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How much dissatisfaction and disappointment do we allow when there is seemingly at times a lack of spirituality, which is common to all believers? This is merely one manifestation of the ongoing presence and effects of the old man. Just as one cannot “take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned” (Prv 6:27), one cannot have the old man and not be effected!

I’ve thought some why God allows our original nature to remain when imparting the new at rebirth, and it’s my understanding that it at least continues to exercise our faith, esp. in knowing the truth that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” For believers this means, regardless of what we encounter, all has been taken into account and has been orchestrated to benefit us—and this is always interference-proof.

A mark of maturity is confidently “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (uninterruptedly - 1Pet 5:7), and our “confidence” accurately evaluates our maturity. Our understanding concerning the efficacy of Christ’s expiation is commensurate with how fully we realize its completeness (yet delivers fully). Legalism limits this to various degrees via distractions of minding self-sufficiency, which not only evinces an incomplete comprehension of His expiation (yet truly believing in Him), but results in a walk of repetitious disappointment in endless self-expectations!

We can take all adversities as if from Himself via His foreknowing, allowing and directing them. Thus we learn to “rejoice in the Lord” by “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:20). Sometimes we forget to let our sufficiency simply be the fact of our union and fellowship with God, interacting and working with the Father in the child-ship of the Lord Jesus.


Some of the most dissatisfied people on earth, perhaps, are Christians who have given themselves up to self-occupation, and the more so because they are God-fearing and conscientious (caring more makes it mean more—NC); for, having learned the folly of the world’s resources, they have nothing to lift them outside the old man, or to keep them from being occupied therewith. And surely the happiest people on the earth are those believers who “rejoice in Christ Jesus, worship God in the Spirit, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phl 3:3). Blessed are those, who, knowing they have risen life in Him, do reckon themselves to have died indeed unto sin, and are alive unto God in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Think of how happy Israel was, upon arriving at the other side of the Red Sea. They were joyous because they were entirely occupied with God, and what He had done on their behalf. They were not occupied with themselves, nor with circumstances, but with Him. “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spoke saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously.” The Lord of triumph this is!” And what a change from the sore distress they were in such a short time before!

But now they have seen God’s salvation, and His great deliverance from the formidable host of the Egyptians, which threatened to swallow them up in their wrath. They were thus in liberty and on new ground. God had delivered them, He had given them victory; and now they were taken up with Him, praising Him, and giving all the glory due His name, ascribing all the power and glory of their deliverance to Him. How simple, and yet how blessed this is! What secrets are unfolded, what resources are opened up to us, in the contemplation of a crucified and risen Savior!

Where, Christian friend, do we take our place before our Father? Is it on the Egypt side of the Red Sea, or the other? You cannot be happy in the former position. There was no singing in Egypt, though perfect safety; for they were sheltered by the blood of the lamb. But after that, when they arrived in Pihahiroth, perhaps they never had such fear and distress of soul. And yet, if you had asked them, “Have you not been under the shelter of the blood? Have you not been brought out of Egypt by the direct power of God? Is not the token of His care and presence in the cloudy and fiery pillar? Yes, is their answer to each query. Then why this deep, this bitter distress? Immediately they point to the pursuing Pharaoh and his mighty host, forcing them to the very edge of the Red Sea. Trapped! Deliverance, they would say, we want; and nothing but a mightier power than any they had ever known could effect it. Oh the misery, the self-occupation, the lack of joy and gladness of those who take their place, though doubtless secure, on Egypt’s side of the Red Sea!

And oh, how rich the blessing, when assured by the Word of God, and we see our judicial deliverance from the “old man,” the world, the law and Satan! We rejoice in the ascended Lord Jesus Christ, our Christian life (Col 3:4)! We look down upon the Egyptian world as a long way off, and as knowing the waters of death and judgement, via the Cross, have swallowed up all that was against us. Thus we have peace with God; we are objects of His divine favor, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Blessed as it is to know the shelter of the Blood, it is more blessed to know that we have resurrection life—a life that lives on the other side of death and condemnation—a life that instinctively springs upward and onward; a life that has tastes, feelings and joys suited to the Father and the Son, and cannot rest the sole of its foot in the region of sin, Satan, the world and the law.

- H H Snell

Excerpt from MJS devotional for December 12:

“There is an entirely baseless sentiment abroad which assumes that every teaching of the Lord Jesus must be binding upon the believer during this age simply because He said it. The fact is forgotten that He, while living under, keeping, and applying the Law of Moses, also taught the principles of His future earthly kingdom, and, at the end of His ministry and in relation to His Cross, He also anticipated the teachings of grace. If this threefold division of His teachings is not recognized and maintained, there can be nothing but confusion of mind and consequent contradiction of truth.” -L.S.C.

None But The Hungry Heart
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