God's ways are always equal. That is, they are not ill-proportioned
or unbalanced. "The City lies four-square". The dimensions of the
love of God are - "length and breadth and height and depth". Not one
dimension is either extended at the cost of another nor diminished
to serve another. This is not always so with men; indeed, it is
rarely so. Man so often gives primary importance to one of the
dimensions. He sometimes sacrifices everything for breadth. This is
the feature of Liberalism. It is also the snare of Universalism.
There is a subtle paradox here. While - in one sense - God cannot be
made bigger than He is, in another sense, He can be made so. When
His grace is made to set aside His righteousness and His judgment
that is the effect - to make Him untruly great. Sometimes the
tendency or actuality is to make height the predominant dimension.
The imposing, the impressive, the exalting, the tall and high, etc.
is the only interest and concern of much that is associated with the
work of God. Two of the dimensions are all too frequently not given
their due and essential place, with disastrous consequences. This
oversight or neglect results in much loss eventually, and a
tremendous amount of effort to try to repair the damage. These
dimensions are, length, and depth. Length being endurance, and depth
being the substantial. These two are inseparable, endurance being
the result of depth.
As we come to the last issue of this little paper in this year 1962,
we may, perhaps, be allowed to remark that, while never meaning or
thinking to overstress this one dimension, we are particularly
concerned and burdened to restore it to its equal place. Depth does
matter, dear friends, for the storms and adversities will find out
the roots and the foundations. The ministry of spiritual depth is
the least popular, and only a comparatively few will want
it, but it is the ministry of the long-term.
In the final issue the one thing that will come to light will be,
how deep did you go?
It needs little pointing out that God's dealings with His people are
all in the direction of saving them from superficiality and
shallowness, and making them able to "stand, withstand, and having
done all, to stand".
May the features of substantiality, reliability, trustworthiness,
and endurance be found in us as the winds of testing blow. Perhaps
1963 will make heavy demands upon these qualities.
EDITOR. (T. Austin-Sparks)