The Ground of His Presence and Power (continued)
I was saying that this is something that every servant of God, every aspirant to service for God has got to settle at the outset: a reckoning, a reckoning, comparative values. Moses made that reckoning. It is said of Moses, Accounting, accounting that the reproach of Christ was greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, accounting, made a reckoning, there was a tremendous reckoning was it not? My word, look what that involved, all the treasures of Egypt! His place, his learning, everything that he had in the palace of Egypt. On the other hand, what he did come to and into with the Israelites. And yet, he weighed it all up at the beginning and accounted before, before he took his step, "That's greater riches down there than this, I have weighed these thing up and for me the greater importance is that, because it is there that the Name of the Lord is involved. The Lord has chosen that people through Abraham to be the vessel of the glory of His Name, that is my place, whatever it cost." It was a reckoning.
Many others made that reckoning, not least Paul. He weighed it all up, "The things which were gain to me, the things which were gain to me," and he tabulates them and you know what they were. Everything that the natural heart would be set upon. The things which were gain to me, these have I counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, here is a basic reckoning. But what the accounting led to all the suffering, all the affliction, all the trials, oh everything. And yet, and yet Paul never abandoned that position. To me it is one of the most wonderful things that of all he had to suffer and all the consequences of his great decision and reckoning, Paul to the end held on to this: it is better, far better to be here with Christ than, and have all this, than to be back there without Christ, having all that, weighed it all up.
Now that is a very, very serious challenge isn't it, this reckoning. You will not come to that conclusion, to that mind and take that step of letting everything else go, all other possibilities and prospects, unless you have got a tremendously strong and high estimate of the glory of God. But if you have got an adequate and right conception of the glory of God and what that is going to mean in this universe, you see everything else, however great, that is very small in comparison. I reckon, here we are, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present hour are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be." I reckon, he weighed it up. We are involved in a very great deal of suffering and affliction and trial and difficulty when we take a stand for the Name of the Lord, for the glory of that Name. It is a very costly step. We shall only be able to maintain that stand if we have made the Reckoning.
(continued with # 19)