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Psalm 71:3. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
Hiding in Him doesn‚Äôt mean to turn your eyes inside out and to breathe heavily and to look religious, but it means to be united to God. It means to let God Almighty take over, to shut you in with Himself so that wherever we are, whatever we do, we do and we are by Him, glory to God! ‚ÄúFather, I in them, and Thou in Me.‚ÄĚ
I think we see something of that in the life of Jesus. We know that God Almighty lived in Him, walked in Him, controlled Him‚ÄĒHis mind, His words. He said, ‚ÄúThe words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ It‚Äôs a great secret: ‚ÄúHe that seeth Me hath seen the Father. Why sayest thou, ‚ÄėShow us the Father‚Äô?‚ÄĚ And so He says, ‚ÄúHe that eateth Me shall live by Me.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúFather, I in them‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
Now, that‚Äôs true of us this morning. Christ is in us; the Father is in us. But to hide in Him means to recognize that and to live it‚ÄĒto live by him, even as He lived by the Father. That‚Äôs why the Lord is so persistent in calling us to hide in Him.
Oh, to hide in Him‚ÄĒto be ‚Äúhid with Christ in God‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒis a very mighty operation of the Holy Ghost. And unless we submit to that hiding power of the Holy Ghost, we‚Äôll never be hidden. There are a thousand forces that pull us out.
When He‚Äôs got all the powers of your soul in His control‚ÄĒnothing is jumping out, everything‚Äôs controlled by the Holy Ghost: your will, your thoughts, your memory, your feelings, your affections, past, present, and future‚ÄĒit‚Äôs all submitted to Him. Oh, what humility that constitutes! That‚Äôs the only true humility. People have written plenty of books about humility. It‚Äôs just as simple as that; it simply means abandonment to the indwelling King.
Oh, how difficult it is for God to get His people to see that they need this hiding place. They need to get into this hidden place ‚Äúwith Christ in God.‚ÄĚ Do you know why it‚Äôs so difficult? Oh, because we like to appropriate things to ourselves.
I had fallen in love with my love for Jesus. Did you ever do that? You know, we don‚Äôt know how deceitful these hearts of ours are and how ‚Äúdesperately wicked‚ÄĚ until we are enlightened by the Holy Ghost. And, oh, how is God going to get us to delight ourselves in the Lord as long as we delight ourselves in anything outside of Him? That‚Äôs where our defeats come from.
Oh, it‚Äôs such a healthy experience to get acquainted with your horribleness so that you will hide. Oh, Jesus is opening His heart. He says, ‚ÄúAbide in Me, and I in you.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúWithout Me ye can do nothing.‚ÄĚ
Well, the time has come when God must find a people that are hidden, really hidden‚ÄĒnot in some corner, not in a monastery or a nunnery. That isn‚Äôt the place. But there is a ‚Äústrong habitation.‚ÄĚ It‚Äôs strong: the devil can‚Äôt get at you, and you can‚Äôt get out. It‚Äôs powerful: ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs walls are salvation; it‚Äôs gates are praise.‚ÄĚ But God Himself‚ÄĒwhen God Himself hides me, it means that He grips every part of my being. He controls.
The reason we‚Äôre overthrown and overcome by evil is because we haven‚Äôt hidden. We haven‚Äôt come in. Oh, how dangerous it is!
An illustration of appropriating God‚Äôs gifts for self. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs what‚Äôs the matter as long as you are the center of the universe. Why, then God has to command all the Milky Way to serve you, and everything relates to you. All your spiritual attainments somehow have to reflect credit on yourself. That isn‚Äôt hiding; that‚Äôs outwardness.‚ÄĚ (from 8:46)
Being used of God can be merely another fuel for pride. (from 14:08)
An example of ministering by human wisdom. (from 18:15)
A kindergarten story about a smart aleck fish who would not take warning. (from 21:45)
The Autobiography of Madam Guyon. A scan of the unabridged autobiography in two large PDF files appears here: Volume 1, Volume 2.
HRW quotes from this anonymous poem, appearing in Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles Cowman:
He was better to me than all my hopes;
He was better than all my fears;
He made a bridge of my broken works,
And a rainbow of my tears.
The billows that guarded my sea-girt path,
But carried my Lord on their crest;
When I dwell on the days of my wilderness march
I can lean on His love for the rest.
He emptied my hands of my treasured store,
And His covenant love revealed,
There was not a wound in my aching heart,
But the balm of His breath hath healed.
Oh, tender and true was the chastening sore,
In wisdom, that taught and tried,
Till the soul that He sought was trusting in Him,
And nothing on earth beside.
He guided by paths that I could not see,
By ways that I have not known;
The crooked was straight, and the rough was plain
As I followed the Lord alone.
I praise Him still for the pleasant palms,
And the water-springs by the way,
For the glowing pillar of flame by night,
And the sheltering cloud by day.
Never a watch on the dreariest halt,
But some promise of love endears;
I read from the past, that my future shall be
Far better than all my fears.
Like the golden pot, of the wilderness bread,
Laid up with the blossoming rod,
All safe in the ark, with the law of the Lord,
Is the covenant care of my God.