Freddie Bryanton - The Future - Happy, Texas - 1984

When we come to the last meeting of convention, I just can't help but find my thoughts turning to the future a little. I don't think that's a bad thing to do. I don't mean that we should worry about the future - that would be detrimental - but we have such a bright future and we can reassure ourselves of that. It's better further on.

One thing we need to guard against is our hold becoming loose. I will have to confess that when that hymn we just sang first came into circulation, I thought of it like losing our hold, but it says, "LOOSE not." We don't have to ask the workers or anyone else when we are losing it. Hebrews 2:1, " ... give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." I think this is the same thing; to loose our hold is to let it slip. We still have a hold but it is slipping, and when our hold is loosening, we are still hanging on, but it is loose. We need to be concerned and spiritually awake enough to know that the danger is not when we let go, but when there are things that would cause us to lose our hold.

Another hymn says, "0 beware lest life’s vain cares, thoughts of earthly treasure, rob thee of thy love to do all the Master's pleasure." Life's vain cares could cause us to lose our love to do the will of the Father. When we lose our love to do the Father's pleasure, destruction isn't too far ahead. It's when we lose the LOVE to do it - that is what gives every sacrifice its savor - the love at the back of it makes it appealing to God and to one another.

When I thought of this meeting today and about the future a little bit, I wondered what would be essential to secure us in the future. I don't mean what would give us a righteous feeling for surely we would never think of that deadly doctrine in the world of "once saved, always saved" - we aren't talking about that. But we can live in security when we are in God's hand. I'll tell you something even better than that of having our hand in God's hand and having a hold - it's God having a hold on us. David knew a good deal about that. That time he cut off a piece of Saul's garment, his heart smote him. It's not bad when our heart is tender enough to smite us. The psalmist said in one place his heart was poured out, and that's not a bad thing to experience. We might have a whole lot to pour out to the Lord, and if we can pour it out, it's not too cold. Ice is just water, but it's frozen and you can't pour it out. But just melt it - as long as we can pour our heart out to the Lord, we aren't seriously in danger.

I was thinking about a couple of chapters in connection with what would secure our future in this way of God. I was thinking about Moses a little in Exodus 33. We've already heard a little about - talking about God's presence. That's a must. We sing, "I must have the Savior with me for I DARE not walk alone." John 15, "For without Me, ye can do nothing." If we cannot do anything - nothing without Him - that's serious! I must have the Savior with me.

Another chapter, Isaiah 64, is about His presence too. Moses said here - back a little further when they had made the golden calf - they had lost their faith and confidence. Moses was up the mountain for forty days. I don't know if Joshua was right up at the top but he was with him. They didn't know what had become of him. Why did they forget so quickly? How could they lose faith so quickly? They asked Aaron to make them a "god." They had never seen a calf when they came out of Egypt or when they crossed the sea so miraculously. It's worthy noticing that when the sea was divided it was when they were at a dead end for sure. The Red Sea was before them and Pharaoh and his hosts were behind. They were in a tight corner. They were concerned and they cried to Moses and he prayed and God said, "Tell them to go forward. "Where? Into the Red Sea."

That's what it looked like - committing suicide - but they had faith enough to go and they went forward. "Lord, we know you can make a way where there is no way." They believed God, and the sea opened. We know that story but anyway, the water was a wall to them on each side. They couldn't get off the path if they wanted to. In Canada, they have eight foot snow banks on each side of the road. It you're driving on that, you don't get off the road; you might run into a snow bank but you wouldn't be off the road. When we are moving forward at His command, and with Him, and if we are soft of heart, it's hard to get off the road. When we do get off the road, there's a cause for it. His way is perfect, and everything He has planned for us as His children works out just as He wants it and it is to our profit. It doesn't turn out like we expect and we can't see where it has worked out sometimes, but it will. "He always wins who sides with God." There are no lost cases with God. We are not beyond the love of God and we aren't beyond His help IF we bring the sacrifice of a broken spirit. When they went through Pharaoh said, "If they can go through, so can I!" That was a trap by God for the enemy. God's presence saved them and helped them that day. That alone.

Then they said, "We don't know where this Moses is. Aaron, you make us a calf." That wasn't anything like God in their life. There was no life in that "god" and nothing to feed the spirit. They must be pretty dead anyway, God's people to a great extent. We walk by faith, but we walk by taste some, too. If there is no nourishing food there, it doesn't appeal. The difference between God's people and the world is that they are living and are in need of good nourishment, nothing that appeals to our mental understanding, but God's people have life and there must be nourishment to feed life. We sing, "Beyond the sacred page] seek Thee Lord. My spirit pants for Thee, 0 living word." That's our experience and it doesn't need any explanation for anyone who has been quickened by God. We don't understand much about it, but that doesn't need to be explained. You may have read your Bible before you got saved but there was no nourishment there; you knew it was God's Word and maybe understood enough to wonder where His way was today, but it's a different thing to seek the Lord when we are alive. When Moses came down and ground up that calf, they that sought the Lord went unto Moses outside the camp.

A woman in Canada, not very young now, way back in the 30s, came from Europe from a country now under the Red heel. She came to Canada, a religious, God fearing, sincere woman. After being in this country a year or two, she went to her preacher one day and just told him her feelings and condition. Well, he couldn't help her but he tried to do the best he could, which was very little. He told her she had nothing to worry about because their denomination was very strong in Canada and that their church in that town was strong and had a big number of members, etc. and she was one of such a great congregation. She said, "Well, what you say may be true, but I want God." Nothing would take the place of her wanting God. "Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord. " That's one thing that will secure our future - that of, "I want God," knowing "I must have the Savior with me for I dare not walk alone," seeking Him beyond the sacred page. "As high as the heavens are above the earth, so are God's thoughts from ours." (Isaiah 55) When it's like that, we need that which comes from God for ourselves. Enter within the veil. It's nice when a "form" doesn't satisfy. There is a certain order that God has, but just as with the old law, it didn't save but pointed to how they could get help through the coming Christ. "Form" points to the right thing but the spirit quickeneth. They went to Moses outside the camp.

When Moses and Joshua were coming down the mountain and realized the situation, he broke the tables. Why? What was on those tables? "Thou shalt have no other God before Me." Maybe Moses should have gone right then and showed them and pointed out, "Here look; I got this straight from God." But he broke them. Then they that sought the Lord came outside the camp. Moses went again and God wrote the very same things on those stones. Just keeping the law and commandments of God because they are right doesn't bring enrichment of spirit; it may gratify us and our feelings - just look at everyone else! But it does not feed the spirit and it won't create more life; we will just get stagnant.

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures ... " The pasture we have is what we become, what we are. You see sheep lying down - and I don't think I'm stretching my imagination - but when they are in good green pastures you see a happy look; they are laying down chewing the cud. You will never see that where they graze in short, brown, burned pastures. It's the green pasture. You don't have to see people's pasture, only what they are like; we advertise our pasture without words. "Let your soul delight itself in fatness." We went by a pasture the other day and there were some cattle there I could almost count their ribs from the car. How different when the pasture is green ... delighting in fatness. They that sought the Lord went outside the camp. "Seek the Lord while He may be found and call when He is near." Beyond the sacred page, I seek the Lord and His fellowship and power. That's walking.

Enoch walked with God. Moses communed with God and said, "Show me now Thy way." I He wasn't like some of unbelief who met the truth or wanted to be shown truth. He wasn't seeking to get saved because he was already some forty years along the way, but "Show me now Thy way." Show me the next step. No matter how well we know God, it won't help us to know the next step; we may think we know and maybe God will lead there, but still "I must have the Savior with me" to find the next step. Moses here was reaching out for a closer fellowship with God. "Show me now Thy way that I may know Thee and find grace in Thy sight, and consider this nation, Thy people ..." How did God show him? He didn't lecture him. He said, "My presence shall go with thee and I will give thee rest." His presence always leads to rest, and if we keep true it will lead to one long rest called the eternal day. "If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not us hence." He appreciated the presence and help of God. If he didn't have it, he couldn't go. He didn't say, "If Thy presence go not with us" but ”... with me." It's a responsibility for me. ME! But he also realized he had an influence: "carry US not up hence."

I like what follows this: "For wherein shall it be known here that and Thy people have found grace in Thy sight? Is it not in that Thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth." God's people were always a separated people - and WE must be. Jesus, in talking to His disciples in Matthew 5 called them blessed when men should separate them. The presence of God is not conducive to fellowship in the world. His presence will separate us. Make the separation itself. They will separate you from their company - it comes about automatically. Further on it says, "I will do this for thou hast found grace ..... and I know thee by name." He knows you personally, and Moses knew God. We have heard it often and it's important: "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." We read of the fellowship of those virgins, yet half of them were told, "Depart from Me, I never knew you. "Many shall come in that day saying Lord, Lord - haven't we done many wonderful things in Thy name?" and He never said they didn't, but still, "Depart from Me, I never knew you." That hymn, "I long to know Thee better day by day" - there's a real echo in my heart for that - knowing God in our secret life and everyday life and knowing His care and protection.

Isaiah 64, first I would like to mention that these are the people that Berlin was telling us about Thursday morning from Isaiah I and it's not a rosy picture, but I like the picture we have between chapter 64 and chapter 1, "Oh, that Thou wouldest rend the heavens and come down." They weren't asking for that in chapter 1 - they didn't want that at all, but oh, they were desolate. But now there is a turning and this is nice.
" ...
. rend the heavens and come down." They found that there had (has) been too much empty space between them and God. Too much slack. There is a little rhyme, "There's a Friend for little children above the bright blue sky." That's where God was for these people, but now there was a turning. "Cease to do evil." A turning to the Lord. They didn't say, "Now we'd better clean up shop," but "it's the Lord we need." Like that lady said, "I want God!" Life is very uphill. We are facing obstacles that seem impossible to conquer - but come down, the mountains flow down at Thy presence. It's amazing how much there is in the Old Testament about the presence of God and what it does. "At Thy presence, the mountains flow down ... the melting fire to make Thy name known. The melting fire." Those two walking to Emmaus - the risen Christ drew near and opened the Scripture about Himself and they said, "Did not our hearts burn within us?" If the fellowship seems to be dragging with us, individually or in our little meeting, it means to dig deeper, have a closer walk with God. A little farther on: "When Thou didst terrible things .... " Passing through the Red Sea was one of those things.

Isaiah 64:6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are as filthy rags ... " - they acknowledged themselves and their condition. There surely was not this in the first chapter; there, in their own estimation, they were quite capable. But now, "all our righteousness is as filthy rags - we are all unclean." I was reading Job yesterday. In the first part of that book, God said there was none like him. You read of Job saying, "Tho' God slay me, yet willI trust. " Elihu spoke to Job and then God moved right in. Elihu prepared the way of the Lord and then he stopped speaking on God's behalf - he didn't talk about them; the other three friends were not in the spirit at all, but when Elihu finished, the Lord moved right in and talked to Job, and the finish of the book was Job saying, "Oh, I am vile." God didn't say he was vile - He said he was perfect and upright. God will humble us without abasing us; He will exalt us without spoiling us. He can still us; we are just as precious to God as ever, but Job said, "I am vile and repent in dust and ashes." At the same time, he was enriched and made more acceptable. We are all unclean.

In Romans I 0, Paul said, "My heart's desire and prayer is for Israel, that they might be saved. " Those were his brethren. He bore record of them that had a zeal but it wasn't according to knowledge. They were going about to establish their own righteousness and had not submitted unto the righteousness of God. In Isaiah, their righteousness was as filthy rags - that's really unrighteousness - not in the sense of vile or bad; they had a little righteousness, and then they were building themselves up. They felt assured of Heaven, but they hadn't submitted. They didn't think they had to humble themselves; they didn't come down and they didn't know about learning of Him who was meek and lowly of heart.

Verse 7-8, "There is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee: for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, 0 LORD, Thou art our Tather; we are the clay .... " It's not clay in the picture in Isaiah 1, but now ... now they were satisfied to be clay. They were bringing themselves right down to where that man brought himself in Luke 18, "Oh, be merciful to me, a sinner. " There is nothing in me worth noticing. I can't do anything for myself. All my hope and whatever I maybe must come from God. Be merciful to me a sinner. They said, "But now." It's wonderful to come to convention and see ourselves undone; to see ourselves unclean in spirit having held a little unforgiveness. If we are unclean in spirit, that makes us more unclean than anything else. But now .... Thou art our potter and we are the clay. Wonderful to let Him make a new spirit within us. Not that we profess again, but after all, don't want make a new spirit every day? What do we do in the morning beside our bed? When the evening comes, "Lord, forgive me. I didn't mean to do it" - it is a case of making amends. When I am in a meeting and it is tested and I see people making a start, I feel the same. That's the thing to do. You don't have to stand up, but you do it again in your heart. You can make a new start every morning if you want. That would be the thing to do.

"We are all the work of Thy hand." Ecclesiastes says that whatsoever God doeth shall be forever. That's all we will have for eternity. We are all the work of His hand. Not just theory, but HIS work. "Thy great work of creation in my life, Thou hast begun." Now if we could know a little of this continuing - it is there and going on but in its continuing, we can hope for better days and victory. It will not be that there is no defeat: during the dark days of World War II, there was a statement: VICTORY AT ALL COST, for without victory there would be no survival. Victory will cost and it must be paid for, but without victory there is no survival. We can be sure, victory and we don't need to live in doubt or fear the IF, like Paul said, "We are more than conquerors through Christ." I don't know just what that means, maybe. I know what a conqueror is - but more than a conqueror But it gives me hope that victory is surely ours if we keep where we belong and let Him do in us what He would do.