FOLLOWING HARD AFTER
Psalms 63-64: Retaining our nearness to God
“My soul followeth hard after thee.”
There are several types of men and women within the visible Church. There are those who follow Christ nominally, or from wrong motives. The foolish virgins were apparently sincere followers of Christ; but their attachment to Him was only in name. They knew not the Lord and the Lord knew not them. Like those in the Church at Sardis, they had a name to live but were dead. There were many who followed our Lord in the days of His flesh, but when the hour of sifting came, they moved away.
Among true Christians there are those who, in seasons of backsliding or decline, follow Him, like Peter on one occasion, ‘afar off’. And there are those who, in storm and sunshine, cleave
to Him, and enjoy daily communion with Him. Asaph could say amid all his perplexities: ‘Nevertheless, I am continually with thee.’ ‘I held Him,’ said the Church, ‘and I would not let Him go.’ It was she of whom the question was asked, ‘Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness leaning upon her beloved?’ Nearer to Him she could not be.
I once read the life-story of a true man of God. In the book the remark was made that for several years before he left this world he continually enjoyed God’s sensible presence in his soul. Later I met an eminent father in ChristÂ—Principal John Macleod Â—who told me that his own excellent wife, during her last year in this world was, night and day, blessed with the same awareness of God’s nearness to her. But this we cannot retain with our arms folded or with our knees unbent, and in a state of spiritual slumber. In his spiritual exercises David did not halt in the way; and the One to whom he cleaved renewed his strength day by day.
They say that certain Orientals, when travelling, do not sit or lie down till they reach their journey’s end. They run, and then they walk for a while till their strength is, in a measure, renewed. This fact elucidates the words found in Isaiah: ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength . . . they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’
‘My soul followeth hard after thee.’ In other words. God is all the desire of His people. He is the subject of their love above and beyond all others.
A godly woman, who had lost both her husband and her only child, was dying. Both, she knew, had gone to be with Christ in heaven. Her love to them within the bonds of nature and grace was deep and constant. As she was leaving the world a friend said to her, ‘Soon you will see them both.’ Her answering words, which were also her last, were: ‘Jesus first.’ ‘Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.’
Extracted from a recently published book of meditations on the Book of the Psalms entitled, “From Grace to Glory” by Murdoch Campbell,
author of “In all their Affliction”, “Everlasting love”, “Gleanings of a Highland Harvest”, etc.
Published by the Banner of Truth Trust at 6/- (30p). Available from “Gospel Tidings” Publications.