah 26:9. A soul that desires aright says, "I must have Christ! I must have grace! I must have Heaven, though I take it by storm!"
A true desire after God is supreme. We desire Christ, not only more than the world--but more thanHeaven! "Whom have I in Heaven but You?" Psalm 73:25. Heaven itself would not satisfy--without Christ. Christ is the diamond in the ring of glory!
A true desire after God is increasing. A little of God will not satisfy--but the pious soul desires still more. A drop of water is not enough for the thirsty traveler. Though a Christian is thankful for the least degree of grace--yet he is not satisfied with the greatest degree of grace. He still thirsts for more of Christ, and His Spirit. A saint would have more knowledge, more sanctity, more of Christ's presence. Aglimpse of Christ through the lattice of an ordinance is sweet; but the soul will never stop longing--until it sees Him face to face! It desires to have grace perfected in glory! It desires to be wholly plunged into the sweetness of God. We would be swallowed up in God, and be forever bathing ourselves in those perfumed waters of pleasure which run at His right hand!
Surely this sincere desire after God is a blessed sign that the kingdom of grace has come into our hearts. The beating of this pulse shows life! Desires for God--are from God. If iron moves upwards contrary to its nature--it is a sign some magnet has been drawing it. Just so, if the soul moves towards God in sincere desires--it is a sign the magnet of the Spirit has been drawing it!
"He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him." Psalm 145:19
How much influence has the love of Christ had over us?
(Jared Waterbury, "Meditations and Prayers" 1840)
"The love of Christ constrains us!" 2 Corinthians
The love of Christ! What a motive to one who has felt its constraining influence! Can we say that we have not only experienced the love of Christ to us--but have felt in return, the outgoings of love to our blessed Savior?
How much influence has the love of Christ had over us?
Has it led us to practice self-denial for Jesus' sake?
Has it fed the flame of our devotions?
Has it been the secret spring of our charities?
Do we daily go up to Calvary, and study our obligations at the foot of the cross?
See, on that cross, the adorable Savior! Behold Him, who is the equal of the Father, stretched in bleeding agony--expiring under an inconceivable weight of sorrow--to redeem us wretched, guilty men! All this He does . . .
to rescue us from sin and from Hell,
to make us heirs of God,
to purchase for us an unfading and incorruptible inheritance!
And what have we ever done for Him? Let us weep, that we have made such returns of ingratitude and sin.
Let us renew our vows at the foot of the cross.
O let us go forth to our work with increased diligence.
Be it ours, to say with Paul, "For whether we live--we live unto the Lord; and whether we die--we die unto the Lord. Whether we live therefore, or die--we are the Lord's!" Romans 14:8
O, our adorable Savior, when we reflect on Your matchless love, which led You first to pity us, then tocome into this polluted world to redeem us; when we think of all that You have done and suffered for us sinful worms--we are lost in wonder, and we cannot find language to express our infinite obligations! But O, what poor returns have we made for all Your love and compassion! Well might we bury our faces in the dust; nor, but for your mercy, could we venture to look up to You. 'Twas not enough that the sins of our unregenerate state were laid upon you; we have added to that oppressive load, by sinning against love and mercy--Your dying love and boundless mercy!
Yet does Your love, O Savior, overtop all these mountains of iniquity!
It says "Your sins, which are many, are all forgiven!"
May this love reach and melt our obdurate hearts.
May it constrain us to "live, not to ourselves, but to You, who has died for us and risen again."
And while the children of this world are laboring to aggrandize self--let us, forgetful of self, be absorbed in the work of glorifying our adorable Redeemer. "For us, to live may it be Christ." When we can no longer glorify You on earth--then, O Savior, let us have a place in that bright world where love--that grace which outlives faith and hope--shall endure forever!