There is a hidden wisdom. Paul writes: "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." In the center of their being, God makes His own to know wisdom. They have an unction from above which teaches them of all things. "Knowest thou where wisdom is found?...The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me." But the Father hath revealed it unto babes.
There is a hidden glory. It is manifested, and yet only faith can behold it. Jesus changed the water into wine at the marriage of Cana, and showed forth His glory. Men saw, and yet did not see; but His disciples believed in Him. Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. There were many witnesses; yet only those who believed saw the glory of God, and the Son of God glorified. The glory of God is beheld by faith in the face of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is known only by those who know the mystery of His cross and resurrection, and are waiting to be glorified together with Him.
There is a hidden life, far, far away--high, high above. It is life hid with Christ in God, life born out of death. "For ye have died, and your life is hid...." It is mysterious in its commencement. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." It is mysterious in its progress: "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." It is mysterious in its consummation: "We shall all be changed, in a moment...."
There is hidden manna. We have meat to eat that the world knows not of. There is an unseen river, "the streams whereof make glad the city of God." Only God's children see it, and know the Source whence it comes, and the Ocean where it is flowing. "If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him ."
"Drawing nigh to God" is the most comprehensive expression to describe the soul's attitude toward God. Prayer is the culminating point of this attitude. If we rightly view prayer, it embraces our whole life, our thought and feeling, our will and work, our conflict and rest. In the meditation of our hearts, the desires of our soul, the activities of our daily path, we approach God; for we wish to live before Him, conscious of His presence, in dependence and enjoyment of His grace.
"God drawing nigh to us" is the most comprehensive expression to describe God's dealings with us. The Scripture is the great channel of God's communications to our soul. Hence the advice that prayer and the reading of Scripture are the great means of sustaining and nourishing the inner life, is perfectly correct so long as it is understood that prayer and Scripture are not isolated powers, but culminating points.
There is no safety in distance from God. If we take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, we cannot flee from His presence. Fear of a guilty conscience seeks a hiding-place; but where can we escape the eye of Omniscience, or shield ourselves against the anger of our holy God?
There is only one hiding-place--God Himself. The only safe place for helpless and sinful men is close to God--in the arms of the Father, at the feet of Jesus, the Friend of sinners. Come to Jesus, and you are in the secret place of the Most High, where no evil can befall you. There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. The Lord has forgiven all our transgressions, and will remember our sins no more. There is no life, or light, or love in distance from God.
Even if man had not fallen, his only happiness and strength would have been in constant dependence on God and communion with Him. In Paradise, sinless Adam lived by faith in God. It was in God's light that he saw light, and in receiving constantly the bright and blessed influence of divine love, his spirit rejoiced and was strong in God. No creature has within itself a fountain of life and blessedness. Constantly beholding the countenance of the Father in heaven, angels and saints are upheld by divine love, and replenished out of the divine fullness.
Then "Let us pray!"