Training for Reigning - 34 - Your enjoyment of Christ

ONE THING NEEDFUL, if we are actually to enjoy adventuring with our Lord, is to catch a glimpse of His purposes for us, and to enter into their spirit whole-heartedly. That is why we read in Romans 6:13: "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." You can readily see that no one could fully enjoy a north country tour unless he stood right with his guide one hundred per cent; John 8:12; Rom. 6:22.
Another essential is proper food. For the soul of the young Christian can become every bit as hungry as that of any worldling. And people who are hungry always, are weak always, as well. After all, was it not soul-hunger (hunger for love) that led "Mary" to marry her unsaved boy-friend? Was it not soul- hunger for excitement that took "Bill" back to the Sports Arena? and soul-hunger for youthful friends that broke down "J.B.’s" resistance?
At the close of World War II, a party of U.S. troops noticed a group of men trying to make their way towards them down the slopes of a hill-stumbling, falling, picking themselves up, struggling on again. Fearing a ruse, the officer readied his men for an attack. Then from the stragglers on the slopes there broke out a tattered Stars and Stripes. Quickly the rifles were lowered, a rousing cheer of welcome was given, while a detail was ordered to the help of the slowly advancing men. Who were these men? They were U.S. soldiers who had escaped from enemy camps. They were as truly G.I.’s as those who awaited them. But why did they behave in such an unsoldierly manner? Why did they stumble and f all so often-no matter how hard they tried to do better? IT WAS BECAUSE THEY WERE STARVING!
And is it not because their souls are starving, their spirits (their "morale") slumping badly, that so many young Christians turn back to the soul-fare of Egypt? Then let me say it bluntly: no young Christian can expect to find his, her, journey through the wilderness anything but dull, dreary, lifeless, tiresome, discouraging, or fail to long for the "good times" of the hell-bound, IF
It is the souls of people that feed on human affection-of Christians as well as of the unsaved: that enjoy, that feed on, music, books, poetry, art productions, companionship, excitement, thrills, adventure, get-togethers of all sorts, social evenings, sports, fun and laughter, good times, etc., etc.
My friend Tommy, alleged athiest, was a mild race-track frequenter. To my question as to why he went there, he replied with some heat that it was because he found it a sort of hobby, a side interest that relieved the monotony of the daily struggle to exist. He observed that I was no different from him since I got my release through religion, going to meetings, and so on. Finally I asked if he went there for his stomach’s sake, or for the enjoyment of his body. His reply was most uncomplimentary. Then I explained that I had no intention of scolding him, but merely wished to help him to see that since his stomach gained no satisfaction from his pastime, while his body was more tired after the excitement than before, the only possible conclusion was that (since he admitted that he watched the ponies to "get a kick out of life"- as he had said) he went there to feed his soul
- a portion of his being whose existence he had denied emphatically hitherto. So that ended that. We do have souls -
and souls do get hungry . . . and are sure to feed on something!
How can we feed our souls on Christ? Since we shall have to do just what we do in acquiring other forms of soul-food, we shall need TO FILL OUR THINKING WITH HIMSELF by
"Looking upon Jesus as he walked" (John 1:36).
Listening to His voice (John 10:3-5; 27).
"Considering Him" (Heb. 12:3).
-His reactions to the many forms of opposition that crowded His pathway;
-watching from afar as the forty days and nights of the wilderness temptations bear down upon Him, but move Him not; (Blessed Lord Jesus!).
-standing beside Him while He meets, and cleanses, and touches, a lonely, unclean leper;
-adventuring in our own thoughts along with Him as He faced dangers, when they confronted Him, unhesitant;
-considering Him attentively as we note the more-than-human love that would cause Him to remain away until Lazarus had died; to sense the tenderness of the sympathy that could weep with the sisters in their temporary loss-all because of their greater need to learn that the Resurrection was not a mere event in the future, but rather He, Himself - . - and so to read of Him, to behold Him, to hear Him speaking, to think about Him, to associate ourselves with Him in His ways, His walk (in our thinking, as we often do on Lord’s Day mornings) that the woridlings’ soul-occupations begin to lose their flavour, their drawing power, and become as veritable dross. In such ways we shall feed our souls on "the finest of the wheat," and learn to find Christ in all the Scriptures.
And let none suppose these thoughts to be but fanciful imaginings, I Cor. 1:30 and 2 Cor. 3:18 may seem a bit obscure to the unthinking Christian. But let me assure you that, like God’s Salvation, their truths are joyously available to "whosoever will.,,