Take the place where the Lord has put you, where He has called you to live your life and do your work in all the trial and difficulty and suffering of it, and do not strain to get out of it. Do not lose the present value of it by always living mentally or hopefully in a time when you will be out of it, but go back there and recognize that if you are the Lord’s, if you love God and are called according to purpose (as you are if you are in Christ), God is seeking to do something with you and in you by means of the conditions of your present situation. You will only defeat God’s end if you try to get out, and fail to recognize and accept what He is seeking to do.
So we must go back to the sphere and conditions in which the Lord has placed us, with this attitude — God has a thought which relates to me as one of His Own; and that thought is, that through the conditions and sufferings of my life He should develop in me the features of His Son. On the one hand, the features of the old creation may be seen to be more and more terrible and horrible, as I recognize them in myself; but over against that God is doing something which is other than myself, not me at all. He is bringing into being Another, altogether other, and that is His Son. Slowly, all too slowly; nevertheless something is happening. That sonship is not very much manifested yet, but it is going to be manifested. What God has been doing will come out into the light eventually — conformity to the image of His Son; “that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
So we look out upon the people of God on the earth amongst whom we are included, and we have to adjust our ideas as to why we are here. There may be things to do, but God is far more concerned with the being than with the doing, and we have to learn all over again what service is. Service to God is essentially spiritual, or, in other words, it is the measure in which Christ Himself is brought into God’s universe for God’s satisfaction; and we know that we can never bring Christ into anyone’s life by preaching. We may talk to the end of our days, but all our preaching is not going to produce Him. We can only help one another in this matter to understand what God is seeking to do.