Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Give us day by day our daily bread

~ Luke 11:3

It is very hard to live a lifetime at once, or even a year, but it is delightfully easy to live a day at a time. Day by day the manna fell, so day by day we may live upon the heavenly bread, and live out our life for Him. Let us, breath by breath, moment by moment, step by step, abide in Him, and, just as we take care of the days, He will take care of the years.

God has given two precious promises for the days. As thy days so shall thy strength be, is His ancient covenant, and the literal translation of our Master’s parting words to His disciples is, Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end of the age.

Like the little water spider that goes down beneath the waters of the pool enclosed in a bubble of air, and there builds its nest and rears its young, and lives its little life in that bright sphere down beneath the slimy pool, so let us in this dark world shut ourselves in with Christ in the little circle of each returning day, and so abide in Him, breathing the air of heaven and living in His love.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

We would see Jesus

~ John 12:21

When any great blessing is awaiting us, the devil is sure to try and make it so disagreeable to us that we shall miss it. It is a good thing to know him as a liar, and remember, when he is trying to prejudice us strongly against any cause, that very likely the greatest blessing of our life lies there. Spurgeon once said that the best evidence that God was on our side is the devil’s growl, and we are generally pretty safe in following a thing according to Satan’s dislike for it. Beloved, take care, lest in the very line where your prejudices are setting you off from God’s people and God’s truth, you are missing the treasures of your life. Take the treasures of heaven no matter how they come to you, even if it be as earthly treasures generally are, like the kernel inside the rough shell, or the gem in the bosom of the hard rock.

I have seen Jesus and my heart is dead to all beside,
I have seen Jesus, and my wants are all, in Him, supplied.
I have seen Jesus, and my heart, at last, is satisfied,
Since I’ve seen Jesus.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

~ 1 Sam 15:22

Many a soul prays for sanctification, but fails to enter into the blessing because he does not intelligently understand and believingly accept God’s appointed means by Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Spirit. Many a prayer for the salvation of others is hindered because the very friend takes the wrong course to bring about the answer, and resorts to means which are wholly fitted to defeat his worthy object.

We know many a wife who is pleading for her husband’s soul, and hoping to win him by avoiding anything that may offend him, and yielding to all his worldly tastes in the vain hope of attracting him to Christ. Far more effective would be an attitude of fidelity to God and fearless testimony to Him, such as God could bless.

Many a congregation wonders why it is so poor and struggling. It may be found that its financial methods are wholly unscriptural and often unworthy of ordinary self–respect.

When we ask God for any blessing, we must allow Him to direct the steps which are to bring the answer.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

I am the Lord that healeth thee

~ Exod 15:26

It is very reasonable that God should expect us to trust Him for our bodies as well as our souls, for if our faith is not practical enough to bring us temporal relief, how can we be educated for real dependence upon God for anything that involves serious risk? It is all very well to talk about trusting God for the distant and future prospect of salvation after death! There is scarcely a sinner in a Christian land that does not trust to be saved some day, but there is no grasp in faith like this. It is only when we come face to face with positive issues and overwhelming forces that we can prove the reality of Divine power in a supernatural life. Hence as an education to our very spirits as well as a gracious provision for our temporal life, God has trained His people from the beginning to recognize Him as the supply of all their needs, and to look to Him as the Physician of their bodies and Father of their spirits. Beloved, have you learned the meaning of Jehovah–rophi, and has it changed your Marah of trial into an Elim of blessing and praise?

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

I will joy in the God of my salvation

~ Hab 3:18

The secret of joy is not to wait until you feel happy, but to rise, by an act of faith, out of the depression which is dragging you down, and begin to praise God as an act of choice. This is the meaning of such passages as these: Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, rejoice I do rejoice; yes, and I will rejoice. Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. In all these cases there is an evident struggle with sadness and then the triumphs of faith and praise.

Now, this is what is meant in part, at least by the sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice is that which costs us something. And when a man or woman has some cherished grudge or wrong and is harboring it, nursing it, dwelling on it, rolling it as a sweet morsel under the tongue, and quite determined to enjoy a miserable time in selfish morbidness and grumbling, it costs us no little sacrifice to throw off the morbid spell, to refuse the suggestions of injury, neglect and the remembrance of unkindness, to rise out of the mood of self–commiseration in wholesome and holy determination, and say, I will rejoice in the Lord I will count it all joy.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The God of Israel hath separated you

~ Num 16:9

The little plant may grow out of a manure heap, and be surrounded by filth, and covered very often with the floating dust that is borne upon the breeze, but its white roots are separated from the unclean soil, and its leaves and flowers have no affinity with the dust that settles upon them; and after a shower of summer rain they throw off every particle of defilement, and look up, as fresh and spotless as before, for their intrinsic nature cannot have any part with these defiling things.

This is the separation which Christ requires and which He gives. There is no merit in my staying from the theater if I want to go. There is no value in my abstaining from the foolish novel or the intoxicating cup, if I am all the time wishing I could have them. My heart is there, and my soul is defiled by the desire for evil things. It is not the world that stains us, but the love of the world. The true Levite is separated from the desire for earthly things, and even if he could, he would not have the forbidden pleasures which others prize.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them.

~ Ezek 36:27

This is a great deal more than a new heart. This is a heart filled with the Holy Ghost, the Divine Spirit, the power that causes us to walk in God’s commandments.

This is the greatest crisis that comes to a Christian’s life, when into the spirit that was renewed in conversion, God Himself comes to dwell and make it His abiding place, and hold it by His mighty power in holiness and righteousness.

Now, after this occurs, one would suppose that we would be lifted into a much more hopeful and exuberant spirit, but the prophet gives a very different picture. He says when this comes to pass we shall loathe ourselves in our own eyes.

The revelation of God gives a profound sense of our own nothingness and worthlessness, and lays us on our face in the dust in self–abnegation.

The incoming of the Holy Ghost displaces self and disgraces self forever, and the highest holiness is to walk in self–renunciation.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Now mine eye seeth Thee

~ Job 42:5

We must recognize the true character of our self–life and its real virulence and vileness. We must consent to its destruction, and we must take it ourselves, as Abraham did Isaac, and lay it at the feet of God in willing sacrifice.

This is a hard work for the natural heart, but the moment the will is yielded and the choice is made, that death is past, the agony is over, and we are astonished to find that the death is accomplished.

Usually the crisis of life in such cases hangs upon a single point. God does not need to strike us in a hundred places to inflict a death wound. There is one point that touches the heart, and that is the point God usually strikes, the dearest thing in our life, the decisive thing in our plans, the citadel of the will, the center of the heart, and when we yield there, there is little left to yield anywhere else, and when we refuse to yield at this point, a spirit of evasion and compromise enters into all the rest of our life. Lord, we take Thee to enable us to will Thy will to be done in all things in our life without and within.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

I am my beloved’s

~ Song 7:10

If you want power you must compress. It is the shutting in of the steam that moves the engine. The amount of powder on a flat surface that sends a ball to its destination when shut up in a gun only makes a flash. If you want to carry the electric current you must be insulated. Stand a man on a glass platform and turn a battery on him and he will be filled with electricity. Let him step off the glass, and the moment he touches earth he loses power.

We must be inclosed by His everlasting Covenant. That holds us and keeps us from falling. He will be a wall of fire round about us. He comes Himself and envelops us round about with the old Shekinah glory, and will be the glory in the midst. He wants us inclosed by a distinct act of consecration dedicated wholly to Him. Are you inclosed by His fences, His commandments, His promises, His covenant? Is your heart really and only for the Lord?

If not, come to Him now and let Him separate you from all the things that take your life, and let Him separate you unto Himself, the Life Giver.

Streams in The Desert

I Heard a Still Voice

There was silence, and I heard a still voice ~ Job 4:16

A score of years ago, a friend placed in my hand a book called True Peace. It was an old mediaeval message, and it had but one thought—that God was waiting in the depths of my being to talk to me if I would only get still enough to hear His voice.

I thought this would be a very easy matter, and so began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a thousand clamoring notes from without and within, until I could hear nothing but their noise and din.

Some were my own voices, my own questions, some my very prayers. Others were suggestions of the tempter and the voices from the world’s turmoil.

In every direction I was pulled and pushed and greeted with noisy acclamations and unspeakable unrest. It seemed necessary for me to listen to some of them and to answer some of them; but God said,

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Then came the conflict of thoughts for tomorrow, and its duties and cares; but God said, “Be still.”

And as I listened, and slowly learned to obey, and shut my ears to every sound, I found after a while that when the other voices ceased, or I ceased to hear them, there was a still small voice in the depths of my being that began to speak with an inexpressible tenderness, power and comfort.

As I listened, it became to me the voice of prayer, the voice of wisdom, the voice of duty, and I did not need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard; but that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit in my heart was God’s prayer in my secret soul, was God’s answer to all my questions, was God’s life and strength for soul and body, and became the substance of all knowledge, and all prayer and all blessing: for it was the living GOD Himself as my life, my all.

It is thus that our spirit drinks in the life of our risen Lord, and we go forth to life’s conflicts and duties like a flower that has drunk in, through the shades of night, the cool and crystal drops of dew. But as dew never falls on a stormy night, so the dews of His grace never come to the restless soul.

~ A.B. Simpson