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Positionally Positioned

Soon for us all things will be new (that which we wait for; new body, new heaven, new Jerusalem and new earth—NC). Indeed now for faith, the “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” I believe that when we truly see our new position where the Lord Jesus is, we find it easy to see that we must be altogether new creations to suit Him in this new place.

There is an order in Ephesians 2. First the place—heavenly place. Second—the new man. The hope of the Gospel is heaven. The new place is the greatest and the best. The earth has He given to the sons of men. The Lord’s throne is in heaven. We see in Genesis 1 that the place was first formed, and then the occupants for it. Thus heaven is our new place, and so we are formed anew for it. The Lord Jesus having gone into heaven leads our hearts there. Stephen looked up steadfastly into heaven.

Our Lord Jesus is there. The soul looks up to see Him where He is. It is Himself who draws our hearts to the new place. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself.” His absence from this place draws our hearts to where He is, and we are therefore fitted for it. This new history properly begins with being risen with Christ. “If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:1, 2).

The new place is now the one that occupies our thoughts. Like a man on a voyage, going to see his dearest friend in a distant place, his thoughts are ever anticipating the new scene to which he is journeying; he anticipates the pleasure of meeting his friend, the beauty of the surroundings; and how much more when he knows that everything there is in perfect accordance with the mind and pleasure of his friend. Hardly anything is more attractive to us respecting heaven than that everything there is in perfect harmony with the mind and heart of the Lord Jesus.

Now the more absolutely we are seeking the things above, the more fully will the rest of Colossians 3 be practically entered into by us. We learn that we must be cut off by divine power from the old man, and then we arrive at the new man, “renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him that has created him.” We are fit for the new place. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest.” “Giving thanks unto the Father, who has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col 1:12). “Such as is the heavenly One, such also are the heavenly ones.”

The heart now not only soars unto the new place because its Object is there, but the realization that I am a new creation, and being conformed to His image, make me feel more at home there than I could be here. I am fit in a new creation for my Lord in the place where He is, at the Father’s right hand in glory. It is true that I often feel that I am not fit for Him here. But the more I seek the place where He is, the more I find that the work of grace has severed me from the old, and from all that was of myself as Adamic and earthly, and has made me now—heavenly.

I delight in the new position, for there the Object of my heart is; and there I am suited to Him. I am fit to be in His company, for fellowship with Him. When I look at the place, He is not here; and when I look at myself naturally I am not fit for Him. How happy then to know that I belong to the place where He is; and that through grace I am made suited to Him in the new position, so that I set my mind and heart there, the place where my deepest joys are realized.

- J B Stoney

Excerpt from MJS devotional for May 15:

“What the other person said or did to you was undoubtedly wrong and cannot be justified. Nor did he do it at God’s direction; but God permitted him to do it for some wise reason which will yet prove to have been abundantly worthwhile for you. By the time that action reached you it had become the will of God for you, since to a yielded believer there are no second causes.” - M J S