Whenever we cannot “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet 4:11), through the power of communion, it is our business to remain silent. We should be cautious not to trifle with unascertained truth—we then act as masters and not as learners. Our position as regards the truth of God must be ever that of “new-born babes, desiring the sincere milk of the Word that we may grow thereby” (1Pet 2:2).
But there is nothing so hard for our hearts as to be humble—nothing so easy for them as to get out of the place of lowliness. It is not by precepts merely that we are either brought into this state, or preserved there; it is by tasting “that the Lord is gracious.” It is quite true that God is a God of judgment—that He will exercise vengeance on His enemies; but, this is not the way in which He stands toward the Christian. He is made known to us as “the God of all grace”; and the Position in which we are set is that of tasting that He is gracious!
The great secret of growth is the looking upon the Lord Jesus as gracious. How strengthening it is, to know that He is at this moment feeling and exercising the same love towards me as when He died on the Cross for me! This is a truth that should be used by us in the most common everyday circumstances of life. Suppose, for instance, I find an evil temper in myself, which I feel is difficult to overcome: let me bring it to the Lord Jesus, and virtue goes out of Him for my need. Faith should ever be thus in exercise against temptation, and not simply my own effort; my own effort against it will never be sufficient. The source of real strength is in the realization that the Lord Jesus is gracious.
It is the Lord Jesus Himself in whom the Father rests, and will rest forever; but then the Lord Jesus, having borne and blotted out my sins by His own Blood, has united me to Himself in heaven. He descended from above, bringing God down to us here: He has ascended, placing us in union with Himself there. If the Father finds the Son precious, He finds me (in Him) precious also.
The Lord Jesus, as Man, has glorified the Father on the earth: the Father rests in that; as Man, having accomplished redemption, He “has passed into the heavens,” “now to appear in in the presence of God for us.” It is the Lord Jesus who gives abiding rest to our souls, and not what our thoughts about ourselves may be. Faith never thinks about that which is in ourselves as its ground of rest; it receives, loves and apprehends what the Father has revealed in His Word, and what are His thoughts about His Beloved, in whom is His rest.
Moses, when he had been talking with God, knew not that the skin of his face shone; he forgot himself, he was absorbed in God. As knowing the Lord Jesus to be precious to our souls, our eyes and our hearts being occupied with Him in intimate fellowship, they will be effectually prevented from being taken up with the vanity and sin around; and this too will be our strength against the sin and corruption of our hearts.
Whatever I see in myself that is not in the Lord Jesus is sin; but then it is not thinking upon my own sins, and my own vileness, and being occupied with them, that will humble me; but thinking of the Lord Jesus, dwelling upon the excellence in Him. It is well to have done with ourselves and to be taken up with Him. We are entitled to forget ourselves, we are entitled to confess and forget our sins, and we are entitled to forget all but the Lord Jesus Christ. It is by looking to Him that we can give up anything that we can walk as obedient children. The Lord give us to be learners of the fullness of grace which is in the Lord Jesus, so that “we may be changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”