George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
Maintaining the Glow
Maintaining the spiritual glow--Rom 12:11 (Moffatt)
All of us have hours in the interior life when we are conscious of the glowing spirit. Our hearts burn within us as we journey. Sometimes these hours reach us unexpectedly; sometimes after periods of prayer. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and so is every one born of the Spirit. But when such hours come, the inward life grows radiant, and in the light of heaven we see light. In such hours we learn a great deal more than we ever gained from unillumined study. In such hours heaven is very near. In such hours, as by unseen fingers, the veil is taken from the face of Scripture, and the Word, that was marred more than any man, now shines on us as altogether lovely. We have caught the spiritual glow. We are in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. There steals on our ear the distant triumph song. We behold Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Such glowing hours of spiritual warmth and radiance come with greater or with lesser frequency to everybody who is stepping heavenward.
Maintaining the Spiritual Glow
But the great difficulty in the interior life is to maintain that spiritual glow. The problem is not to catch it, but to keep it. Seasons come when we are overwrought and when the keepers of the house do tremble. We may have overdriven "our brother the ass," as St. Francis used to call his body. Or it may be, in the providence of God, that for long days we have to take our journey through a dry land where no water is. It is easy to lose the glow in such experiences. It fades into the light of common day. The Bible loses its fragrance and dew. Heaven recedes; we miss the golden ladder. And yet the divine command is laid on us, poor unstable mortals though we be, that our duty is to maintain the spiritual glow. It can be ours in spite of feeble health. It can be ours whatever be our temperament. It is not given for rare or precious moments. It is meant for every mile of the long journey. And just there the difficulty lies, of maintaining, through dark and dreary days, the radiance and the warmth of hours of insight. He who does that is victor. Having done all, he stands. He "makes a sunshine in a shady place." In weakness he is strong. And we may be certain that when God commands a thing, He never mocks us with impossibilities. When He commands, He gives the power to do.
The Spiritual Glow Is Not a Luxury but a Necessity
For what we must always bear in mind is this, that the spiritual glow is not a luxury. If it were that and nothing else than that, it would never reach us as a divine command. There are tasks that no man will accomplish unless he be gifted with a glowing spirit. There are victories that call for radiance. They never can be accomplished in cold blood. To come victorious out of this present life, unembittered by its tears and tragedies, is beyond the compass of the stoic heart. "No virtue is pure that is not passionate." The song of the Lord must sound above the sacrifice. For the campaign of life we need the song just as surely as we need the sword. Those who have conquered and are robed in white do not flash the glittering sword in heaven. They sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. That is why the inspired volume bids us to maintain the spiritual glow. It is not that we may be happy all the time. It is that we may be triumphant all the time. There are valleys we shall never cross unscathed, and there are temptations we shall never master without a certain glow within the soul.
To Love the Lord Gives the Glow
Now it is just there that we thank God afresh for the unspeakable gift of the Lord Jesus. To love Him gives the glow. Nobody ever has a glowing heart because he is ordered to do certain things. Paul never found that his big heart was glowing when he struggled to obey the ten commandments. But when the ten commandments are incarnate in a living Lord whom we can love, then obedience is set to music. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Love is law translated into melody. Love laughs at difficulties, just as it is said to laugh at locksmiths. And when, right at the center of our being, there is real love for Him who died for us, cold and heavy obedience is gone--it is replaced by the spiritual glow. Thus to continue glowing is to continue in the love of Christ. It is to live in the experience of His great love for us and in continual response to that experience. The one way to maintain the spiritual glow is to maintain fellowship with Christ, and that is possible for everybody. Every day we may open our hearts anew to receive anew the Holy Spirit. We may begin each day, however dark and dreary, by saying, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." So maintaining, through heavenly supply, our loving personal fellowship with Him, we maintain (and yet not we) the glowing heart.
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