Found In Him
The truth of our union with our Lord is a thing for human nature's, regenerate human nature's "daily food". It is something meant to be a secret of peace, power, faithfulness, and love during the hours and minutes of this present day ‑ be the day what it may for you and for me. It is then a truth which must be ready in the soul, ready at hand for use. For how much of the difficulty of common life is made up of minute surprises, the being taken unawares in little things!
When St. Paul in Phil.3 describes his conversion, it is not from the side of the external, the road to Damascus, the supernatural glory, the articulate Voice. He speaks of a transition, a revolution, in the attitude of his conviction and his will. He describes himself, as passing from a state of soul in which, practically, his hope and strength was in himself, in which he lived and moved on the centre and in the atmosphere of self, to a state in which he was IN CHRIST. And in the ninth verse he looks forward to the Great Day, and carries the thought of his new and blessed position up to it. He thinks what it will be to be "found in Him" at that great time of finding. He looks forward to be "found in Christ" with a view to acquittal before the Judge, as one clothed with, invested in, the merits, the righteousness, of his glorious Head. He anticipates the bliss of being "found" then with his ground of acceptance ready and his feet already upon it; not casting about bewildered for a falling mountain to hide him from the Judge, but standing in meek fixity and calmness, unsurprised, hidden in Christ, in Jehovah Tsidkenu, in the Lord our righteousness.
There exists a profound connexion, under the main truth of "IN-NESS" in Christ, between the truths of acceptance and of life-power; not a confusion, for they are perfectly distinct, but connexion, for they come from the same fountain, Christ, on the same condition., incorporation. So I take the holy words with a reference to the life of grace, the life of faith, the practical "walk" of the believer now as well as his "standing in the judgment" then. For the two things have to do equally, though in different ways, with our Union with the Lord.
"Found in Him". So must the soul be, as to the Lord's Righteousness, if it is to meet in peace the sudden presence of the Judge. But so too must the soul be, as to connexion with the Lord's Life, through the Spirit, if it is to meet, for victory and peace, the perpetual suddenness, if I may speak so, of the presence of the Tempter and of the Traitor.
I speak here, it will be seen, of Union with the Lord as it is realized, utilized, applied; Union turned into Communion. In itself the Union is permanent, perpetual. "He that is joined unto the Lord" does not, from the point of view of the covenant of God, move in and out, out and in, moment by moment, day by day. The embraces of eternal love and life are stronger and more persevering than to suffer this. But from the side of the believer's experience, the believer's appropriation and enjoyment of the holy privilege, there is indeed room for change and alteration. To "turn Union into Communion," I must as an absolute necessary condition, watch and pray. Watching and praying ‑ over my possessions in Christ ‑ I may look to be "found in Him," as to my experience, in the moment of need. Unwatchful and neglecting prayer, I must look to find myself, in this sense, outside, exposed, and helpless
Let us take an obvious case or two in point. I am conscious of my liability to impatience. The little things of the common day are only too apt to betray me into haste of thought, perhaps of manner, perhaps of action. I am expected by those closest to me, to show quickly and easily when my wish is crossed. Shall I comfort myself with the excuse, so ready and so unhappy, that my nerves are highly strung, that I am over-worked, that it is so common a weakness, that the movement is so soon past? God forbid. This thing can be dealt with, can be held in effectual check, can be precluded, in the soul which is in real union with the eternal Source of love and peace. But in order to this, Union must be turned into Communion. The soul must learn (and it may learn) to maintain, by grace, an attitude of conscious intimacy and intercourse with its Lord and Head. And the little or great surprise, surprise of trial that comes upon it in such an attitude will "find" it in Him"; in the place of peace, of deliverance, of strength. The trying letter, the unwelcome interruption, the disappointed plan, the mortifying word, will not do their wonted work there. Not only will there be outward calm; there will be inward.
I am conscious of liability to defiling imagination. Perhaps in this woeful tendency I "possess the iniquities" of past years. Let the exciting cause, crude or subtle, be what it may; let it "find", me "in Him". Out of communion with my Head, I shall be as one who feels for the ground, and treads upon the air. Abiding in Him I shall find "my foot stand" and overcome.
I am conscious of weakness and unreadiness in the exercise of influence for my Lord. Opportunities come and are lost. I am thrown with friends in unexpected intercourse, and it closes without a word spoken for Christ, perhaps without an act of loving example done for Him, just where I knew such things were specially my work and call. Was it not because the occasion did not "find" me "in Him"? Other interests were, for the time, in possession and supreme. And I found it very difficult indeed, by confused and hurried acts of soul, to make my way back, at the time, to an even tolerable measure of "abiding in Him," the secret of bearing fruit. Shall not the next occasion "find" me in the right place? Then may I surely expect that my heavenly Master will use me, through word, act, spirit, manner, for His work.
Let the believer make it a definite subject of prayer and holy watching to be "found in Him", in this sense of the habit of communion with his Head. The name of the Lord, the revealed Self of the covenant Eternal, is the "strong tower" into which the righteous "runs, and is safe." But surely this does not mean that he is to dwell outside his fortress, and to run into it only when the terror comes. He is to hasten there, and make it his home. He is "not to stay in all the plain." He is to be "found in Him" alike by the crafty enemy now, and by the holy Judge hereafter.
Lord, work in me evermore, work in me this hour, to will and to do for the sake of this Thy good pleasure; to give diligence, that I may be ever found in peace, being found in Thee. ‑ Amen