The Key of Faith (continued)
The Fullness of God As Light
Now, what do we mean by the fullness of God? It is nothing less than the nature of God filling all things. "God is light," the Scripture says (1 John 1:5): then where God is there is no darkness, there is no room for darkness; and when God comes in in fullness there is "no darkness at all." It is all "light in the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8). And the Lord is moving on this line with you and with me. He is seeking to get us completely out of our darkness into His light; to bring us into the light as he is in the light. And how great a factor is faith in this matter of coming into the light of the Lord, coming to know the Lord, coming into understanding, or whatever expression you may use for light. It is seeing, it is knowing, it is understanding.
But you and I never come into one additional ray of real light - I do not mean information, I mean spiritual light except along the line of tests of faith, faith really tested. A sister in the Lord, who felt that she was far too short-temperd, too quickly provokes, said to a dear servant of God, "Oh, I do need more patience - do pray for me that I may have more patience!" The servant of God said, "All right, let us get down and pray now," and so they knelt down and he prayed. "Lord, do please send more tribulation into this dear sister's life." And she stopped him and said, "No, I did not say I wanted tribulation - I want patience." "Ah, but," he replied, "the Word says: "Tribulation worketh patience!" (Romans 5:3).
Yes: we want more of the Lord, but we are not always so ready to go the way that He would take us in order to have more of Himself. But it is that way- the way of tribulation; and what is tribulation if it is not the testing of faith? We are put into situations where only faith in God will enable us to live and to go on. Yet it is possible - it is so possible. Early last year, during my visit to California, a brother there proposed that we should go to see some dear friends, living about sixty miles away, who had begged that we should visit them. These dear children of God were living in perhaps one of the most worldly, unpropitious, impossible situations imaginable - the weekend resort of all the Hollywood stars. I cannot describe the utter abandonment to the flesh! Our two friends were living in a large trailer, or caravan, right at the center of the park, surrounded by all these worldly people in their luxurious trailer homes, in an atmosphere of the utmost sensuality, fleshliness, indulgence. We went in, and had a most blessed afternoon with them on the things of the Lord - a most precious time, with a real touch of heaven - and when we had spent the whole afternoon with them, a brother said: "Perhaps you will not believe it, but there are sixteen out-and-out Christians in this trailer park. I am going to fetch some of them." He went across to another trailer, and brought back two dear children of God, elderly, saintly people; and, without any going around matters at all or talking on generalities, we were right on the things of the Lord instantly, and we could have gone on all night. The brother told us, "We all meet here in this trailer, sixteen of us, and have most blessed times of fellowship."
Why am I telling you about this? In the most unlikely place on earth, yes, the most impossible place for anything of a spiritual character, for anything really of the Lord - there, right in that terrible place, saints walking in white rainment, in living fellowship with the Lord. Do not say, 'Oh the place I have to live and work in is impossible for any spiritual life or spiritual growth - everything is against me." Remember that the Lord can enlarge you anywhere if He calls you to be there. Never use the argument of the impossible. Just think of Abraham and the impossible. He came into enlargement, but not because everything was propitious, not because everything made it so easy and was so helpful. No, there can be light in the darkest place if the Lord is there. When I first heard of that situation, I had expressed the wish that those dear friends could have been got out of it, but when I left them I changed my view entirely. I do not know that they would really be the better for getting out of this. This is the thing that is enlarging them spiritually: it is throwing them on the Lord, it is making them prove the Lord. There is nothing here for them but the Lord; everything else is against Him.
The fullness of God is in terms of light, even in darkness; of love - for God is love - in a realm of hatred; of life in a realm of death; and of holiness in a realm of unholiness. "That ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God."
(continued with # 16)