Our Attaining to That Which is Best
Wade E Taylor
“Yes, I long to come to know Him; that is, the power of His resurrection, and so to share with Him His sufferings as to be continuously transformed by His death, in the hope of attaining, in some measure, the resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11 Williams
We must guard our spirit concerning attitudes and things that can hinder the “quality” of our spiritual life. When we neglect to value and maintain His presence in our daily life experience, we will gradually lose our interest in daily communing with the Lord. Our understanding of spiritual principles will become clouded and deteriorate, and we will be robbed of His best for us.
Negative thoughts or things, if not dealt with, will gradually eat away the progress that we have made toward our becoming spiritually mature. Any spiritual sensitivity that has developed within us will become dull and we will begin to feel that the Lord is far away and no longer interested in us.
If we are sincere in our desire for His best, all attachments and relationships that are not compatible with His will and purpose for us, or do not enhance His workings within us, must be brought to the cross, and left there. Only then will we be established on a firm foundation and capable of cultivating an active, abiding friendship with Jesus.
As we continue in our times of daily communion with the Lord, our perception and understanding of spirituality, and of spiritual things will increase. We will have an increasing desire and ability to respond to and value His abiding presence and workings to bring us into His best for us.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
These “good works” are things, or circumstances that the Lord places in our daily path of life, that are intended to perfect us. The word “should” tells us that these divine arrangements are conditional and we can bypass them. But if we do, there will be an eternal loss.
Consider the working of the Lord within David’s life in preparing him to become King over Israel in Saul’s stead. A short time after he had been anointed by Samuel to be King, David was brought into the palace to wait upon Saul as he sat upon his throne. During this time, David often thought about the throne and all that he would be able to accomplish when it was his.
Then Saul threw a javelin at David and ordered him killed. He fled into the wilderness with Saul’s army close behind, and he hid in the back of a cave. In the darkness of this cave, all of his dreams and ideas concerning the throne lost their significance.
As these former things, which had meant so much to David, began to die, he fully submitted his life to the Lord, and as never before began to look to the Lord Himself, apart from all that the Lord could do for, or through him. In the intense pressure of his present circumstance, and with a new vision and understanding of eternal values, David expressed his inner being to the Lord:
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
David has been reduced to “one desire.” Now the Lord is first in His life. The “throne” that came before him in the darkness of the cave is the eternal throne of the King of all kings. The throne of Israel no longer mattered.
David was prepared by the Lord for the throne of Israel while hiding in the back of a cave. Now, the Lord could trust him in places of pressure and he would not fail the Lord, as Saul had.
Just as the Lord had a “cave” waiting for David so he could be “made ready” for the higher purpose that the Lord had for him, the Lord also has a “cave” for each of us who desire the Lord’s best. Our cave will be quite different than the one into which David fled. Therefore, it is important that we recognize the method and circumstances of His dealings, and then rightly respond.
We also are to cultivate a “single eye” toward the Lord so we might be ready and available for His purposes. We do not necessarily need to know what these higher purposes are in order to do this.
“Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3
We must recognize that we cannot fulfill the Lord’s will with our own ability, and then acknowledge our insufficiency to Him. Some of us may have a radiant personality and much ability, but others do not. In a sense, we are much better off if we do not, as it will be easier for us to “lean” upon the Lord in dependence upon Him.
While Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, Martha protested that she was not helping to prepare a meal for Jesus. Jesus responded and said to Martha:
“You are anxious and worried about a multitude of things; and yet only one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion and she shall not be deprived of it.” Luke 10:41-42 Weymouth
We should focus our lives on the single fact that the Lord has something specific in mind for us. Just as Mary sat at His feet in anticipation, we are to wait upon Jesus for the outworking of the circumstances that will bring His purpose into operation within our life experience.
“One thing is needful, and Mary has chosen the good portion.” We must forget the past, both our successes and failures, and choose the good portion. This means that we are to make an effort to spend increasing time in His presence. In faith and expectancy, make room for Jesus to bring into your life circumstance all that He has for you, and then obediently cooperate with whatever He may do.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 40:28-29
No matter how good our intentions may be today, in a short time, we will become tired, discouraged, and worn down. Then we will begin to doubt everything that we had been enthusiastic about.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Our devotional life is not just something that we should do because we understand that we should spend time with the Lord. Rather, it is much more than this. It includes not only fellowship and communion with Him, but also the impartation of renewed vision and spiritual strength within us.
As we wait in His presence, we may not see or feel all that is taking place, but as we continue to “press toward the mark for the prize of His high calling,” we will gradually become aware that we have made much spiritual progress.
Do not let the enemy rob you; instead, come to this singleness of vision.
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after….” Psalm 27:4