Admiration, or Appropriation?

It’s refreshing to realize that all we see in the Word concerning “life and godliness” is not just to know but that God makes them practical in our lives. Though our desire is for God, this is the same as that there must be that knowledge and understanding from God that as we “live in the Spirit,” He teaches us also to “walk it the Spirit” (Gal 5:25), which is progressively applied (appropriated) by all who are born again.

- NC

Admiration, or Appropriation?

I believe we have admired the thoughts and counsels of God too much as simply His, as communications from Him, rather than as the revelation of Himself to us. We have seen them as beautiful pictures at which we were permitted to look, rather than as what we have to appropriate and adopt. The reason for this is that we have not realized our identification with the Lord Jesus when surveying these divine treasures.

If I am in the Lord Jesus, I see and admire everything that is of Him, not as it were apart from myself; I admire it with all the consciousness that it is mine, because I am of Him and that I am to adopt and appropriate it by faith (appropriating by faith applies that which is already possessed: 2 Pet 1:3—NC). Hence everything which ministers to my godly taste announces to me what belongs to me as of the Lord Jesus and what I am to take possession of. The beautiful thing (i.e. godliness—NC) that I see is mine. What I admire I acquire; where my foot rests that is my possession now and forever.

You may not rest satisfied with having the taste, however accurate; you must see that you acquire practically what you admire. It is yours if you see yourself in the Lord Jesus in that new order in which the Father in His grace has positioned you before Himself. But to appropriate it involves the refusal and renunciation of that old standing in which we were at a distance from the Father, and where we could never find it possible to appropriate anything godly, though glad to receive mercies from our Father’s hand.

There cannot be appropriation unless the distance, and that which caused it, are consciously gone at the Cross (even though we are separate from sin in Christ, we must ever acknowledge it in our mind in order to utilize it in its reality—NC), because when they are gone we are consciously in Him, otherwise, and according to the Father’s mind, there cannot be appropriation or the sense of having the right to appropriate. You may admire truth like little children who are taken through a museum, but not allowed to touch anything, much less to take anything away.

How different when we are introduced to the treasures that are in the Lord Jesus, as heirs, with the full assurance that they are ours. We can admire truth, but it is appropriating and adopting it that we really possess it in a practical way. You will say—how is one to begin? By seeking sedulously—breaking your heart over it—you appropriate what you admire.

I have no doubt that many are disappointed, in that after hearing with delight and receiving the truth of God, they are yet not affected by it. The reason of this is, that they rest too much in the standing and have not gathered the first-fruits and put them into a basket; they have not occupied themselves increasingly with the glorified Lord Jesus, have not drawn nearer to Him where He is, and recognized Him as the only One who can make it true to them, and the only One who can keep them in it.

- J B Stoney

MJS April 6th devotional excerpt: ““I no longer attempt to produce that which will satisfy God from myself as originator. I know that even if I try I shall only fail. But I do seek to please God by faith in the activity of Another. The Son of God who indwells me by His Spirit is able and willing to carry out in me ‘those things that please Him’; and I count upon Him to do so. Consciously, day by day, I take the attitude that I trust Him to work the will of God in me, and in that attitude I go forward and serve Him. I do not trust myself. ‘I live by faith in the Son of God.’“
- A I K