For Him and With Him

As David’s men were withdrawn from all connections with Saul’s system by virtue of their association with him, so all those who are led by the Spirit to know their oneness with the rejected Lord Jesus, must feel themselves dissociated from present things here, by reason of that blessed oneness with Him. Hence, if you ask a heavenly man why he does not mix himself up with the plans and pursuits of this age, his reply will be, “Because the Lord Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, and I am identified with Him.” He has been cast out by this world and I take my place with Him, apart therefore from its objects and pursuits.

All who understand the true nature of the heavenly calling will walk in separation from the world; but those who do not, will just take their portion here and live as others. Many, alas, are satisfied with the mere knowledge of the forgiveness of sins, and never think of going further. They have passed through the Red Sea, it may be, but manifest no desire to cross the Jordon, and eat the mature corn of their heavenly position.

Just as it was in the day of David’s rejection many, though Israelites, did not cast their lot in rejection with him. It was one thing to be an Israelite. It was another thing to be with David in the hold. Even Jonathan was not there, he still adhered to the old system of things. Though loving David as his own soul he lived and died in companionship with Saul. True, he ventured to speak for David, and sought his company when he could. He had stripped himself to clothe David; yet he did not cast in his lot with him.

Consequently, when the names and deeds of David’s worthies are heralded by the Holy Spirit (Heb 11:32), we look in vain for the name of the affectionate Jonathan; when the devoted companions of David’s exile were mustered round his throne in the sunshine of his royal countenance, poor Jonathan was mingled with the dust, having ingloriously fallen on mount Gilboa by the hands of the uncircumcised Philistines!

Oh that all who profess to love the Lord Jesus in sincerity and truth may seek a more decided identification with Him in this time of His rejection! The citizens have sent a message after Him, saying, “We will not have this man to reign over us”; and shall we go and associate ourselves with these to forward their Christ-rejecting plans? God forbid! May our hearts be with Him where He is. May we know the hallowed fellowship of the cave of Adullam, where the Prophet, Priest and King are to be found, embodied in the beloved Person of Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood.

Oh that the Holy Spirit may kindle within us a flame of ardent love to the very Person of the Lord Jesus Christ—may He unfold to our souls more of the divine excellences of His Person, that we may know Him to be the fairest amongst ten thousands, and altogether lovely, and be able to say with a true worthy, “Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may win Christ” (Phil 3:8).

- C H Mackintosh

MJS devotional for Feb. 21:

“When the standard of the Christian life is low, the responsibility for growth is placed upon the believer. But when it is known that God’s standard for us is His Son, all expectation of maturity must be placed in Him—”for it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).”