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Chapter 37 - Spiritual Development
I keep warning young people, and I often say to them, “Listen, this is the only time you will have to make certain decisions, surrenders, and choices in your life. These decisions and choices that you make now govern marvelously things which will happen thousands of years in the next age. This is the period in which you make the choice; not the period in which it is going to be exhausted. After you are released, and you are on the other side, you can’t come back here, and make the choices you should make now. This is the period in which He plows the heart, which is like a Plot of ground, with the Word, which is the Eternal Truth.”
The plowshare is the Eternal Truth that tears my inner heart and life; and exposes it to the sun and air. Truth plows us; we have to be plowed before He can even sow the seed. He plows; then He sows the seed. He only gives it a little while to root, and push through, enough to give identification. It pushes up through the soil of my whole life, and shows what it is. I will have the eternal ages for it to mature; to grow; to glorify God, and to live.
Life is projected upon planes. We are on a journey back home to the heart of God where we belong. We don’t belong here. We are only here for a period of training and culture; a little period of spiritual exercise to bring adjustment in spiritual living, which may be projected upon another plane in ages yet to come.
This little period we call time is just a little probation time in which we are able to make the elementary and fundamental adjustments of spiritual living. That is all we can hope to do here. There is not too much maturity. The real, vital thing He is after, is a spiritual adjustment to reality; a spiritual conception of Truth and God. It takes some years to reach His objective. Don’t expect it in a minute. There will be something of the life of Christ in us that can adapt itself to another age.
Why not learn the voice of God; we have to live with it the rest of our lives. Why not take a little time to be keen enough to detect His leadings, and know the whispers of the Spirit; know the intimation of the Spirit in our inner being. It need not be in words—just that strange, mystical, impact of Spirit in us that knows. We are to develop that. Take time to learn how to do that, because that is living, and that is living in the Spirit. We can’t get it in a minute. There are no short-cuts, and there are no gadgets with buttons we can press so that out pops the answer. This miserable way we have today: press a button, and that comes on, and press a button, and on and on . . . What a way to live! No originality in it; no loveliness of your own life coming through. It is a mechanical sort of riggamaroo, I don’t like it.
We take that sort of a thing right into the Spirit, and we think that we are going to get things from God that way, and that we are going to overcome that way, and we begin to live in the Spirit that way, but we can’t. We just can’t.
The life in the Spirit holds a lot of drudgery. But if we become keen enough to detect His leadings, then when tragedy comes we have the consciousness of this inner life; the Presence of the Lord; the voice of God; the courage of the Spirit. Take time out to learn these elementary things consisting of the power of the Word, and Truth, because that is what we have to live by as we move on.
I want you to have the Truth, and when God begins to deal with you and me to accomplish in us these lovely things which will pass through time into the ages yet to come, let us not be fearful, let us not be afraid. We are in the hands of the living God, and He will see us through. “He Who hath begun a good work in you will also finish it.” Let Him finish it!
Just as soon as the ground is fairly settled, and in any way comfortable, He will put His Truth in there and plow it all up again. He doesn’t want it settled and static.
“And when His disciples, James and John, saw this (that they would not receive Him) they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” (Luke 9:54, 55) The difficulty with the disciples was not in love, or in power, but in spirit. The territory that yet has to be discovered in my heart sometimes amazes me! Did you ever feel that there is territory in you that has to be taken yet; possessed by Him? Sure, there are territories in my being that I have not become conscious of, but God knows, and I know that He has to triumph in those fields. He has to go in and make conquest in the territories of this creature.
I accept the discipline, and trying things He tosses into my pattern. They are so necessary. They are not punishment for failure, or sin, but the only means He has of developing us.—Never let the devil get you down when God is working in and for you.
Jesus grew, and He learned through a law of suffering. We can grow just as much as we want to, and we can learn just as much as we want to. It takes a lifetime. (Heb. 5:8; 2:10) This is my little schoolroom down here, called “time”—a little segment of the eternal circle. This is my period of discovery, education, training, etc. We don’t have to do a lot of research work; get a little from this or that; we remain with Him Who IS THE TRUTH. There are vast fields of Truth yet to be ventured upon. We must go in. My emphasis is on learning how to live.
He launches us into a new realm of spiritual reality, called “kingdom.” Jesus uses the word “realm” instead of “kingdom.” I like that better—a vast realm. We have all the eternal ages into which this light and Truth can be projected.
When the Holy Spirit begins to work with you, offer to Him, with all the abandonment that you have, that little “attrae”,—that aptitude; that urge; just that little flickering hunger for more of God—cultivate that. That is, to me, the choicest thing there is in us. Why? Because it is the root of all the possibilities in the ages to come. They are hidden potentially in that little, quivering urge in your heart. That’s true. All that we will carry over into the next realm is the amount of spiritual life; understanding; spiritual opening; yieldedness; awareness; the amount of that spiritual life that we have; that’s what we carry over into the next age. God begins to work with us from that angle. When we are translated, or brought into heaven, we are not matured. He takes us exactly where we are now in our spiritual development. If we are a babe in Christ, translation never makes us into a matured saint; neither does death, because God has a law that governs in that field, just as much as in the field of gravitation. That’s scriptural.
This little hunger that is in our heart—this little urge—has to be trained, and educated. The fact that we are brought into heaven doesn’t mature us. We have all the eternal ages in which we may grow in God. Why? Because He is Infinite. Do you think we are going to get to the end of Infinity? We can’t exhaust it; neither can we exhaust the revelation of light and Truth that shines in God—the Ancient of Days. This is the little conception we have of Him here in time, but what will be the conception when we move out of time?
When Jesus takes us home, all we will take with us is what we have acquired here of spiritual value. This is a little time of schooling. Don’t become too satisfied with the seat that you are holding in school while you are being taught; (your automobile, your house, how many dollars, a name, a reputation); it all goes to the wind like that! He doesn’t consider it. That has been the mechanics which operated in your heart and life while you, as a dynamic spirit; a conscious entity; born of God; filled with Him; illuminated by Him, are pushing your way through; pushing your way through to where? Home, back to God; this should be your attitude.
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