GROWING IN GRACE STUDIES
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BOOK: The Deeper Christian Life by Andrew Murray
THE LOW EXPERIENCE OF TOO MANY OF US.
The elder son was living with his father and serving him “these many years,” and he complains that his father never gave him a kid, while he gave his prodigal brother the fatted calf. Why was this? Simply because he did not ask it. He did not believe that he would get it, and therefore never asked it, and never enjoyed it. He continued thus to live in constant murmuring and dissatisfaction; and the keynote of all this wretched life is furnished in what he said. His father gave him everything, yet he never enjoyed it; and he throws the whole blame on his loving and kind father. O beloved, is not that the life of many a believer? Do not many speak and act in this way? Every believer has the promise of unbroken fellowship with God, but he says, “I have not enjoyed it; I have tried hard and done my best, and I have prayed for the blessing, but I suppose God does not see fit to grant it.” But why not? One says, it is the sovereignty of God withholding the blessing. The father withheld not his gifts from the elder brother in sovereignty; neither does our Heavenly Father withhold any good thing from them that love Him. He does not make any such differences between His children. “He is able to make all grace abound towards you” was the promise equally made to all in the Corinthian church.
Some think these rich blessings are not for them, but for those who have more time to devote to religion and prayer; or their circumstances are so difficult, so peculiar, that we can have no conception of their various hindrances. But do not such think that God, if He places them in these circumstances, cannot make His grace abound accordingly? They admit He could if He would, work a miracle for them, which they can hardly expect. In some way, they, like the elder son, throw the blame on God. Thus many are saying, when asked if they are enjoying unbroken fellowship with God: –“Alas, no! I have not been able to attain to such a height; it is too high for me. I know of some who have it, and I read of it; but God has not given it to me, for some reason.” But why not? You think, perhaps, that you have not the same capacity for spiritual blessing that others have. The Bible speaks of a joy that is “unspeakable and full of glory” as the fruit of believing; of a “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us.” Do we desire it, do we? Why not get it? Have we asked for it? We think we are not worthy of the blessing–we are not good enough; and therefore God has not given it. There are more among us than we know of, or are willing to admit, who throw the blame of our darkness, and of our wanderings on God! Take care! Take care! Take care!
And again, what about that other promise? The Father says, “All I have is thine.” Are you rejoicing in the treasures of Christ? Are you conscious of having an abundant supply for all your spiritual needs every day? God has all these for you in abundance. “Thou never gavest me a kid!” The answer is, “All that I have is thine. I gave it thee in Christ.”
Dear reader, we have such wrong thoughts of God. What is God like? I know no image more beautiful and instructive than that of the sun. The sun is never weary of shining; –of pouring out his beneficent rays upon both the good and the evil. You might close up the windows with blinds or bricks, the sun would shine upon them all the same; though we might sit in darkness, in utter darkness, the shining would be just the same. God’s sun shines on every leaf; on every flower; on every blade of grass; on everything that springs out of the ground. All receive this wealth of sunshine until they grow to perfection and bear fruit. Would He who made that sun be less willing to pour out His love and life into me? The sun–what beauty it creates! And my God, –would He not delight more in creating a beauty and a fruitfulness in me? –Such, too, as He has promised to give? And yet some say, when asked why they do not live in unbroken communion with God, “God does not give it to me, I do not know why; but that is the only reason I can give you–He has not given it to me.” You remember the parable of the one who said, “I know thou art an hard master, reaping where thou hast not sown and gathering where thou hast not strawed,” asking and demanding what thou hast not given. Oh! Let us come and ask why it is that the believer lives such a low experience.
Next week: 3. The Cause of This Discrepancy Between God’s Gifts and Our Low Experience.