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There are two kinds of starting points – man’s and God’s. Man usually starts with big frameworks, with a big plant, machinery, structures, and so on. That is how man usually starts when he is going to do something for God. It is a propensity; it is our way. We may argue that God is worthy of something big. That is man’s way.
God’s way is never like that – it never was. You search in vain to find any instance of God beginning like that. God’s beginnings seem so small, they appear so little. But so does a seed; it is a small thing, a little thing. Yet look at the potentialities in one seed, in one grain of wheat. Everything really of God has a long and hidden history of deep dealings on His part.
The thirty years of our Lord’s hidden life has a great bearing on the three and a half. The forty years of Moses away back there in the desert, looking after those sheep of his father-in-law, had a great bearing on the rest of his life. They were not lost, wasted, futile years. So we could take up one after another – Abraham, David, and others, who had a long deep, secret, hidden history; it was out of that that the effectiveness came.
Very often more is done, when God has been at work, in the last few years of a life than in all the years previously. That does not mean that all the previous years have been of no account, having no place. It means that God has been at work to get intrinsic values, and now at last these values are coming out.
God takes a lot of time and a lot of pains in secret history. It may be that, though you are thinking the years are going, soon life will be past, all over, and you have missed the way, everything being a problem, an enigma; yet it may be that in a few years an infinitude of spiritual value will come out of the time through which you are going, out of this which you think is lost time. You must adjust yourself to this, that God is not careful at all about our standards of values, either in time or in method or in any other way.
Toward The Mark
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