The characteristic of a person who has his ear open to the Lord is watching. "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat (that is a figure), and will come forth and serve them." I find Him serving, then, in divine love, still in the same character. He comes and brings us to heaven - to His Father's house, that where He is, there may we be also. "While you were in that wicked world," He says, "I was obliged to keep you on the watch, in a state of tension, with diligent earnestness to keep the heart waiting; but I bring you to a place where you are to sit down, and it will be my delight to minister to you."

It is one of the greatest comforts to me that I shall not want my conscience in heaven. If I let it go to sleep for a moment now, there are temptations and snares; there there is no evil, and the more my heart goes out, the more good it is. Here I dare not let it, but I must watch and pray; I shall not need that in heaven. The full blessedness of it is, the Lord being there of course; and next, the saints being perfect. What does the heart desire that cares for the Lord's people? That they should be just what Christ's heart would have them. That will be there; He will see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. Then there is after that this comfort, that my heart can go out - here it cannot - to God and the Lamb, and to the saints in measure too; but then, roam as it will, there is nothing to roam over but a paradise where evil never comes, and it can never go wrong.

He comes, then, and takes us there; and what heaven can find there for the heart to feed on is spread on the table of God. "You shall rest there and feed on it," He says, "and I will gird myself, and come forth and serve you. I am not going to give up my service of love." Thus, while I have the blessedness of feeding on what God has to give, I have the increased satisfaction, that if I put a morsel of divine meat into my mouth, I receive it from the hand of love that brings it to me. When He brings us there, all is turned round. Here," He says, "you must have your lights burning, and be watching; when I get my way, I must put you at ease, and make you happy." "Then shall the Son also Himself be subject." He was serving here. It was man's perfection to serve - the very thing the devil tried to get Him out of. If he had, it would have been doing his own will; but "though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things that He suffered." But when all things shall have been subdued unto Him, He is subject after that. In the meanwhile He has been on His own throne; now He is on His Father's throne, our High Priest; but He will take His own throne and power, and reign, bringing everything into subjection. Then it is not serving, but reigning; afterwards He gives up the kingdom in that sense to His Father, for everything is brought to order. In the millennium it is a King reigning in righteousness; but then it is new heavens and earth, wherein dwells righteousness. Innocence dwelt in the first paradise; sin dwells in the present earth; and then, in the new heavens and earth, it will be "wherein dwelleth righteousness." He gives up the mediatorial kingdom, as it is called, to God, and takes His place as a man - "the first-born among many brethren." He never gives up a place in which He can own us as associated with Himself in the blessedness of first-born of many brethren. As all was ruined in the first Adam, all shall be blessed in the last. "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Then I find myself enjoying everything that God can give to the objects of His love, and enjoying it with Christ then at the head of everything - Son of God and Son of man; we associated with all the blessedness, and He administering to us so that the heart can taste His love. And He does not just bring us there, but it is to all eternity. He has purchased us too dearly to give us up. His love will be in constant exercise towards us. It leads us to adore Him more than any thing that can be thought of; but we can trust a love that never ceases in heaven.

You see here His heart is going out to do it. Then you must have your lights burning. "Let your light" (not your works) "so shine before men," that they may know where your works come from, "and glorify your Father which is in heaven," that they may attribute them to God. I do whatever God tells me to do, and it is a testimony to Christ. People say that is what comes from a man being a Christian. It is that there may be no uncertainty as to what we are - a well trimmed lamp, the testimony of the life of Christ - that it may be manifested what I am, and what I am about  - a pilgrim and a stranger in a thousand different circumstances, the ordinary duties of life to perform, but one service - to be the epistle of Christ. I may be a carpenter or a shoemaker; I must be a Christian. In various relationships, servants, masters, in eating or drinking in our houses, wherever it is, I must be a Christian.

What characterized those servants was waiting, and they got the blessing. "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching." Ah, beloved friends, are you watching, waiting for Christ practically? I cannot be watching and going on in my own way. Are our lights burning, or have we slipped down to the ease and comforts of this world like other people? That is not having our loins girded, and it is not as a doctrine we are to have it only. J. N. Darby.

The nearer a man is to God externally, if his soul has not living fellowship with Him, the worse he is. Judas is worse than the Pharisees; the Pharisees than the Samaritans. Hence the profession of Christianity, where there is not its living power, is the very place where the most terrible evil is to be looked for.

If we let Christ practically out of our hearts, it costs a deal to bring Him back again.

Whatever may be withheld in a time of ruin, the Lord gives, not what would take His people out of it, but fully and perfectly what they need in it.