Dwelling in Beulah Land
“The land which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.” —Numbers 14:7
Our inheritance in Christ Jesus is more than we can ask or think. Since He has so richly provided for us, it behooves us to believe and accept His provisions. “Must I go on in this up and down life?” cried a young man the other night as he threw himself to his knees in a struggle with the old flesh. What joy to point the struggling Christian to the Beulah Land of the soul: a place of rest and victory in the Holy Ghost.
I confess to you I tremble for my brethren in these days, who are walking in the flesh and excusing themselves for a lack of victory, by pointing to others who do not have it. I tremble also for others who magnify the doctrine of the two natures to such a degree as to excuse themselves almost, for walking in the flesh.
There is a wilderness and there is a Beulah Land. There is the life of the flesh and the life of the spirit, and they war against each other. Let us frankly admit this, but, oh, let us have in us a stout heart of faith in all the possibilities of the life of the Spirit—our Beulah Land.
Let us be like Caleb, who refused to look at any other life and land than the one that God was offering to His people; and like Joshua, who, with him, said to the people, “The land which we passed through to search it is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us then He will bring us into this land, and give it us: a land which floweth with milk and honey.”
No one need plead the case to prove that there is a life of the flesh. The consciousness of its presence is like the smell of a dead body. We need men today after the Caleb and Joshua type who can stand out and magnify Beulah Land or the life of soul rest and victory in the Holy Ghost.
Magnify the Spirit
The magazines, the papers, the editorials and sermons by the multiplied thousands these days, magnify the flesh; but, oh, for a spirit-filled host of Calebs and Joshuas to stand up, and tell out, and stand for this victory promised land.
Somebody might have gotten up in meeting and called Joshua and Caleb down and said, “Now, here, you fellows stop that kind of talk. You talk as if there were no giants and as if there were no opposing and ever-nagging enemies. You talk as if they were eradicated, and we saw them ourselves, so you’ll have to admit them.”
Joshua and Caleb would have said, “Steady, steady, boys. Don’t put words into our mouths which we didn’t say, just to satisfy your own unwilling hearts. These are our words set down in Numbers 14:9. ‘Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us, their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.’”
Just because we refuse to talk on the power of the flesh, and magnify how subtle it is, and how it persists in wanting its own way, and fights for possession with mighty strokes, but turn from it with scorn, calling it a defeated, conquered foe through the death and life of our mighty Jesus, the doctrine bloodhounds begin to sniff and to make the statement that we have said there is no more flesh, that it has been done away with.
What a joy to turn to them and say, “Oh, no, dear doctrine sniffers, exponents of the great reality of the flesh, we only, answer with Caleb and Joshua. ‘They are bread for us, their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us.’” Hallelujah, Jesus giveth us the victory. Beulah Land is open to any Christian who will heed Caleb’s and Joshua’s words, “Only rebel not against the Lord, neither fear ye.”
All of the spies looked at the grapes and the fruit, and took a sample home, by cutting down “a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff.” I have always felt since reading this that Caleb and Joshua were the two who bore this cluster home. They had to rest at intervals, and they had a chance to sample the fruit. “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” A taste of the fruit of Canaan Land gave them a “know-so” testimony, which the other spies lacked. Oh, so many know of the life of victory in the Holy Ghost; but so few ever really taste it.
Beloved, do you enjoy a soul full of His precious love now? “Only rebel not—fear not.” His taste to the soul satisfies its every longing, and the abiding presence, ungrieved, of the Comforter, is a seraphic passion. His presence fills the banks of the heart and waters its ground, and flows on through the heart—a stream of divine luxury. Praise God. His precious abiding changes the taster, until from within come deep heavenly longings after patience, love, mercy and His other glorious attributes.
The conditions of the organs in the body greatly affect taste, and the effect of disease very often makes a covering on the taste centers of the tongue. The doctor is able often to diagnose the trouble from the looks of the tongue. How delightful to have the blessed Spirit so purge and cleanse through the taking by faith of the blood that the taste is purified! How wondrously was Paul’s taste heightened until he could say, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ—that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”
Oh, beloved, we need to have our tastes quickened, for the health of the body depends upon the power of the taste to accept or reject food. Awful stuff is being dished out these days in pamphlet, book, and sermon under the heading of Food for the Soul. We need this unction from the Holy One, that our taste might soon detect the false and hunger for His own word. “Thy words were found and I did eat them.”
Blessed is the man who can say that the judgments or verdicts of God have become sweet to his taste. The sinner cannot say that they are. The Christian who walks in the flesh constantly feels their condemning finger pointing at him. Praise God in the life of walking in the Spirit, this Beulah Land, we can sing from Psalm 19, “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart, the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” Can your taste given by the luxurious flow of His love continue and say, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb?”
What are your tastes in literature? Where do you turn for delight? Have you ever let God search your heart and show you whether or not you were looking for honor from men? Where do you turn for reward, unto the flesh and men, or are the grapes of Eschol and the fruits of Beulah Land (that is the rich reward of His tender, appreciative smile of the glowing fire of His love) enough?
Now the most dangerous taste is a mixed taste. Multitudes of Christians have this kind of a taste. They do not care for anything that’s real wicked. “Oh, no, thank God, that is a thing of the past,” they say. They like, though, to sip—not drink, mind you—certain carefully prepared glasses of amusement with a religious name on the bottle, and the cork pulled in the name of the church. On the other hand they do not care for anything that is deeply spiritual. It must be so highly flavored with culture and carry a smell of intellectuality and philosophy about it, in such proportion that it can be drunk in the presence of the unsaved without shocking them. Yet it’s what the church calls “the middle of the road.”
It is as if they said, “We will not wander into the wilderness, oh, no. We will not go over into Canaan Land, oh, no. We will just settle at Kadesh-barnea. We can see both sides of the question in a broad, sympathetic way from Kadesh-barnea.” Oh, beloved, let’s move over into the land. Thinking that you can stay at Kadesh-barnea is all the devil’s lie. Once you have heard the spies’ report of the land, it is either the land, or out into the wilderness with your soul, and your spiritual existence will be summed up in one word, “Wandering.”
A great protest comes from the flesh when it hears God asking for all, but all it must be if we are to enter into our full inheritance. All my heart, and why not? Will He not fill it with His own love? And except He fill it with His love, is anything in the world more hollow? I may write poetry about Him, I may edit books describing His creation and His powers, and all His beauties of character and manifested life, I may speak with the tongues of men and of angels’ but if I have not His love in my heart and my love in Him, I am become a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
It is all my mind He deserves. Forever I could think upon Him and never reach the end of thinking. His works, His wonders, His methods, His grace, His love, His tenderness, His cross, His holiness will occupy all my ransomed intellect. Oh what glad oil to the mind is meditation upon Him. A Beulah Land brain given up to Him leaves no place for idle moments.
All my strength. One of the old saints said that the greatest delight of his heart as he looked into an eternity with Jesus was the promise that “His servants shall serve Him.” Oh, the blessing of being spent for Him.
You may walk in the flesh or in the Spirit. The river of your will is the border between Beulah Land and the wilderness. Will you say with Caleb, concerning this blessed life of love, this abiding place of the saint in the Spirit, this fullness of the Holy Ghost, “Let us go up at once, and possess it.” “Only rebel not; neither fear—the Lord is with us.”