A Peculiar Vessel for a Peculiar Purpose
In the seventh chapter of the book of the Judges: "Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and encamped beside the spring of Harod: and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the Lord said unto Gideon, "The people that are with thee are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against Me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people saying, whosoever is fearful and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead."
And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the Lord said unto Gideon, "The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be that of whom I say unto thee, this shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomever I say unto thee, this shall not go with thee, the same shall not go." So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, every one that lappet of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; like wise everyone that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men: but all the rest of the people downed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, "By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thy hand; and let all the people go away every man unto his place."
Turn to two other scriptures in the first book of the Chronicles, chapter twenty-eight and verse nine:
"And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searcheth all hearts and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts."
The other passage is in the prophecies of Jeremiah, chapter seventeen, verses nine and ten:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it? I, the Lord search the heart, the mind, I try the heart even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."
There are some of you present this evening who have not been with us before in this conference and possibly some of you who do not know the Lord Jesus in a personal way. Let me say here that we are met as a company of God's people from many parts of the world that we must receive from Him some light and instruction concerning His will where we are concerned at this present time. In saying that, you will all understand and appreciate the nature of the ministry; that I believe that the word we shall have this evening may reach even to those who are not the Lord's and we certainly shall have such in mind as we go on.
There are two main things being brought before us just now, one is the desire of the Lord, indeed the purpose of the Lord, to have His people in such a condition and state that His glory is expressed and realized in them. His people really in the enjoyment of all that He has provided for them. He has provided life, but He has provided life more abundantly. He has provided spiritual riches and wealth, treasures untold and inexhaustible. He has provided spiritual food, a store which has no end - they can draw upon continually without failing. He has provided strength, His own strength, that they should be a strong people indeed.
The Lord has made a great and many-sided provision for His people, but history shows that His people have not always been in the enjoyment of His provision. And there are many today who bear His Name, who carry His Name, who are called by His Name, "Christians," "Christ ones," who are not in that enjoyment, not in the blessed state; some are, but not all. And in so far as that is not the case, the Lord is not glorified in them. Well that is what the Lord wants. It is not an impossible thing, not just a bit of fancy and idealism, a high standard, a lofty conception, but beyond possibility of attainment. In this very place tonight there are those who will very readily say that they know something of that, that Christ is to them a fountain of life, not just a trickling stream, He is a fountain of life. Who will say that they know something of the depth of the riches, they know something of how wealthy it is possible to be in Christ, and they know something about the food matter, His wonderful provision of spiritual food inexhaustible. Yet, some of us know something about that, the wonder to us is the inexhaustibly of what is provided for us in the Lord Jesus. That is the one thing that is in view. I am quite sure that none of us are at the point where we feel we cannot know anymore; that would be a contradiction to what I have said. If it is inexhaustible, then we can never come to a place where we have got all that we can have. Not any of us here will say that we have really obtained unto all that the Lord wishes, desires in these matters, not at all.
(continued with # 23)