Is Christ Everything?
Increasingly I am made to feel that Christ does not have His proper place among the saints. He is not the object. It is either a doctrine, a party, my experience: something beside Christ. We seem possessed with very much the same spirit that activated Peter on the mount when he said: “let us make here three tabernacles”. The Father would remedy this: “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight: hear Him. And the disciples hearing [it] fell upon their faces, and were greatly terrified. And Jesus coming to [them] touched them, and said, Rise up, and be not terrified. And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus alone”, (Matt. 17:5–8).
Have you ever been in the shadow of the “cloud”? Have you ever heard the “voice”? Have you been on your face? Have you felt the “touch”? Then have you heard another voice “Rise up”? Do your eyes see “no one but Jesus alone”?
“Christ [is] everything”, (Col. 3: 11). Do we make Him this? Is it a question of our relationship with God? As many as received Him, to them gave He [the] right to be children of God, (John 1: 12). Is it a question of experience? For for me to live [is] Christ, (Phil. 1:21). Is it a question of service? “I have strength for all things in Him that gives me power”, (Phil. 4:13). Is it a question of my path? “I am the way”, (John 14: 6). Is it a question of heaven, the place to which my path leads? He would define it as “where I am”, (John 14: 3). O let us know more of that rich blessedness which comes of making “Christ everything”, of seeing “Jesus alone”. Our cry should be—”to know him”, (Phil. 3: 10). In our selfishness we cry and beg for blessings. It is the Blesser we need, HIMSELF. He is the joy of our Father’s heart. Let us taste with Him the delight He takes in His Son. Christ is infinitely higher than doctrine or experience. Only with Him can our hearts be ravished and raptured.
Why is it we are not changed more from “glory to glory”? The veil has been rent; the blood has been sprinkled; the Spirit is given. The reason is we are occupied with ourselves and the work of the Spirit in us, rather than with Christ alone. Let us look more into that unveiled face from which streams the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, (2 Cor. 4: 6). All else will fade if we will but linger there.
The Spirit never occupies me with His work in me. If I am thus occupied I am out of the mind of the Spirit. The word is “He shall not speak from Himself”, nor yet concerning Himself. “He shall glorify me”, (John 16: 13–15). To go further: The work of Christ, wonderfully blessed as it is, was never intended to be an object for my heart. It gives my conscience peace, but only His Person can satisfy the heart. And O, how His Person does it—ten thousand hallelujahs to Him!
The Father would direct us to Him, (Matt. 17: 5); the Holy Spirit would occupy us with Him, (Acts 7: 55–56); the Word of God would speak of Him, (John 5: 39). He is the object of faith; He is the object of love; He is the object of hope; and the faith, or love, or hope that does not make Him the object is spurious and unreal.. He is all for my path; He is all for my service; He is all for my worship; blessed be His name! He is not on the cross; He is not in the grave; He is on the throne. Wondrous fact, a Christ in the glory of God, and that Christ my Saviour; my Friend; my Priest; my Advocate; the One who died for me; the One who is coming for me. It is not surprising that Peter should say, “unto you, therefore, which believe He is precious”, (1 Pet. 2:7; AV). Both the profane world and the religious world seem bent upon shutting Him out. The former is reserved for fire, the latter He will vomit out of His mouth, (See 2 Peter 3:7: Rev. 3: 16). Keep clear from them both, dear reader. If not clear, “Go forth to Him”, (Heb. 13: 13). He is enough,—make all of Him.
May our object be Christ, our aim to know Him. You will not get a greater portion or place, than He got. Your portion here will be “food and raiment” your place “outside”. There your portion is “every spiritual blessing”, your place “in Him”. Dear reader, let every affection, desire, and thought be gathered in, and centred upon Him.
“Father, [as to] those whom thou hast given me, I desire that where I am they also may be with me, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before [the] foundation of [the] world”, (John 17: 24).