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His Side Is My Side

No amount of valor and service will give you the mind of the Lord. The ten thousand who followed Gideon did not know his mind; it was only the three hundred who did; it was not until the nine thousand and seven hundred had gone back that he said, “As I do so shall ye do” (Jud 7:17). The order of battle is only given to those who prove that they prefer the glory of the Lord to any favor given to them here; in Luke 14 it was those who had received favors who begged to be excused from the Supper.

Our life-support we are to derive from is the One in heaven; we do not get support from anything here, we only get it from the One there. Not only have you title to heaven, but you are in possession of heaven now whilst you are on earth. You have possession of life, but you are only true to your life when you have practical possession of it. Most who are in actual possession of life know nothing of this (possessing but not yet practicing—NC). It is not a question whether my life really be there, but it is quite another thing whether I am living there.

“The Lord . . . hath triumphed gloriously”—not I; for He fought the battle, and His victory is mine. How high do you see Him? At the right hand of the Father. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set you affection on things above” (Col 3:1, 2). However high you see the One whose name is above every name, you are there. You are in union with the One who loved you, and gave Himself for you.

There are only two things you have to learn, and how many there are who do not accept them! One is, you are not to have the man here (old man—NC), and the place where he is; the other is, you are to have another Man, and the place where He is. Those who had the blessing of the earth all with one consent began to make excuse: “I pray thee, have me excused” (Luke 14:18, 19).

Many expect Him to give them happy circumstance here. I used to; and then I used to be thoroughly disappointed at the way in which God refused to do things for me that I expected He would do. But I am never disappointed now; indeed I am now perfectly surprised that He ever should do anything for me, instead of being disappointed that He does not do more.

True, there is nothing in this world which He would not do for me. “He that spared not His own Son—shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Rom 8:32). But then look at the other side: “For thy sake we are killed all the day long” (v 36); that is your side; the fellowship of His sufferings. There is no end to His love, but where do I find it? In the scene where He is Himself.

I am in union with the Man in heaven above it all, whose resources flow down to me here. The action of the Holy Spirit leads me to Him: “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” The grand difficulty for the heart is to take the ground of being a buried man. I am a gone man! But I am a returned man for activity in the Lord Jesus down here. I have come back from the One who is up there to manifest Him here, and I find His own risen life to sustain me in it: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:14).

- J B Stoney

Miles J Stanford devotional: None But The Hungry Heart

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