Source of Satisfaction

Two things always go together—the desire to know more of the Lord Jesus, and the sense of how little one has attained to it. The first shows that there is true and active spiritual taste; the second, that there is true and vivid perception of what is to be attained to. The apostle Paul could say to the last, “I count all things but refuse that I may win Christ.”

If one with much spiritual taste could reach to all that he desires, there would be an end of progress—for it would either be that perfection could be attained in an imperfect state of things, which in incongruous, or there would be satisfaction with imperfection. Eden was enough to satisfy a man in innocence, but he lost the state to which it was suited when he fell; and now the man who is restored to God’s presence in righteousness by His own Son, no attainment can satisfy, if his spiritual taste be true, but complete conformity to Him, which cannot be till He is manifested*; then we shall be conformed unto the image of His Son.

Among men a refined state is formed by cultivating it and gratifying it, and the more it is gratified the more it is increased; so that the more refined a man is in nature, the less satisfied he must be, because he is really in every way inconsistent with his creation*. He is deceived and carried away, because he is pursuing a shadow.

The man of the world is like a merchant who traverses the sea and land to obtain every precious thing, and through them to secure a home and a satisfaction for his heart—his search is endless, and he never succeeds. The saint has a home where everything is perfect, and where he is fully satisfied, but his duty calls him away from home, and he contrasts everything here with his home in glory. He is a stranger here on a foreign mission field.

The merchant goes everywhere, seeking something to form a home. The stranger is here only to do a service; but then, because he is a merchant by nature, he is always tried and tested by any attempt to induce him to make light of his home, by seeking to find one here. The more he is in spirit in his own home, the more he sees the perfection of the Lord Jesus, in which he will enjoy perfection—the more does he desire to be like Him*, and the less he is satisfied with any attainment he has made of being like Him*, or of possessing Him.

To satisfy the true taste, there must be perfect surroundings. To give true energy and character, and to satisfy the affections, there must be a perfect object; and there is one—the Lord Jesus Christ—who is the mark or goal for which we forsake all here. Both will be obtained when He returns, and for this we wait.

The merchant by nature is through grace transformed into a stranger, sent here from heaven; he has to ignore all his old tastes and pursuits, and instead of seeking here and there, and everywhere for something to improve his condition*, he studies to make known the new order of things into which he has been introduced, and his only regret is, how little able he is to bear witness to them, because he is himself so little versed in them.

- J B Stoney

Posters Opinions:
*”till He is manifested”: to all, in His glorified body, when He returns, which will bring our “complete” conformity (1Jhn 3:2—NC).

*”inconsistent with his creation”: only a false satisfaction can be attained by anyone when attempting to relate fulfillment to that which is of this life only, for though all journey here, none can make it their home, for none will remain in this life.

*”the more does he desire to be like Him”: that is, completely like Him, without sin and in the new body, but we must wait.

*”the less he is satisfied with any attainment he has made of being like Him”: possibly meaning the sinless state.

*”improve his condition”: the position and condition of believers can always be improved in the area of character concerning what is said and done, but never in the position and condition of their spiritual state concerning their place in innocence with Christ (regardless of their self-evaluation concerning their spiritual progress here).

*”so little versed in them”: has not learned much concerning the things taught by understanding a guiltless condition.

"With an increase of knowledge and apprehension of the truth, there is a constant sense that we are not practically up to what we have received; and hence the measure of our strength is not the enjoyment of a truth, but the extent to which we maintain what we believe in spite of every obstacle. It is the way in which we surmount the difficulties in our path, and not the enjoyment of the truth, which defines our position." - J.B.S.