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Dealings With God

Experiences with God do much to vitalize our Christian lives, and we should yearn for them more than we do. Those who have felt the Divine hand in their spiritual lives, are not the same persons afterwards because of the quickening which has taken place within them. Their sense of values changes; they realize that the eternal is more important than the temporal. There is more enthusiasm in service for the Master, and responsibility is carried more readily. Love to others becomes more evident, and patience and grace more predominant. The Word of God seems to open up treasures of truth not previously recognized, while praying becomes a real experience and replaces "saying prayers". Such experiences resemble that which the Psalmist describes, "I am anointed with fresh oil" (Psalm 92.10).

How easy it is for us to forget that the Holy Spirit who indwelt us at our new birth (John 14.17) longs to fill us (Ephesians 5.18). This filling is not a once-for-all experience but a continuous one. The Holy Spirit wishes to fill our lives, not with one great surge of power, and a resultant ebbing away, but by a quiet infilling. When we restrict Him and His work in our hearts, the less power we know, and the greater the danger of our grieving and quenching Him. Oh! to share the apostle's joy when he said, "I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth [or literally 'pours His strength into'] me" (Philippians 4.13). This is the answer to the powerless life of the Christian. If we give more room to the Spirit we will be more conscious of His indwelling Presence, and we will know more power for service.

It is clear from Scripture that experiences with God lead to greater and more effective service. Jacob's wrestling at Peniel, for example, was something he would never forget. The planner and schemer became the limper! After the angel had touched the hollow of his thigh Jacob walked a step at a time, which is faith's lesson to us all. Would Moses ever forget the burning bush, or his experience with the rod, or David his Ziklag when he "strengthened himself in the Lord his God" (1 Samuel 30.6)? What shall we say of Nehemiah with his trowel and sword, and Amos with his plumbline, or Samson and Jonah, and many more who knew, like Job, when the hand of God had touched them? Let us meditate on the dealings these men had with their God, and in our generation yearn with the apostle to "know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming conformed unto His death" (Philippians 3.10).