The Servant (continued)
g. No Satisfaction Short of the Full Divine Intention
Come back to Simeon. You see, Simeon was a man of great interests. He has been traced by scholars to be the son of Hillel, the great Jewish scholar who founded a school of interpretation of the law. He has also been declared to be the father of the great Gamaliel, at whose feet Paul was brought up. If these facts be true, he must have had a tremendous heritage, a wide field of interest. But, for Simeon, the coming of the hand of the Lord upon him meant that none of that - his scholarly interest, his inheritance, his world, great and full as it was - answered to the deepest thing in him; and it was that same deep thing in him still unanswered, still unsettled, that was his apprehending. We ourselves come to some extent into this very thing when we find that, however much there may be in life and in this world which interests us and occupies much of our time and attention, somehow or other it is not answering to something in us. We may get as far as we can get in that, in success and so on, and yet somehow even the best and the greatest is stile a disappointment: there is something remaining. That is the apprehending hand of God, so that nothing just 'fills the bill,' as we say: there is something which has still to be met, some question still to be answered, some compelling sense of our standing in relationship to something more and higher. That is a mark of God's having a greater purpose in our lives, for He never lets us be satisfied with anything less than the full object for which He has called us. We may think we now have our field, but if that is less than all God's thought we may explore and exploit our field but we shall discover that we have not found all that in our heart of hearts we know to be the answer to our existence, to that sense of destiny, of Divine purpose, which casts an emptiness and dissatisfaction upon all else. It was like that, undoubtedly, with Simeon, and yet that something else had not yet come actually into view. But the day that it came, why, his whole world passed out as nothing. He said, 'Now I have it, now I have arrived!' The day when he held the child Jesus in his arms, he knew he had his answer.
Have you had an experience like that? Do you know something of what that means? - waiting, longing, praying, feeling, and then the Lord brings you into touch with that thing which is peculiarly of Himself, and you say, "This is what I have been sensing the need of, this is it."
That is the dealing of the Lord with a servant of His, or an instrument, be it personal or corporate, that is chosen for something more than the ordinary, that is called unto the fuller instead of the partial.
Let us then really face this whole question of the Lord's need of an apprehended vessel to bring in the greater measure of the fullness of Christ, and ponder the strange spiritual history though which such a vessel will go - the unusual dealings of God, and the unusual interest of the powers of evil as they concentrate upon putting that vessel out of action, upon frustrating that purpose. Here it is so clearly represented by this man.
You see, I feel the Lord is wanting to say something to us at this time about the end which is at hand, and of His concern to have a vessel that will serve Him in this fuller way regarding His Christ in a time of coming spiritual need; and of what, therefore, we may expect as to our own experience, our own handling, in view of our having to meet forces so unusual, the awful drive of the enemy. How necessary it is for there to be more than an ordinary abandonment to the Lord - coming to the place where He is Maser and Lord in very truth, and where we are utterly subject to Him. Let us make this a very definite matter of prayer. If we can at all discern these signs, both as to the world and the coming phase of things, as well as in our own spiritual experience, let us see that they are of tremendous meaning, and get very much to the Lord that He shall find us a vessel to hand, completely under His mastery.
(continued with # 18 - (A Ministry of the Significance of Christ)