Oh, Jesus, Lord, when Thou on earth
Let us look at Hymns, #489. The first stanza says, "Oh, Jesus, Lord, when Thou on earth / Accompanied Thy faithful band, / it seemed they knew, but knew Thee not, / Thyself they did not understand." This is our present condition. The second stanza says, "They heard Thy voice, beheld Thy form, / Thy beauteous stature unforgot; / They crowded 'round Thee, met Thy gaze, / But who Thou art, they knew it not." The disciples heard the Lord, saw the Lord, and pressed upon the Lord, but they did not know who the Lord was. In John 14 the Lord said to the disciples, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long a time with you, and you have not known Me, Philip?" (vv. 7-9). The disciples seemed to know the Lord, but they did not really know Him. Stanza 3 says, "As they of old we too are veiled; / We've known Thee long apparently; / Yet if we say we know, at best / We know Thee not transparently." If we do not emphasize that the Lord is the Spirit in our spirit, we will be in the same condition. Stanzas 4 through 9 say,
But as the Spirit now Thou art,
Another Comforter become;
Reveal Thyself within my heart,
Since to Thy temple Thou hast come.
With Thy blest Spirit, Lord, fill me.
Fill every corner of my soul;
May Thou inspire my every part,
Oh may Thou touch, renew the whole.
The Spirit then revealing make
Thyself more real within my heart,
That ear not hear, nor eye may see
How very real to me Thou art.
When Thou in mercy dost reveal
And give Thyself as Spirit thus.
What in the world can be more real,
More true than what Thou art to us?
Thy Spirit, Lord, in mine, I pray,
O'erflow my being as a flood,
That every part with glory shine
And everywhere be Thee and God.
How close we are in such a life,
In one is blended earth with heav'n;
Thy presence sweetly fills our souls;
Our hearts are to Thy praises giv'n.
Today God is a mystery in us, and in the future this mystery will be the glory. God is in our spirit, and our spirit is full of God. The God who is in our spirit is permeating our soul daily, spreading out from our spirit day by day. He does not reason with us. When we agree, He comes; even when we disagree, He comes. He is not only permeating our whole being but is also spreading outward from our spirit. The God who indwells us does not reason with us. He is the only One who is; we are not. We must decrease, and He must increase. Not only so, after He comes, He would not let us go; He wants us to stay with Him. God is in our spirit, and every day He also works to occupy our mind, our emotion, and our will. He is within every part of our being. Therefore, we have a hymn that says, "Thy Spirit, Lord, in mine, I pray, / O'erflow my being as a flood, / That every part with glory shine / And everywhere be Thee and God" (Hymns, #489, stanza 8). This means that we have God in our spirit, and our entire soul is also occupied by God. Hence, we are God-men. What we still lack today is the transfiguration of our body. However, we have a glorious hope, that is, that one day He will come to transfigure our body so that we may enter into God fully. Then from the inside to the outside we will have the life of God, the nature of God, and the glorious expression of God. Moreover, we will be in God. This is the central revelation of the holy Scriptures.
Although Christ is in us and has shined into us, He has not yet made His home in our hearts. What does it mean to make home? It means that after arranging everything properly, He settles down. It is through faith and not by sight that Christ is making His home in our hearts. The result is that we are filled unto all the fullness of God. The fullness of God is the expression of the overflow of God. When Christ makes His home in us, we are filled with God and are full of the glory of God. As a result, we who are earthen vessels, vessels of clay, become vessels of glory. We are filled and saturated with all the riches of God so that we are full of God within and without. Then we will be as stanza 8 of Hymns, #489 says, "And everywhere be Thee [Christ] and God." Because the Spirit of Christ has saturated and permeated our entire being, everywhere in our being there is Christ, and everywhere there is God. In this way we become vessels of glory.
Ephesians 5:18 says, "Do not be drunk with wine." Wine refers to earthly pleasures. Anything that influences us, drugs us, or affects us is wine. We should not be filled and drunk with earthly pleasures. Verse 18 also says, "But be filled in spirit," that is, be filled unto all the fullness of God (3:19). Wine fills us up physically, causing us to be filled in our body. We should not, however, be filled with wine in our body. Rather, we should be filled unto all the fullness of God in our spirit. This means that we must let go of all the desires of our soul, including our mind, emotion, and will. We should only be filled in spirit unto the fullness of God. The result of this is shown in 5:19, which says, "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord." This is what it means to be filled in our whole being with God. This is what it means when we sing, "And everywhere be Thee and God" (Hymns, #489, stanza 8).
I really love this hymn. It's so touching.
Hamilton, New Zealand
This hymn was written by Watchman Nee and was released on the special conference in Hong Kong in 1954.
In John 14:7, the Lord said to the disciples, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and henceforth you know Him and have seen HIm."
So He revealed that He is the embodiment of the Father and that He is the Father in another from being expressed. But the discipels did not, could not realized this, beucase the Spirit of reality didn't come into them yet. So Philip answered in the next verse, "Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient for us."
So the disciples were with the Lord Jesus for the 3 and a half years and they were very much attracted by Him, accompanying Him always. But they still did not know who is the Lord Jesus.
But stanza 4 of the hymn says, "But as the Spirit now Thor art, Another Comforter become; Reveal Thyself within my heart, Since to Thy temple Thou hast come." So it shows now to us, the Spirit, the compound Spirit, the Spirit of reality has come. So this Spirit leads us to all reality and by the Spirit, we know Him, the Triune God.
We were not there with the Lord Jesus in HIs human living as disciples but actually we are closer with the Lord than them, becuase He now lives in us as the inward reality, another Comforter. So the last stanza says, "How close we are in such a life, In one is blenede earth with heav'n; Thy presence sweetly fills our sould; Our hearts are to Thy praises giv'n!