my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways
my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher
than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and
my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8,9).
There are two kinds of
starting points man and Gods. Man usually
starts with big frameworks, with a big plant, machinery,
publicity, structures, and so on. That is how man usually
starts when he is going to do something for God. It is a
propensity; it is our way. We may argue that God is
worthy of something big. That is mans way.
Gods way is never like that it never was.
You search in vain to find any instance of God beginning
like that. Pentecost came out of the deep and drastic
dealings with twelve men. Gods starting point is
always the intrinsic. Mans beginnings usually end
in only a small percentage of lasting value. Gods
beginnings always end in a very great percentage of
lasting value. But Gods beginnings seem so small,
they appear so little. But so does a seed; it is a small
thing, a little thing. Yet look at the potentialities in
one seed, in one grain of wheat. It is the intrinsic with
God. That is where God begins. That is why everything
really of God has a long and hidden history of deep
dealings on His part.
The thirty years of our
Lords hidden life has a great bearing on the three
and a half. The forty years of Moses away back there in
the desert, looking after those sheep of his
father-in-law, had a great bearing on the rest of his
life. They were not lost, wasted, futile years. And so we
could take up one after another Abraham, David,
and others, who had a long deep, secret, hidden history;
it was out of that that the effectiveness came. Very
often more is done, when God has been at work, in the
last few years of a life than in all the years
previously. That does not mean that all the previous
years have been of no account, having no place. It means
that God has been at work to get intrinsic values, and
now at last these values are coming out.
things are coming out of intrinsic values to make
themselves known. Therefore He takes a lot of time and a
lot of pains in secret history with that one project. It
may be that, though you are thinking the years are going,
soon life will be past, all over, and you have missed the
way, everything being a problem, an enigma; yet it may be
that in a few years an infinitude of spiritual value will
come out of the time through which you are going, out of
this which you think is lost time. You must adjust
yourself to this, that God is not careful at all about
our standards of values, either in time or in method or
in any other way. What God is careful about is to have
the inherent, the potential, the essential, and the
intrinsic. Lay that up in your hearts and cherish it and
let it be a real governing factor with you. God works for
depths. God works for solidity. God works for intensity.
Therefore He works through testing, through hiddenness,
and with very little appeal to our natural pleasure.
This is an extract from "The Supreme Importance of the Incorruptible", Chapter 1. First published in "Towards the Mark" magazine, Sep-Oct 1976, Vol 5-5.