08 August, 2009

Intimacy With God Following the Sacrament

Reflection consists in a continual looking unto and having fellowship with the Lord. "Walk before me and be perfect (Gen. 17.1)" "And Enoch walked with God (Gen. 5.24)". To that end it is necessary that one views God in Christ as a reconciled Father. Even when spiritual light dissipates, if one falls into sin and strife comes, he must nevertheless hold fast to the immovable-ness of the covenant. It is neither your feeling nor your standing or falling which determines the steadfastness or stability of the covenant; rather it is based on the immutability of God. "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the Lord that has mercy on you, (Is. 54.10). "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed (Mal 3.6)" Therefore do not succumb so readily, hold fast to what you have, be steadfast in faith, and conduct yourself manfully. If according to your feeling, you cannot conculde to the certainty of your state, then make the conclusion judgementally. Observe this in the following passage: "Likewise reckon also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Christ our Lord (Rom 6.1); because we thus judge that if one died for all, then we are all dead (2Cor 5.14)." Therefore setthe Lord continually before you and live in a continual dialogue with him- at one time pray, then ask for counsel, then express your dependance upon him, then wait upon Him, then reverently worship Him, and rest in Him, then thank Him, and again, offer yourself to His service. Aquaint yourself with Him.

All salvation, comfort, delight, holiness, and felicity for the soul is to be found in having fellowship with God. Such a soul perceives the righteousness of God as being only light, glorious, and pure- she loves it and rejoices herself in it, doing so all the more, since this righteousness is not against her unto condemnation, but the surety having merited this, it is to her advantage. The soul also perceives the goodness and all sufficiency of of God, and in enjoying their efficacy, she not only is unable to find any desirability in creatures apart from God, but apart from God there is nothing which she desires, since the soul finds everything from God. The soul also perceives the holiness of God. Since she is unable to endure its luster, she covers her countanance and perceives in this luster her own sinfulness; and for shame, she shrivels away, so to speak and becomes nothing. The soul also perceives the love of God and being irridated by this love, she delights herself in a most wonderous way, reciprocal love being ignited with her. She perceives the will of Godas being uppermost and sovereign over all things. Thus she loses her own will in whatever suffering comes her way and in whatever duties are before her. She wishes it to be thus becaue it is the Lord's will. The soul perceives the majesty and glory of God, in comparison with herself deeply before the majesty of God, worships him with deep reverence and gives glory to him. She perceives the omnipotence of God, both within Himself and as its opperatives toward his creatures. Then the power of the creature, which manifests itself either for or against her will, disappears. She sees the wisdom of God as revealing itself in all His works- both in nature as well as in grace. Thus the wisdom of all creatures melts away and she is quieted and well-satisfied with the only wise government of God. The soul also perceives the veracity and faithfulness of God. She is aqauainted with the promises, believes them, and is so confident as far as the certainty of these promises is concerned that it is as if they were already fulfilled.

All this engenders a thoughtful and steadfast spiritual frame, quiet submission in whatever circumstances the soul encounters, a fearless courage in the performance of her duty, and a delighting herself in the task she has for the Lord, leaving the outcome with resignation to the Lord's direction. Such a life is truly a joyful life, and pure holiness issues forth from this. She acknowledges any virtue which is not practiced by having God in Christ in view, as a vice. Such fellowship with God is heaven itself: I Thes. 4.17-18; Ps. 16.11; Ps. 17.15; Jer 33.3.

Behold such is the eminent felicity of fellowhip iwth God. Since you have entered into covenant with God, however, and this covenant has been sealed to you, you thus have the privledge to walk humbly with your God- thus also being your duty. Therefore, aquaint yourself with the Lord, have peace, and let your holiness shine forth. (Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 2; pp.596-8)

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