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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Faithful to Christ OCTOBER 8


If I could be as in the days of my prime, . . . while the Almighty was still there at my side. Job 29:4, N.E.B.

Job was grieving over a past joy and early fellowship of the first years of his spiritual life. He could not quite comprehend the cause of his calamities or reconcile them with his idea of God. He could not believe he was making progress. He failed to realize that he was entering upon a nobler, purer, closer walk with God.

May it not be so with us? We look back to the dawn of our spiritual life, to our original dedication to God, to the joy that welled up within our hearts. But with the passing of time we conclude we are not so happy as we were then. We are not so holy and true and good. We do not love God as we once did.

But this is not necessarily true. The emotional flush and joy of early days have given place to loftier views of God, a deeper assurance and confidence in God which nothing can disturb. A garden in springtime is a thing of beauty and color. Yet it is when the precious fruits in red and gold are on the trees that we discover the real purpose of God in nature.

All of us know we have not done all we should have done. We have not been all we ought to have been. Our consciousness of weakness and imperfection is more vivid than ever. May not this awareness, this clearer sense of sin, indicate that we have grown more? Maybe we do not see ourselves as pure as we once were because the Holy Spirit has been opening our eyes, refining our tastes, heightening our spiritual sense. Our vision is clearer. Greater spiritual maturity more readily detects the deformities of the spirit. Our finer spiritual ear detects the discords that sin makes. Our deeper sense of sin has increased, not because evil has been gaining upon us, but because we are more in harmony with God.

We shall never understand the power and the folly of sin more than in the moment when the Holy Spirit has freed us from it. It is not the greatest sinner who senses the depths of sin, but the Christian who is closest to Christ. We can be growing spiritually, and at the same time feel more disturbed over the selfishness and sinfulness of which we become aware.

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