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XXXVI

SELF-POSSESSION

“In your patience ye shall possess your souls.”—Luke xxi. 19.

To possess one’s soul is an infinitely grander thing than to possess some magnificent estate. There is many a man who owns thousands of broad acres who has never owned the fair realm of his own soul. Ask him for an inventory of his estate, and he will produce one recording the contents of every nook and corner in his wide domain. Ask him for an inventory of his soul! Ask him what sacred powers he has in the world within, and what control he has of them, and whether there is peace and harmony in that mysterious Kingdom! He can record his wealth in personality; ask him what treasures he has in personality! In what measure does he possess his own soul? There is something grimly ironical in a man owning many things and yet not owning himself. He 131has gained the world; he has never gained his own soul.

Now the secret of self-possession is to be found in Christ. It is through Him that we discover our souls. We find ourselves in finding Him. Our wealth of being is unveiled to us in the measure in which we enter into the revelation of His glory. Our endowments troop out at the call of His communion. The deeper our communion the wealthier is the response. The finer the climate the more luxurious is the growth. We never know how much there is in us until we are discovering how much there is in Christ. Our powers remain like sleeping seeds until “the heavenly air is breathing round.”

We do not come into these possessions in a day. The title-deeds may be ours in a moment. They become ours by faith in the living Christ, and they are handed to us in the moment when faith is born. But every day of faithful walking with the Lord brings us more and more into the possession of our spiritual estates, as every day we have new surprises in “the unsearchable riches in Christ.” Therefore “in your patience ye shall possess your souls.”

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