AWAKENING IN HIS LIKENESS
glimpses of that unspeakable joy
Close your eyes for a moment to that present awareness of imperfection within to those hideous faults of these earthen vessels that so frequently humiliate those high aspirations of the new mind and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect day of AWAKENING IN HIS LIKENESS.
No sense of sin disturbs the holy perfect thought of a mind completely tuned to that of the Lord Himself, responsive like the aerillion harp to each breath of the Spirit of God that plays as a gentle breeze upon it a mind and heart enlarged to share the very thoughts of Godís Own heart, and capable of those most high and blessed emotions of the joy of the Lord Himself, as moment by moment, age upon age, the blessings of eternal oneness with the Lord drench us with delights, wave upon wave, forever....
Our spiritual life is made up of awakenings, rousing of the senses, from our first awakening to the light of Truth and Love and the realms of things eternal. Perhaps in moments of holy contemplation the Lord awakens our mind to depths of truth we had not before suspected. Perhaps at times of great pressure, when the foes of the soul are too strong for us at such a moment He opens our eyes, like the eyes of Elishaís servant, to those great forces working together for usóthe Hosts of the LORD, the limitless supply of all the divine resources. Perhaps, like Jacob, our hours of weariness have become times of vision and great reassurance of divine promise so that we feel we have just awakened to the personal watch care of our God and His never-failing faithfulness, so that we are constrained to say, "SURELY THE LORD IS IN THIS PLACE, and I knew it not."
Our spiritual life is made up of such awakenings. THIS is the ultimate of all our awakenings, and each awakening of our present course makes it nearer. Here is that moment of sweet release from all limitation of human frame, the moment of VICTORY. This is the awakening "where sin and sense molest no more", and the mind soars like the eagle to the sun, to gaze upon and to comprehend all the glorious fullness of truthís ultimate reality. In Scripture it is compared with the full light of noonday. Doubly precious not only will that moment of blessed truth introduce us into the closest, fullest, relationship and awareness of the glories of eternity, it also will mark the completion, the bringing to perfection, of Our Heavenly Fatherís most wondrous purpose for us. The moment of reaching the goal, the reaching out and grasping of the prize of the high calling, the moment too, that will be, that He reaches His goal for meóHis work in me finished, and the great seal of divine approval pronounced, "It is very good," and, as in a dream, I will realize that He speaks of His work in me! And His "well done," shall be, though all eternity, enough for me.
Only in the peaks of our present spiritual experience can we remotely sense that height of the Fatherís triumph in His achievement, the bringing of His child to glory, the setting of the jewel in His crown. "They shall be Mine." That moment of awakening to see what He has wrought! Will it not surpass our brightest hopes and sweetest dreams? The years of pilgrimage all lead to this. That delight in the Lord, deepening with time, will be answered in the granting of the heartís desires, to be experienced in ten thousand joys, all compressed into that moment of change. How wonderful! It takes a whole pilgrim walk to change our mind, but just the twinkling of an eye to change our body. What body will be this? While that veil intervenes we can grow no nearer in our comprehension than our Brother Paul and Brother John. When Paul wrote # 1Co 15, he did not know. Now he knows! He knew enough, that it would be a body pleasing, yes pleasing to the Lord. He knew that it would bear no resemblance to this body of humiliation. He knew that it would bear great resemblance unto the glorious body of His Lord in heaven. Even John, lost in spiritual depths of thought and vision, could only say, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be," and yet that dear brother whose faith perceived each vision as a revealing of the glory of his Lord, and each truth for its solid rocklike certainty, could add, with no hiding of emotion, "we know that, when it is apparent what we shall be, we shall be like Him." What manner of love is this?
Years of contemplation of the glory of God, that excellence of the qualities of the divine Mind, and the wonders of His mighty attributes, the absorption, in that holy state of heart, of the beauty of the Lord, all leaves its mark, like the light exposed through the lenses of spiritual understanding upon the deeply sensitive heart. The Spirit, the very disposition of the One we come to so dearly love, enters the heart, as the perception of His holiness penetrates the mind, and by the sharing of His very nature of light and love the glory is reflected, and the evidence begins to show, Whose child we are. Thus does He lead His child to glory, from one blessed stage of His likeness to another. The faint glimpses of His glory, endearing in our spiritual infancy, imperceptibly grow through each maturing year and experience. How we would rejoice in heart to hear the remark of the effect of His Spirit in our being, and His nature in our whole demeanor, "Isnít he like his Father?"
The moment of awakening reveals that final blessed state, and I shall have my Fatherís eyes, eyes full of compassion, of deep perception, and of holy love, eyes that will reflect, within my own depths of being, those same beauties of character I have come to know and so dearly love in Him. The Bride of Christ, the jewels that form that heavenly Jerusalem, each part is found to have the glory of God. And even in those scenes of breathtaking wonder of which the half has not yet been told, the Kingís daughter is at once at home, a child of that Light, before Whom she appears, all glorious within. In that beautiful description in the 45th Psalm, in which the Spirit-filled mind of the singer bubbles over with delight at the blessed scene envisioned, we find the queen clothed in most precious garments of gold. All the richest qualities of the divine nature now are hers. She is radiant in her robes of fine needlework. Each single stitch an expression of love for that One it has become her all-consuming desire to please.
And yet, in the midst of glory,
"The Bride eyes not her garments, but her dear Bridegroomís face.
I will not gaze at glory, but on my King of Grace.
Not at the crown He giveth, but on His outstretched hand.
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuelís land."