LIVING WATER

“Yet a little while am I with you.” “Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me.”
“Ye shall seek me, and, as I said unto the Jews, whither I go, ye cannot come.”

“Such therefore, is the present position of the people of God: they are where
Christ manifestly is not; and where He is, there they cannot come as yet.
It is painfully true, it is sorrowfully true, that this is their experience now.
They are not with Jesus, though the Lord in mercy makes it up to them;
by the earnest of it which He puts within them [2 Cor. 1:22], they have the
certainty that they shall be with Him. [John 14:3].

This is the desire of their souls; this constitutes their hope of glory, to be
in the presence of Christ; to see “him who loved them , and washed them
from their sins in his own blood;” to “see him as he is,” and “to be like him.”
This is what we are looking for, if we are believers. We have, it is true, while
here, another Comforter, a blessed Comforter; but His very teaching and
instruction leads us to desire more of Him, and more of the Father, and of Jesus;
and He sends forth our affections towards Jesus, and leads us to desire His
presence; just as there, with sensible objects, where we really love, we are
longing to be in the presence of the object; so, the indwelling of the Spirit,
who is love, draws out our affections towards Jesus, making us practically
and painfully conscious of the present truth of Christ’s words, “Whither I go
ye cannot come.”

Have you come to the sorrowful acknowledgment and perception of Christ’s
words? Are you conscious that you are in a distinct position from the
present system of things in this “city of confusion,” and that you are opposed
to it in affections, desires, and pursuits?….that your affections are carried away
to Him who has departed: Him whom the world rejected – Him whom the world
turned out, and left itself in the darkness which it loved? Are you conscious
that the night is far spent? ….that the day, the glorious day of His appearing
is at hand?

We, brethren, are not of the night, nor of darkness. But are we walking as
children of the light, and of the day? We know it is the night now, because the
“Sun of righteousness” is absent. His glory is hid, and His beams are seen
obscurely even by the keenest spiritual vision. But are our desires intensely,
turned towards the returning light? Are we waiting for it “more than they that
watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.”
[“My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning:
I say, more than they that watch for the morning.”Psalm 130:6]

The question with our souls, brethren, is, whether there is this apprehension –
this spiritual apprehension, of what the Lord Jesus is to the soul, so as to be
sensible of our state at present, as living on an absent Lord? ‘While I am
in the world, I am the light of the world,’ said Christ. Christ, our light, is not
visible with us, but He is coming; the day-star may be hid till the day-dawn
appears, but then shall “the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his
wings.” [Malachi 4:2]

This is what the believer is hastening towards; he is longing for the day – the
night is not his joy – it is not his happiness. But he waits for the day-star – Him
who, though He has hitherto refrained from openly manifesting Himself to the
world, yet has revealed Himself in the hearts of His people, causing them to
delight, to glory in, and to love, an absent Lord, more than all sensible and present
objects, delights, and enjoyments. And in this position is the believer set at
present, waiting for the glory, of which he has the earnest in his soul: “He that
believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” [1 John 5:10]

We must look forward to that time when there shall be nothing to keep us from
our own home, and when our souls shall be filled with joy and gladness and
thanksgiving on getting up out of the wilderness. But we are not yet there; and
therefore the Lord has prepared, and wonderfully given, that which is to be the
very comfort and stay of our souls while in this wilderness: “He that believeth
on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
[John 7:38]
Now however sad it is that our Lord is absent from you, still, while you are here
resting on the smitten rock for support and comfort, your wants can always be
supplied. Christ can cause you to overflow with the spiritual apprehension of His
refreshing grace. He will make you so one with Himself, that the fountain, the
inexhaustible fountain which He contains, shall be so indwelling in you, as to
be ever flowing, every streaming, even in the wilderness; not keeping in, but
flowing out in joyful acknowledgments of spiritual refreshment. It was this
that Christ promised He would give after His departure: “This spake he of
the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Spirit was
not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” It is thus that Jesus
makes His people partakers of His fullness even here. It is true, they have not
all the joy; but when the wilderness shall be left behind, then will they enter
into all the joy of the Lord. In the meanwhile the Holy Spirit, who makes them
conscious that they are still not in the land of rest, fills them with all that can
compensate for its wants while here below, in causing by His indwelling, “rivers
of living water” to flow forth: this is the joy of the Holy Spirit.

“Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your
hearts;” not to make, but because ye are sons already. Therefore, you should
enjoy present fellowship with the Father and the Son in glory, but the indwelling
of the Holy Spirit, whose powerful presence would lead the soul to the
enjoyment of the unseen realities of glory which He testifies within; leading
also, to the contemplation of the Person, work, and offices of the Lord Jesus,
as undertaken for our redemption –as “the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the
express image of his person,” which was given them after they had believed;
“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,” to make known
these great things by the indwelling of the Spirit in the hearts of us believers, enabling
us to know Christ glorified; and, from His glory, sending down the Spirit of the Father
in our hearts in attestation of it –who reveals all the glory from which He came. He
comes as the gift of Christ from the Father, and gives us to know the fellowship and
consolation of the Father’s love, testifying our claim to this fellowship, in that we have
been made sons. And though we know not here the extent of the blessedness that
awaits us, yet we know that when Christ “shall appear, we shall be like him;” when we
shall obtain the glory that is reserved for us.”

What fills the soul of a Christian with bitterness is the practical experience that he is not
yet come up out of the wilderness–that he is not yet in the glory. But, to refresh and
comfort him, the Lord gives him within himself while here those ‘living waters’ as in the
wilderness of old; by virtue of their identity and oneness with Christ, who is the Rock…
rivers of blessedness flowing from his soul, as being united to the living fountain.
Could your hearts contain the thousandth part of that love which the Spirit could
impart, your gratitude would overflow exceedingly…O let us testify that we are in a
position of wondrous blessedness, even here, till that day comes when we shall know
even as also we are known; and when not only Christ, as the first fruits, shall enter
into His glory, but the ingathering of all the saints shall be accomplished, and Christ’s
glory and joy will then be full.” [“The Living Water”, J.N.Darby]

TRIALS AND SUFFERING

“See how we call those who thus endured happy! You have heard
how patiently Job endured and have seen how the Lord finally
blessed him, because the Lord is tenderhearted and merciful.”
(James 5:11, Wms.)

“Our Father can advance His children into conformity to the image
of His Son, more by suffering in one day, than in many years of
ease from trial.”

(None But the Hungry Heart #3-22)

SETTING THE WORLD RIGHT…..J.N. Darby

“My business is to walk as a Christian, and show the character of Christ, not to set the world right; when Christ comes He will do that, for He will take it into His hand. If I could only set myself and other Christians right that would be the thing. The Christian should be the perfect presentation of the character of Christ in the world that has turned Him out. We are the living witnesses of what we are enjoying of the Christ they won’t have. The world is under judgment, but in grace God has not executed it; He is sending out His gospel.”

WALK IN THE SPIRIT……A.C. Gaebelein

“What is it to ‘walk in the Spirit’? It is not self-occupation, nor even
occupation with the Spirit. Walking according to the Spirit is occupation
with the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. If the believer ever looks to the Lord
Jesus, depends upon Him, draws all his needs from Him– if He is his All in all–
then the believer walks according to the Spirit of Christ.”

HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD……A.C. Gaebelein

“When the eyes of the heart see the risen and glorified Christ and faith lays
hold of the wonderful meaning for us who believe, then we learn to walk in
that separation into which God has called His people. What the Christian
therefore needs is an ever increasing realization in faith of his position in
Christ, and then to be energized by the indwelling Spirit to seek those things
which are above and not the things on earth. Such a life means joy and peace.
It is a life of obedience and quietness, victorious over all earthly circumstances.
And because it is a life which is hid with Christ in God, it is hidden from the
world.”

CONVICTION OF SIN IS OF DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY……C.A. Coates

“And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,” Luke 4:28
When the Lord brought home to His congregation the real state of their hearts, it turned out that on their side they were not poor, blind, crushed, and captives; they were not at all in that spirit, for they took Him to the brow of the hill tto cast Him down. We do not learn grace very readily; it is wonderful how little one’s heart is prepared to take in pure grace. Conviction of sin is of divine sovereignty; it is a divine operation which we cannot explain and no human power can bring about.
- C.A. Coates, (1862-1945)

POEM

“There is a faith unmixed with doubt,
A love all free from fear;
A walk with Jesus, where is felt
His presence always near.
There is a rest that God bestows,
Transcending pardon’s peace,
A lowly, sweet simplicity,
Where inward conflicts cease.
There is a service God-inspired,
A zeal that tireless grows,
Where self is crucified with Christ,
And joy unceasing flows.
There is a being ‘right with God,’
That yields to His commands
Unswerving, true fidelity,
A loyalty that stands.”

ROMANS COMMENTARY William Newell