Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Blessed Provision Of The New Covenant

                                                                             
After God’s Spirit left King Saul, his halfhearted obedience had opened him up to Satan’s influence. Soon an evil spirit troubled Saul and he ended up seeking counsel from a witch
(see 1 Samuel 28).

Perhaps as you read the account of Saul’s life, you wonder, “But Saul tried his best and he didn’t do that bad of a job. Why was God so severe with him?”

God is telling us through this passage that He means what He says! He is saying, “I’m showing you how I feel about your obedience to Me. I want all your heart, all your love—not just a halfhearted obedience!”

If the Lord’s message to Saul had been foggy or unclear, we would be justified in saying He should have made an allowance. But His direction to Saul was clear and there was no doubting what He commanded. 


Likewise today, we have no doubt about what God has spoken to us. We know what His commandments are, because He has revealed them to us by His word and by His Spirit within our
hearts.

You may answer, “But what God did to Saul happened under the Old Covenant, under the Law. We live in a day of grace now. Surely the Lord won’t be as severe with us when we disobey as He was with Saul.”

Here is God’s word on the matter under the New Covenant, a covenant of grace:

[God] will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:6-11).

Let me spell out the difference for you between Saul in the Old Testament and all believers under the New Covenant: Whenever a person truly has a desire to obey God’s commands—when that person loves and respects God’s Word—the Holy Ghost supplies him with all power and ability to fulfill those commands. That is the blessed provision of the New Covenant.


~David Wilkerson~

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

What GOD Is Waiting To Hear!

A human being can go for weeks without eating, but only a few days without water. When Israel came to Rephidim, there was no water in sight (Exodus 17). Before long, children were crying and families were growing faint from thirst. It was a critical situation.

Moses understood the ways of the Lord and he knew just what was happening with Israel. He realized that God was letting His people be stretched beyond measure. Why? Because He wanted them to cast themselves completely into His care. He longed to see them rise up in faith and say, “God is able!” 


Scripture then tells us, “[Moses] called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Exodus 17:7).

The words “Massah” and “Meribah” both mean the same thing: “a place of trial and testing.” Moses ran through the camp crying, “This is Massah—a test, a trial! It isn’t the end. God hasn’t forsaken us, so keep holding on! 


The Lord is looking for faith, wanting to know what’s in our
hearts. He knows how to meet our need—He only wants us to trust Him!”

Tragically, Israel did not trust the Lord, so God instructed Moses to pick up his rod, go to Horeb, and strike a certain rock there. When Moses hit the rock, water came gushing out to meet Israel’s thirst. The Lord proved once again He was with His people in spite of their unbelief.

How did Israel tempt the Lord in this episode? Was it in their anger toward Moses? Was it in their murmuring? Or was it in their idolatrous fornication? None of these things was the real issue. Here is how Israel tempted God: “They tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?”

God had that water in storage all along. He could have supplied it to Israel at the first pangs of their thirst but He waited. His heart yearned for His special, chosen people to recognize His love for them and cast themselves into His faithful arms. But once again, they failed!

So, God tried them yet again, this time by allowing them to hunger. Moses later said, “The Lord thy God . . . humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger . . .to prove thee”

(Deuteronomy 8:2-3).

Here was another test of faith. Would Israel hold their empty stomachs and wait for God to send them bread? Would they encourage one another toward faith? All God wanted was to hear, “God, You opened the Red Sea for us and sweetened the
bitter waters of Marah. We trust You to feed us. Live or die, we are Yours!”

That is all God was waiting to hear!


~David Wilkerson~

Friday, December 20, 2013

When GOD Is Silent

Are you a child of God who is experiencing a crushing sorrow, a bitter disappointment, or a heartbreaking blow from a totally unexpected place?

Are you longing to hear your Master’s voice calling you, saying, Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid (Matt. 14:27)? Yet only silence, the unknown, and misery confront you—“Jesus did not answer a word.”
 

God’s tender heart must often ache listening to our sad, complaining cries. Our weak, impatient hearts cry out because we fail to see through our tear-blinded, shortsighted eyes that it is for our own sakes that He does not answer at all or that He answers in a way we believe is less than the best.

In fact, the silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His words and may be a sign not of His disapproval but of His approval and His way of providing a deeper blessing for you.
 

Why are you downcast, O my soul? . . . I will yet praise him
(Ps. 43:5).Yes, praise Him even for His silence.


Let me relate a beautiful old story of how one Christian dreamed she saw three other women in prayer.
 

When they knelt the Master drew near to them. As He approached the first of the three, He bent over her with tenderness and grace. He smiled with radiant love and spoke to her in tones of pure, sweet music.

Upon leaving her, He came to the next but only placed His hand upon her bowed head and gave her one look of loving approval. 

He passed the third woman almost abruptly, without stopping for a word or a glance.
 

The woman having the dream said to herself,“How greatly
He must love the first woman. The second gained His approval but did not experience the special demonstrations of love He gave the first. But the third woman must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all, nor even a passing look.”
 

She wondered what the third woman must have done to have been treated so differently. 

As she tried to account for the actions of her Lord, He Himself came and stood beside her. He said to her,“O woman! How wrongly you have interpreted Me! The first kneeling woman needs the full measure of My tenderness and care to keep her feet on My narrow way. She needs My love, thoughts,and help every moment of the day, for without them she would stumble into failure.

The second woman has stronger faith and deeper love than the first, and I can count on her to trust Me no matter how things may go or whatever people may do.

Yet the third woman,whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect, has faith and love of the purest quality. I am training her through quick and drastic ways for the highest and holiest service. “She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so completely, that she no longer depends on My voice, loving glances, or other outward signs to know of My approval. She is not dismayed or discouraged by any circumstances I arrange for her to encounter. She trusts Me when common sense, reason, and even every subtle instinct of the natural heart would rebel, knowing that I am preparing her for eternity, and realizing that the understanding of what I do will come later.

My love is silent because I love beyond the power of words to express it and beyond the understanding of the human heart.

Also, it is silent for your sakes—that you may learn to love and
trust Me with pure, Spirit-taught, spontaneous responses.


I desire for your response to My love to be without the prompting of anything external.”
 

He “will do wonders never before done” (Ex. 34:10) if you
will learn the mystery of His silence and praise Him every time
He withdraws His gifts from you.Through this you will better
know and love the Giver. 


~Selected~

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Distinguishing Love


Sardis - what is the upshot of things in Sardis? Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.  

You look at the message to the church at Sardis and try to put it all into one word. What is the word that sums it up? Well, you have to say it is indefiniteness.

So we can say again, in the light of the whole standard, that first love, ultimate love, the love of Christ, the love which He is seeking, is a distinguishing love that marks you out as clearly defined for the Lord and all that is of the Lord.

Distinguished,different,outstanding, defined,unmistakable by the love that characterizes and governs. 

The thing that distinguishes from all else is this great love, and this great love brings about a distinctiveness of life.

You cannot be indefinite if you are mastered by this kind of love. 

First love does not care one little bit what people think or say.

Oh, everybody is saying this and that about the lover in the grip of first love. They may be using all sorts of language - He is a fool, he is mad! - it does not matter.

This love is making them clear-cut - one object, one design, one thought, one intent. 

They are people marked by one thing and not two. There is no doubt about it.

We have our humorous ways of speaking of people who are in that state. He is in love, you cannot get away from it, everything goes by the board! There is one thing and one thing only in that life. That is, of course, how it ought to be. 

You young people, never have any relationships in the beginning that are not like that. First love is like that, and the Lord says, "I want you where you were at the beginning."  

Or shall we say, I want you where I have ever been. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end; I am like that from first to last.

I want you back there in a distinguishing love.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More Than Conquerors

Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us

The gospel and the gift of God are structured so wonderfully
that the very enemies and forces that are marshaled to fight against us actually help pave our way to the very gates of heaven and into the presence of God.


Those forces can be used in the same way an eagle uses the fierce winds of a storm to soar to the sky. At first he sits perfectly still, high on a cliff, watching the sky as it fills with darkness and as the lightning strikes all around him. Yet he never moves until he feels the burst of the storm, and then with a screech he dives toward the winds, using them to carry him ever higher.
 

This is also what God desires of each of His children. He wants us to be “more than conquerors,” turning storm clouds into chariots of victory.

It is obvious when an army becomes “more than conquerors,” for it drives its enemies from the battlefield and confiscates their food and supplies. This is exactly what this Scripture passage means.There are spoils to be taken!
 

Dear believer, after experiencing the terrible valley of suffering, did you depart with the spoils? When you were struck with an injury and you thought you had lost everything, did you trust in God to the point that you came out richer than you were before?

Being “more than [a] conqueror”means taking the spoils from the enemy and appropriating them for yourself.
 

What your enemy had planned to use for your defeat, you can
confiscate for your own use.
 

When Dr. Moon,of Brighton, England,was suddenly struck with blindness, he said,“Lord, I accept this ‘talent’ of blindness from You. Help me to use it for Your glory so that when You return, you may receive it ‘back with interest’ [Matt. 25:27].”
 

Then God enabled him to invent the Moon Alphabet for the blind, through which thousands of blind people were enabled to read the Word of God and thereby come to the glorious saving knowledge of Christ.

~Selected~
 

God did not remove Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” Cor.12:7KJV
The Lord did something much better—He conquered it and made it Paul’s servant.The ministry of thorns has often been a greater ministry to humankind than the ministry of thrones. 


~Selected~

Friday, December 6, 2013

Poison Gas From The Enemy

Whenever God raises up an instrument by which He intends to bring His Testimony into greater clearness and greater fullness, the object of which in His desire and thought is to reveal the nature of His Son more clearly, more perfectly, then the concentrated attention of all the powers of evil is to bring that thing under suspicion, and to put over it a great question mark in the eyes and minds of everybody. 

Why are not the Lord's people alive to that fact? 

For a fact which runs parallel with that, and which is just as mighty a fact itself, is that when you really investigate that thing you find you have no reason for question at all.

It was all an unfounded suspicion.

This is clearly the Devil's work, to cast over something which the Lord would use for a fuller revelation of His Son, and of what He desires for His people, this film of questioning, suspicions, doubts, so that it is forced into a realm where it is regarded as dangerous, suspicious.

Would to God that the Lord's people would obey the injunction to "prove all things"!

You see what the enemy is after, and how he goes to work. 

It is helpful to know sometimes what the enemy is after, and how he does operate.

We may be saved from much if only we are aware of it.

This is a message to our hearts, not only of helpfulness in an objective direction through our being informed as to the danger, the peril, the devices of the enemy, but it sheds light upon the inward experience, and shows that all the Lord's dealings with us are intended to bring us to this state of crystal clearness. 

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts (Psa. 51:6): and what the Lord desires He will get.

The dealings of the Lord with His own are purifying dealings, in order to have this crystal clearness, this pure gold, this stone most precious.

They are for the getting rid of the dross, getting rid of the film, getting rid of all those secret and secretive elements which work in the direction of deception. Those are like unto a lie, a falsehood.

The Lord wants to root all that out of us. He is against everything that is shadowy.

He is for everything that is perfectly clear, and so to get rid of the dark substances He puts His fires to work in our lives to purify them.

He does not allow such to be out of the fire for long. He is after this state of utter purity.

God is not cleansing, purging, chastening you and me, and causing His fires to work to our purifying, just for the sake of doing it, and He is not doing it just for our own sakes in as much as He wants us individually to be good and not bad. I suppose He wants that, but that is not all. 

God has a mighty, universal purpose in view, an eternal vocation, and that is what He is after, and it requires a condition.

That is one of the governing conditions of Zion, namely, the full expression of the Lord's mind. 

The Lord is always motived by things so much greater and vaster than we understand in the day when we are passing through the trial.

We bring it down to a personal matter, and ask questions: Why should the Lord deal with me like this? 

We narrow down the range of His thought, His purpose, His intention.

Because we make it so local we lose the strength and helpfulness which would come to us if we could see the great eternal vocation for which we were being prepared. 

~T. Austin Sparks~
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bring Life!

I wish I could have met Paul in the final, mature days of his walk with the Lord. I would have asked him, “Brother, what kept you from fainting and giving up? You were constantly pressed down on all sides.”

I believe Paul would have answered, “Yes, I was pressed down, but I wasn't distressed by any of it.”

But you write so often of being perplexed by your trials, I would say.

True, but never once did I give up in despair, he might answer.

You were also persecuted more than anybody.

Yes, I was. But the Lord never forsook me through it all.

You were struck down often, with infirmities and troubles.

Sure. But none of it destroyed me.

Today Paul testifies to the whole world, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).



He wants God’s people to know, “All your troubles are light, momentary afflictions. And they are producing in you an eternal weight of glory, far beyond your comprehension”
(see verse 17).

Paul tells us, “Death worketh in us, but life in you” (2Corinthians 4:12).
 

The apostle states very plainly, “Here is the reason God hands us over to death. He does it so the life of Christ will flow out of us to others! 

If we allow death to complete its work, a manifestation of the Christ-life will come forth in us. And our testimony will produce life in all who hear it!”

Remember that when financial problems hit, when physical pain strikes, when your name and character are being defamed, all eyes are on you. Your co-workers, your family members, your brothers and sisters in Christ, even strangers are watching and waiting for your reaction.

What do they see flowing out of you in such times? Do they see faith, trust, surrender? Or do they see a despairing, murmuring Christian who will not entrust himself to the resurrection power of Jesus?


Beloved, let death finish its work in you! Let it remove everything that hinders the flow of Christ’s life out of you to others.

Say to the Lord, “Father, I know these troubles aren’t happening to me because You are angry with me but because you are trying to get at something in my soul. Deal with it, Lord. Bring it to death, and out of that death, bring life!”


~David Wilkerson~

Friday, November 29, 2013

GOD Means What HE Says

                                                                               
                                                                            
Do you sit under strong preaching that lovingly exposes your sin?

If so, do you allow that word to convict you?

Or, do you go right back to your sin without grieving at all?

If you are rejecting the warnings of the restraining Holy Ghost—disobeying God time after time, without any heart-grief—then you are being recruited for the cult of Antichrist. 

The devil is silently initiating you into his “mystery of iniquity” and when the promising, miracle-working Antichrist comes along, you will be swept up in his lies and given over to a delusion!

Listen to what Paul says about compromising believers who refuse to love and obey God's Holy Word: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12).

Here are the ominous results of not believing and acting on God's truth: 


The heart becomes hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Satan works on the hardened heart to justify itself, so that it is relieved from all fear of penalty.

The believer becomes blinded by the lie that says there are no wages for sin and no Judgment Day, and that he can get away with his lustful pleasure.

The believer falls prey to doctrines of demons, thinking evil is good and good is evil.

He eventually drifts so far from Christ and the truth, he becomes blinded to who the Antichrist is and he ends up worshiping and serving him as a god.  

On Judgment Day, God will say to such a person, Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity!

Beloved, it does not have to be this way for any of us.
 


God has made a covenant promise to remove all delusion from us and give us victory over sin, through the power of Christ’s cross.

All He asks is that we declare war on our sin, saying, “I won't make peace with this habit. I refuse to abide it. Deliver
me, Father, by Your Spirit.” When He hears this prayer, He will send such Holy Ghost power and glory from heaven, the devil will not stand a chance!

Pray right now that God implants in you a great reverence for His Word. Ask Him to help you be disciplined in your reading of the Scriptures and ask the Spirit to help you take to heart what you read and believe that God means what He says!


~David Wilkerson~
 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You Can Never Say GOD Failed!

                                                                           

John 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

You and I are going to face God sometime. We are going to come face to face with God literally in eternity and then the question is going to arise, has God at any point failed us?

Shall we be able, on any detail, to say, "Lord, You failed me, You were not true to Your word"?

Such a position is unthinkable, that ever any being should be able to lay a charge like that at God's door, to have any question as to God's truth, reality, and faithfulness.

The Holy Spirit has been sent as the Spirit of truth to guide us into all the truth, so that there shall be no shadow whatever between God and ourselves as to His absolute faithfulness, His truth to Himself, and to all His word.

The Holy Spirit has come for that. If that is true, then the Holy Spirit will deal with all disciples in the School of Christ to undercut everything that is not true, that is not genuine, to make every such disciple to stand upon a foundation which can abide before God in the day of His absolute and utter vindication.

But in order that this may be so, you and I, under the Holy Spirit's teaching, have to be dealt with very faithfully, and have to come to the place where we are perfectly adjustable before God, where there is all responsiveness to the Holy Spirit, and nothing in us that resists or refuses the Holy Spirit, but where we are perfectly open and ready for the biggest consequence of the Holy Spirit putting His finger upon anything in our lives needing to be dealt with and adjusted. He is here for that.

The alternative to such a work of the Holy Spirit being allowed to be done in us is that we shall find ourselves in a false position, and it is far, far too costly to find ourselves in a false position, even though it only be on certain points.

This is a false world we are living in, a world that is carried on upon lies.

The whole constitution of this world is a lie, and it is in the very nature of man, though multitudes do not know it, but think they are true. They are trying to build the world on a false foundation.

The Kingdom of God is altogether other. It is built upon Jesus Christ, the Truth.

~T. Austin Sparks~
 



 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hindrances To The Manifestation Of The Life Of Christ In Us

                                                                               
If your hindrance is ambition, God may open to you a tremendous door of opportunity. 

It might be the biggest, most ambitious project of your life and
God will allow you to step into it thinking, “This is it! I finally got my big break.”

Then the Lord will allow the whole thing to fall to the ground. 


You'll end up standing amid the ruins of your dream, crying, Lord, I thought this project was Your will. I thought it had Your blessing. I prayed to You faithfully about it, and You brought me this far. How could You allow it to fail so miserably?

The failure of your project is meant to be a death to everything that hinders the Christ-life from being manifested in you.

Your hindrance could be the incredible revelations you receive from God's Word.
 

You may ask, “How can fresh revelation ever be a hindrance to a lover of Jesus?” One day you may be reveling in new truths being opened to you, profound doctrines you have never seen before. Your confidence is growing, because you consistently apply every new revelation to your walk with the Lord.

Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, your soul is stricken with dryness.


Soon your joy and assurance give way to a sense of frailty and uselessness. An unexplainable depression fills your soul, and each day becomes a burden to you.

The Scriptures that had come so alive in your heart now seem like a closed book. 


Instead of receiving revelation, you wonder if you'll ever learn anything again—but the problem isn't your intellect. 

Your dryness is meant to hasten your death to all confidence in your flesh.

It's a death to your tendency to glory in the revelation you are given, rather than getting your joy from Christ.

The fact is, revelation tends to produce pride. 


This is the very reason God gave Paul a thorn in his flesh. He was restraining Paul from glorying in his many great revelations. God wanted His faithful servant to remain humble in all things.

This whole process of having to endure “death situations” can seem cruel.
 

Without question, it is one of the most painful aspects of our walk with Jesus.
 

But if we allow death to finish its work in us, Christ's own resurrection life will flow freely out of us.

If, on the other hand, we resist death's work, we will not ever have Christ's life in us!

~David Wilkerson~

Monday, November 18, 2013

Perfected Through Sufferings

                                                   

I wonder if you grasp the point. What is God doing with His people?

He is using all these things which are happening, primarily to bring about in His people that conformity to the image of His Son which is to mean Christ in manifestation in an elect people- a people foreordained because foreknown for this very thing. 

This thought of God is a delivering thought. How do you pray for the Lord's people in times of trouble? Of course, we are all tempted to pray for their deliverance, to cry to the Lord that they may escape.

It may be right at times to pray thus, but suppose the Lord does not deliver? He does not always deliver at once. He allows the situation to continue, to become long drawn out.

The enemy will encamp upon that fact and give it his own twist and interpretation — 'God is not doing anything; He has left His people, is standing back, is not concerned.' There is no answering voice, no slightest indication that He is taking any account at all.

It is like that very often, and that is a real playground for the enemy. God apparently makes no response.

How shall we be delivered from going to pieces, from being overwhelmed in such a time and under such conditions?

Only by grasping this thought of God; and then we have to begin to pray along other lines. If God does not act to deliver His people, there is a deeper and a higher thought and purpose than their deliverance, and He is at work upon that; and deeply in them He is going to reproduce the patience, the endurance, the longsuffering of Jesus Christ.

If you go right over the whole ground of God's Son perfected through sufferings and can read your Gospels anew and understand Him as He differs so utterly from the standards of men, you can see what God is doing with us His people.

Meekness and gentleness — these are foreign things to our natures; under stress, under adversity, under the cruel hand of tyrannical men, to say, 'Father, forgive'! He could say "I am meek and lowly in heart." Oh, you see — the image of His Son. 

Such testing conditions are a terrible challenge to our natural dispositions. Our whole nature revolts against meekness and lowliness and wants to rise up and be even with the other one, or be the master. Our nature does not accept and delight in opposition, antagonism, frustration, persecution, and all such things.
 

But think — and this is the marvel of Christ in Pilate's hall and before the High Priest — think again. Spat upon, mocked, struck, in every way degraded — and He is almighty and infinite God incarnate Who, with the parting of His lips, the silent lifting of His hand, could have smitten that crowd out of existence!

The centurion was right; when he saw what had happened he was filled with fear and said, Truly this was the Son of God. We have heard of people suddenly discovering their awful mistake and dying of heart failure on the spot.

Think of the shock that has to come yet to those who treated Him as He was treated — when they see Him. 

You can understand something of what took place in Saul of Tarsus (who knew all about what had happened in Jerusalem) when he saw Him -"I am Jesus"-saw Him in a brightness above that of the noonday sun.
 

But my point is this, He accepted and endured all that, going through to the bitter end, letting them hammer nails through His hands and feet and fix Him to the Cross, with all the deriding- He saved others; himself he cannot save... Let (God) deliver him now, if he desireth him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

And He did not stir a finger or utter a word, when twelve legions of angels were standing ready for His aid.
 

If one angel could smite the host of Sennacherib, what would twelve legions do?

That is meekness and lowliness of heart, and that is what God is trying to effect in us. That is the thought of God; that is going to be glory in God's universe; that will make a world worth living in, and a universe of that nature will be bearable.

God thus works in us; and so the portion we read finds early in it these words —"I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

~T. Austin Sparks~

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Divided Loyalties Issue In Disaster

Now take Jonathan. Even he can be involved at last in the awful tragedy of compromise. It is one of the saddest stories.

We all want to shed tears when we read David's lament over Jonathan. We remember the beginnings of the relationship between David and Jonathan, how their souls were knit together.

Their story is always being taken as a kind of classic and model of friendship, and yet even there...there were divided loyalties in the case of Jonathan - loyalty to the realm of nature, to his father after the flesh, straining against his loyalty to David, and causing him to be a divided personality.

When he is with his father, his heart is with David. When he is with David, he feels the pull of duty to his father. He is a divided man. What a problem divided loyalties present!

Jonathan must have known all about that Amalek episode and what Samuel did; that in the Divine intent the kingdom was then taken from Saul and passed to David; that the Lord forsook Saul and was no longer with him.

He may have known of the consultation with the witch, the touching of that realm forbidden so strongly by the Lord. And yet, on natural grounds of some kind, Jonathan did not break with that whole system of things.

What a different story might have been told if he had taken sides wholly with David and been David's right hand man for the kingdom!

But this divided loyalty involved him in the ultimate tragedy.

And even good people who have been blessed of the Lord, to whom He has shown His favor and whom He has used very greatly, may in the end be involved in spiritual tragedy if for some reason compromise has entered in.

It may have come in because of policy. What a snare policy is! We tell ourselves we must be very careful that we do not do this or that because it may have such and such a result.

It is all policy and diplomacy. 'We must be careful to avoid...' - what? just what we seek to avoid betrays the whole case.

Are we afraid of losing prestige with men, support, friends, position, opportunity?

Do these things weigh with us as over against implicit obedience to the Lord?

If so, there is divided loyalty; and if we allow it, we may at the end pass into terrible tragedy; the tragedy that always follows compromise.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Will You Give Your Life To GOD?


Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

You have a life, and that life is a great trust, a great responsibility. It can stay in its own ambitions, its own interests, its own worldly concerns and considerations, it can stay by itself.

Will you give your life to God, will you let it go to Him, will you put it on the altar and let the knife be taken that God may have it utterly?

If you will, God will multiply your life, God will extend your life, God will make much more of it than ever it would have been if you had kept it in your own hands.

Have you got something in your life that you are holding on to as a Christian; you are not letting that go to the Lord? You know what it is. 

I should miss it if I tried to catalog the things it might be. You know you have something where you are not letting go to the Lord. The Lord has put His finger on something, and you are holding on.

You have an argument which you think is a very good argument. You have a reason you think perfectly good, so you are holding on.

Deep down the truth is you are not prepared to let that go....

There are times when, in recognition that a certain course is the Lord’s way, we have to wait for the Lord’s time and see to it that our strength of will coming into alliance with some purpose of God is not jeopardizing the fruitfulness of that thing, and doing other people harm and making other people suffer. 

There are times when we have to come back to the Lord and say, "Lord, You have shown me that is Your way for me, but I can see that it is going to involve others in a great deal of suffering.

I do want to be sure of Your time in my strength of will to do Your will. I want to do this thing in self-sacrificing love, so that the least loss shall be suffered by others.

We have seen people who are right as to their objective, right as to what the Lord wants, but the way in which they do it often spoils the whole thing.

They take hold of Divine things, and while the thing is right, they are spoiling it by bringing their own strength of will into alliance with it. 

This applies in many ways. We must be circumcised in heart to do the will of God, ready to let go and let God determine the way to accomplish it.

May the Lord interpret His Word and make it fruitful. I know it is challenging. It searches us all; we shall all come up against it.

But oh, see what happened in heaven, and see that He desires that as it is in heaven, so it shall be on earth.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Fire Of Afflictions

God selects the best and most notable of His servants for the
best and most notable afflictions, for those who have received
the most grace from Him are able to endure the most afflictions.
 

In fact, an affliction hits a believer never by chance but by God’s divine direction. He does not haphazardly aim His arrows, for each one is on a special mission and touches only the heart for whom it is intended.

It is not only the grace of God but also His glory that is revealed when a believer can stand and quietly endure an affliction.

~Joseph Caryl~
 

If all my days were sunny, could I say,
His fair land He wipes all tears away?
If I were never weary, could I keep
This blessed truth,“He gives His loved ones sleep”?
If no grave were mine, I might come to deem
The Life Eternal but a baseless dream.
My winter, and my tears, and weariness,
Even my grave, may be His way to bless.
I call them ills; yet that can surely be
Nothing but love that shows my Lord to me!
 

~Selected~

Christians with the most spiritual depth are generally those who have been taken through the most intense and deeply anguishing fires of the soul.

If you have been praying to know more of Christ, do not be surprised if He leads you through the desert or through a furnace of pain.
 

Dear Lord, do not punish me by removing my cross from me. Instead, comfort me by leading me into submission to Your will and by causing me to love the cross.

Give me only what will serve You best, and may it be used to reveal the greatest of all Your mercies: bringing glory to Your name through me, according to Your will.

~A Captive’s Prayer~

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Spirit Of Jezebel

The spirit of Jezebel hates God’s prophets and godly prophecies. And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time" (1 Kings 19:1-2).
 

Christians bound by the Jezebel doctrine have no regard whatsoever for God's holy prophets. They sit coldly, as Jezebel did, unmoved while Ahab went into detail of the miraculous display of supernatural authority on Mount Carmel. But Jezebel was not impressed. All it did was turn her resolve to stone.
 

So it is now. The teachers of the Jezebel doctrine and those like Ahab who are its victims are not open to Holy Ghost conviction or to the message of repentance and holiness. They hear it and then go their way, more determined than ever in their doctrines. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
 

The surest sign of a false teacher and a Jezebel doctrine is the putting down of prophetic warnings and the refusal to hear about judgment. They call it gloom and doom. They laugh, mock and ridicule. Jeremiah says such shepherds are blind and dumb and the Lord told them to obey: "But they harkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward" (Jeremiah 7:24).
 

Those who teach the Jezebel doctrine claim to be prophets, but there is a test of true and false prophets. Jezebel prophets prophesy good things only, just peace and prosperity. "I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.


Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.


Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you" (Jeremiah 23:14-17).
 

Those with the spirit of Jezebel do not turn people from wickedness. They speak of dreams and act foolishly in the pulpit.


~David Wilkerson~
 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Sifted Company

Gideon's company represents a sifted company brought down to a position of absolute faith in God, for that was what God was after - "Lest Israel vaunt themselves against me saying, Mine own hand hath saved me."

They had to be right down to a place where God was their only estate, and faith in Him was the ground upon which they stood. 

Then every man had to put his sword on his side and stand in his place.

You have a very good picture in Gideon's 'three hundred' of a sifted company standing in prayer and the Word of God: "The Sword of the Lord"-The Word of the Lord.

The Lord saw to it that all who had heart trouble went home, for a fearful heart is useless. 

Faith is necessary here. A divided heart is no use and disqualifies its owner. 

A fearful heart was the first test, and a great host went home because they were fearful-hearted.

A divided heart was the next test, and those who went down on their hands and knees to drink the water showed that they were not wholly ready for this business.

Those who stood and lapped out of their hands were eager, for they kept on their feet, and this drinking was only done because it was necessary.

Those who lapped were of undivided heart and were wholly in this business.

A divided heart disqualifies, and the Lord sees to it that divided hearts are sifted out.

At last He gets His company, and they are all with him in the faith of the Son of God, having a life of deep fellowship with Him in prayer and in the Word. 

That will always be a sifted company, and we should not be discouraged or think that a strange thing has happened when the Lord begins to sift out and many go home. 

That is the Lord's way of getting effectiveness. He must sift. 

He Himself, while here on the earth, gave us very much in His personal teaching in this very connection.

He calls, and the reactions to His call are; "Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father." Then there are other interests: "I have bought five yoke of oxen and I go to prove them"; "I have married a wife"; "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it." That is a divided heart!

And then we have His own word: "If a man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple"; "Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."

That is no faint heart! The Lord calls for that, and by the three hundred He delivers the Midianites into our hands, and He saves Israel.

They are the salvation of the rest.

~T. Austin Sparks~






























Friday, October 25, 2013

The Master's Way And That Of His Servant


Then He shows them that, if they would follow Him, their path also would be one of suffering, for He said to them all, " If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Now this is no light thing. We may deny ourselves hosts of pleasures, and yet not deny ourselves.

To let self go is the last thing we want to do. It means real suffering to refuse ourselves,- but we cannot follow Christ truly unless we deny ourselves.

Yea, more, for the Lord added, take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Christ took up His cross willingly for the glory of God and in His love for us, that He might die for us, and we are called to follow Him.

But we cannot take up His cross—we are not called to do so, nor could we.

We are called to take up our own. Each man has his own cross to take up. 

Men were not crucified on the same tree. Each had a tree or cross to himself, and had to carry it to the place of crucifixion. 

Your cross is not mine, nor mine yours, but every disciple has to carry his own cross. This must mean suffering and shame here, and even mortal death.

If a man was seen carrying his cross, every one knew that he was considered not fit to live.

This is the place the world will give us if we are true in following Christ, and we have ourselves also to take that place as being in ourselves not fit to live.

The cross represents the end of man. That is why we read in Romans 6 "Our old man is crucified with him. that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." 

Also Galatians v. 24 says : "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." This we are called to do practically every day—not to spare the flesh, but to deny ourselves, and that without anybody knowing it perhaps in this world.

If we sought to get a name for it, and to be thought something of for our self-sacrifice or self-denial, it would not any longer be carrying our cross, but the very opposite.

It is a great test for us to do this every day. A man might be willing to do some heroic deed for Christ once and for all, and perhaps lay down his life, but to do this daily, week by week and year by year, for many a long year, this is where the test comes in.

But the Lord is sufficient for us and can enable us to do that which He encourages us and bids us to do.

He said moreover, that whosoever desires to save his life shall lose it, but that whosoever should lose his life for Christ's sake should save it.

He would find life in a far better way, above and beyond this world, and he would gain far more than all that could be got in this world. 

Besides in what way would a man be advantaged if he should gain the whole world and lose himself or be cast away?

For in any case he would lose the whole world after gaining it, for he could not keep it, nor take it with him when he dies.

~T. Austin Sparks~