The Power and Challenge of the Kingdom of God (continued)
The Importance and Power of Letting Go To God (continued)
You remember the words in Deuteronomy 8:2 - "Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord Thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, that He might humble thee, to prove thee, to know what was in Thy heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or not." Our Version does not convey the full meaning. The words as quoted might raise a question as to whether the Lord knows what is in our hearts without trying us out. We cannot have any doubts about that. No, the real meaning is this - "That He might make thee know what was in thy heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or not." It was necessary for Israel to come to the place where they knew their own heart and repudiated what was contrary to the revealed will of God; and that was the battle of the forty years. The Lord had shown that His purpose for them was the promised land. They were discovering that in their hearts Egypt still had a place in opposition to the land; and the Lord was calling upon them to recognize what was in their hearts and to repudiate Egypt - repudiate it as much in the wilderness as they had repudiated it when they had fled from it. It is an inside thing. Until their hearts were wholly toward the land and for the land, the Lord could not get them into it. That is where Joshua and Caleb were - they wholly followed the Lord. Why did they go in when all the others of their generation failed? Because they had completely and finally and utterly slain Egypt, not objectively but subjectively, and embraced the land as God willed. These others were being tested, day after day, year after year, on that ground - 'Do you really mean that you want to follow the Lord? You say, Yes - but do you? Let us try it out!" The Lord was doing that to make them know what was in their hearts.
I say, this kingdom of God within is very practical, explaining the Lord's dealings with us. When we recognize the laws and principles of that kingdom there must come the test, when we give up our Isaac, not because we know we are going to get him back again but knowing that perhaps the Lord will really require him of us and that he will not be given back to us. There is a battle and the victory. None of us has fully got there yet, and that is why the Kingdom has not fully come where we are concerned; but inasmuch as we triumph in that matter, the Kingdom is coming through - power and salvation are coming through; and also, I believe, rest for our own hearts' deliverance. The Lord show us the meaning of this word.
(continued with # 37 - (The Significance of the Death of Christ)