“I say a gracious man does not live so much in himself as in God; he lives in God continually. If anything is cut off from the stream, he knows how to go to the fountain, and makes up all there. God is his all in all, while he lives; I say it is God who is his all in all.”
“This indeed is an excellent art, to be able to draw from God what one had before in the creature. Christian, how did you enjoy comfort before? Was the creature anything to you but a conduit, a pipe, that conveyed God’s goodness to you? ‘The pipe is cut off,’ says God, ‘come to me, the fountain, and drink immediately.'”
“Since God is contented with himself alone, if you have him, you may be contented with him alone, and it may be, that is the reason why your outward comforts are taken from you, that God may be all in all to you. It may be that while you had these things they shared with God in your affection, a great part of the stream of your affection ran that way; God would have the full stream run to him now.”
MY COMFORT IS TAKEN
And I don’t like it. I wish these things didn’t have to happen. When the things we have set our affections on—a person/object/idea—-or whatever it may be, is TAKEN away……… there is a loss. There is a roaring of the wind in your own heart, and it seems all the waves of emotion start casting up all kinds of things that you didn’t know were even there, in your heart. Anger, unbelief, anxiety, atheism, idolatry, self-will, self-confidence, self-pleasing.
I know this all too well. I am literally being proved over and over. At every drop of adversity, or every rumble of the waters my heart is exposed of its filthy mire and sin. When the things I love are taken away, my heart is exposed. I become anxious and start having hard questions of God and His love and wisdom, as fear takes over. I start thinking in my evil heart that God will take away all my comfort and will leave me here despairing of life- because I think I know what I need–I’m scared to lose it. I’m afraid to lose what I love!
In these times, where is His perfect love that casts our all fear? Where is it when our FEARS actually DO come true???????
I still don’t have an answer to that. I don’t understand it.
The only thing that makes any sense in these times, when I lose what I love and what I want, is that ” it may be, that is the reason why your outward comforts are taken from you, that God may be all in all to you.”
That is my only hope in any of it.
God wants all of my affection to run towards Him alone. He has to be first. My everything. If He is not, I am not worthy of Him. Jesus said “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37) He also said “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”(Luke 14:26)
We know he doesn’t mean that we are to literally HATE our family. But what Jesus is saying is that if we don’t love HIM first and foremost, far above our family and everything else—-we are not worthy of Him and we can’t be His disciple.
It’s one or the other—there’s no in between. We can’t have Jesus first in our life, AND (insert what you love more that Him).
How long will I be stubborn and hold onto something that I can’t have? How long will it take to just let it go? Why do I want this comfort so badly, more than HIM? Will this person/object/idea really matter in the end? What is it about this person/object/idea that I just can’t let it go???? Why is my heart so attached?!
I don’t have the answers to any of these questions. If I did, I would be in a state of pure Joy and able to easily let go of all things when circumstances and the Sovereign hand of God allow what I love to be taken away.
I want to let it go. But wanting isn’t really enough. I have to actually let it go.
And until I do, I can not go to the fountain and receive all the fulness of God. Until I truly surrender whatever it is, I won’t be able to walk in His spirit. I have to seriously change my mind if I ever want to get to this point. ‘
The only way to true contentment in this is if I truly believe God is God and that He will work all things for my good and that even if I don’t understand this, I can trust that He knows best and I DON’T. And that I can rely on Him and not myself.
And the truth is, in this time of serious loss, God has said that He will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I can bear, but will with the temptation give me a way to escape that I can ENDURE IT. (1 Cor 10:13) Notice how he said WITH THE TEMPTATION so that you can ENDURE IT? I think a lot of people think it means we will be able to escape the temptation all together. But if you read it, it doesn’t say that. It says He will make a way for us to endure it. I believe that means He will provide enough grace for us to get through whatever it is, and to be content during the situation.
He must have some better thing for me right now that what I wanted. I don’t know what it is yet. But I hope it comes soon, because this really isn’t easy. I want to be content in it. But without God’s presence and grace and spirit, I can’t be. I need Him or I have nothing.