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Driven or Drawn

There are two methods which the Father graciously adopts in order to draw the heart away from this present world. The first is, by setting before it the attractiveness and stability of “things above”: the second is, by faithfully declaring the evanescent and shakable nature of “things of the earth.”

The close of Hebrews 12 furnishes a beautiful example of each of these methods. After stating the truth, that we are come unto mount Zion, with all its attendant joys and privileges, the apostle goes on to say, “See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven; whose voice them shook the earth, but now He hath promised, saying, “Yet once I shake not only the earth, but also heaven. This “once” signifieth the removal of the shakable things, as of things that are made, that the unshakable things may remain” (Heb 12:25-27).

Now it is much better to be drawn by the hoys of heaven, that driven by the sorrows of earth. The believer should not wait to be shaken out of present things. He should not wait for the world to give him up, before he gives up the world: he should give it up in the power of communion with heavenly things.

There is no difficulty in giving up the world when we have, by faith, laid hold of the Lord Jesus: the difficulty would then be to hold it. If a scavenger were left an estate of ten thousand a year, he would not long continue to sweep the streets. Thus, if we are realizing our portion amid the unshakable realities of heaven, we shall find little difficulty in resigning the delusive joys of earth.

Consider Lot, “sitting in the gate of Sodom,” the place of authority. He has evidently made progress—he has “got on in the world.” Looked at from a worldly point of view, his course has been a successful one. He at first “pitched his tent toward Sodom”; then, no doubt, he found his way into it; and now we find him sitting in the gate—a prominent, influential post.

How different Abraham! “By faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles.” We have no such statement in reference to Lot. It could not be said, “By faith Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.” Alas no; He gets no place among the noble army of confessors—“the great cloud of witnesses” to the power of faith. The world was his snare, present things his bane. He did not “endure as seeing Him who is invisible.” He looked at “the things which are seen, and temporal”; whereas Abraham looked at “the things which are unseen and eternal.”

We do not find that Lot is permitted to enjoy any of the high distinctions and privileges with which Abraham was favored. Instead of refreshing the Lord, Lot gets his “righteous soul vexed”; instead of enjoying communion with the Lord, he is at a lamentable distance from Him; and, lastly, instead of interceding for others, he finds enough to do to intercede for himself.

There was a most material difference between those two men, who, though they started together on their course, reached a very different goal, so far as their public testimony was concerned. No doubt Lot was saved, yet it was “so as by fire,” for truly, “his work was burned up.” On the other hand, Abraham has “an abundant entrance ministered unto him into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

- C H Mackintosh

Devotional by Miles J Stanford: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
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