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Watching and Growing

In the days of Moses and the Law, many among Israel were fearful of a relationship with God, they knew He expected them to live a godly lifestyle by their own power according to His holiness (Lev 11:44; 20:7, etc.). This was often accompanied with dread among those believing in God, who often saw His judgements in their times of disobedience, which were worst upon the unbelievers. Though the desire to obey God among the believers was often lacked (no new nature), He manifested His love to them by repeatedly delivering them out of their troubles, which availed in turning their hearts back to Him continually.

In the present and eternal Covenant, the desire to obey God is now implanted within the believer, via the Spirit using the new nature or “new man”—“which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him (it)” (Col 3:10). Thus permanently retaining a means of unbroken desire after that of seeking to “please” God (Phl 2:13; Gal 5:17); which safeguards our minds and hearts against being “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2Ti 3:4).

Watching and Growing

What was the effect of looking at the glory in the face of Moses? The Jews were afraid (Exo 34:30), because it convicted them of their sins. But when I look at the glory of God in the face of the Lord Jesus, far more glorious than upon Moses’ face, does it alarm me? No, on the contrary, it is the proof that I am brought to my Father; it is the testimony that I am saved, because I see it in the One who bore my sins upon the Cross.

I see the love that He showed in dying for me, and I see the efficacy of His work in Him being there, because He is there and glorified as the Man who died for me and bore my sins (1Pe 2:24). Instead of being terrified, “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Co 3:18). I see the glory of my Father in the One who has put away my sins, in the One who did not spare Himself, but drank the dreadful cup for me; and I can delight to look at it. I have got an Object that makes my conscience perfect before my Father (Heb 9).

The effect of thus thinking of the Holy One who gave Himself for my sins, is, that I am being changed into the same image (i.e. in our walk, not rebirth which is sudden, complete and unchangeable - Rom 11:29—NC); it has the sanctifying power. I can look into the very glory of God with joy and delight, and know moreover, that I shall be like the One who is there (completely - 1Jn 3:2—NC). As we have born the image of the earthly, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly” (1Co 15:49). The heart is thus filled with the Lord Jesus, and the results (fruits in our lifestyle—NC) are soon manifested. Of course there is progress in this, and watchfulness in our ways is needed to preserve and manifest it; but how we get it (godly walk—NC) is by contemplating the Lord Jesus Christ in glory.

The Word of God, and all the helps that He has given us by the Spirit come into operation, that we “may grow up unto Him in all things” (Eph 4:15). I am not trying to find out how I can get accepted there; I am accepted (Eph 1:6). All that is settled, in order that I may be free for fellowship and worship. We are positionally (Christ now representing us—NC) before or Father according to the righteous requirements of His holy nature. But this is not holiness (not our holiness but His—NC). Holiness is that I love the good because it is according to my Father, and hate the evil because it is contrary to my Father. Naturally I cannot rest there until my soul is settled as to whether I am accepted or not (Eph 1:6). Then I can go on to follow holiness, as that in which my Father delights, and I delight too; and bear more of the Lord Jesus’ image day by day.

—J N Darby

MJS devotional excerpt for July 13

“What is the good of a man being ennobled, made a prince of, if he feels he has gained no more sensible acquisition by it? This is the disappointment which souls feel without being able to account for it; and they are subject to nights of wrestling, because they have rested in their grand title, instead of in the means of supporting their titles, which is dependence on, and ever deepening acquaintance with, the One who has conferred them.” -J.B.S.

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