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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Focal Point Of All Satanic Opposition

The Lordship of Christ is the one focal point of all Satanic challenge and opposition.

Never let us think that the antagonism of Satan relates to mere details, mere incidents, relates to us or to things.

No, Satan has a comprehensive view of the situation.

He is able to take in the whole range of things, and to see the significance of details, and if he focuses upon any detail, as he does, it is only with his far view, his whole view, that he does it.

The end that he is after through everything is this matter of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Yes, he may focus a good deal of attention upon a relationship, upon two believers who are brought together, who have to live together, and he may bring a great amount of power and stress and cunning to bear upon those related lives in order to divide them.

Do you think he is interested in dividing people as such, and that, when he has done that, he will be satisfied because that is done? Never! 

That is not his object at all. In making that division, he has something very much bigger in view, and that is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

And so our relationships as just two people carry with them the great significance of the lordship of Satan or the Lordship of Christ, and anything between just two simple children of God resolves itself into no less a matter than the ultimate thing in God's universe.

The ultimate thing may be bound up with just two simple children of God in their related lives.

And what is true in that, is true in a countless number of things which in themselves may seem to be very insignificant and hardly worth taking account of.

How petty many things seem, how paltry! You almost blush to talk about them as things, they are so silly, and yet somehow or other Satan is most interested in them.

But do you think that Satan is petty or paltry in that sense, just wanting to make a lot of silly mischief here and there?

Oh no, we give him credit for something more than that.

His kingdom is at stake, and in all these silly little matters, so absurd and ridiculous, there is bound up this mighty issue of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Thus in all these matters, the Cross has to have a very deep place; in our relationships, in the twos and the threes, and the little circles, so that Satan does not get in and secure a foothold to destroy this expression of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The Cross has to be there. The Cross carries with it, not just the dealing with failure, little things in the lives of God's people: the Cross carries with it the immense issue of the Lordship of God's Son.

The Church, therefore, takes up that meaning of the Cross and is to be a company of the Lord's people on this earth which represents the overthrow of Satan's power, in his destruction of oneness, fellowship, relatedness, co-operation, and this bringing into view of the absolute Lordship and sovereign Headship of Jesus Christ.

The Church is for that. This is the question bound up with the Cross and with the Church, namely, Christ's Lordship, and Satan is interested in the Lord's people only in so far as this ultimate thing is being really affected.

You see, you can have what is called "the Church", and what are called "the churches", with no knowledge whatever of this spiritual warfare.

This real spiritual conflict in the heavenlies against the forces of evil is a thing which is altogether foreign to that which is called "the Church" here in this world.

They do not have any fights, any battles, any warfare.

It is something outside their ken. Why?

They have got no impact of a living knowledge of the Cross.

The Cross with them is a story, a history, a doctrine, a creed, not a mighty inwrought reality and power.

Immediately it becomes that, they will know the fight.

Satan does not trouble where there is no living working of the Cross. That is not the Church.

You cannot have a church without the Cross, and you cannot have the Cross without a living expression which provokes the powers of evil.

That is the Cross according to God's mind.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Thursday, December 24, 2015

By Faith Abraham Obeyed

Heb 11:8  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Whither he went, he knew not; it was enough for him to know that he went with GOD.

He leant not so much upon the promises as upon the Promiser.

He looked not on the difficulties of his lot, but on the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise GOD, who had designed to appoint his course, and would certainly vindicate Himself.

O glorious faith! This is thy work, these are thy possibilities; contentment to sail with sealed orders, because of unwavering confidence in the wisdom of the LORD High Admiral; 

Willinghood to rise up, leave all, and follow Christ, because of the glad assurance that earth's best cannot bear comparison with Heaven's least.

~F. B. M.~

It is by no means enough to set out cheerfully with your GOD on any venture of faith.

Tear into smallest pieces any itinerary for the journey which your imagination may have drawn up.

Nothing will fall out as you expect.

Your guide will keep to no beaten path. He will lead you by a way such as you never dreamed your eyes would look upon.

He knows no fear, and He expects you to fear nothing while He is with you.

The day had gone; alone and weak I groped my way within a bleak And sunless land. The path that led into the light I could not find! In that dark night GOD took my hand.

He led me that I might not stray, And brought me by a new, safe way I had not known.

By waters still, through pastures green I followed Him--the path was clean Of briar and stone.

The heavy darkness lost its strength, My waiting eyes beheld at length The streaking dawn.

On, safely on, through sunrise glow I walked, my hand in His, and lo, The night had gone.

~Annie Porter Johnson~

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Defended And Covered

Isa 31:5  As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.

With hurrying wing the mother bird hastens up to the protection of her young. She wastes no time upon the road when coming to supply them with food or guard them from danger.

Thus as on eagle's wings will the LORD come for the defense of His chosen; yea, He will ride upon the wings of the wind.

With outspread wing the mother covers her little ones in the nest. She hides them away by interposing her own body. 

The hen yields her own warmth to her chicks and makes her wings a house, in which they dwell at home.

Thus doth Jehovah Himself become the protection of His elect. He Himself is their refuge, their abode, their all.

As birds flying and birds covering (for the word means both), so will the LORD be unto us: and this He will be repeatedly and successfully.

We shall be defended and preserved from all evil: the LORD who likens Himself to birds will not be like them in their feebleness, for He is Jehovah of hosts.

Let this be our comfort, that almighty love will be swift to succor and sure to cover.

The wing of GOD is more quick and more tender than the wing of a bird, and we will put our trust under its shadow henceforth and forever.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Obedience Is Life

Obedience towards the revealed will of GOD means deliverance from death.

That is what we mean by the maintenance of our life.

This attitude was true of the Son of GOD throughout His life. 

Being obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross, He overcame death.

Therefore He is alive for evermore.

So everything is bound up with obedience in the matter of life. 

Immediately we withhold obedience to GOD, we arrest the Life of the LORD in us, and make it impossible to go on. 

Obedience is Life. 

This spiritual meat is not only maintaining our Life, it also increases our Life.

It is leading us into the fullness of Christ.

We grow by taking that meat, and Life increases by obedience. 

In Philippians 2 we are told that the LORD Jesus was obedient to the Father to the uttermost, “wherefore also GOD highly exalted Him and gave unto him the name which is above every name.” 

That is fullness resultant from obedience.

Every fresh act of obedience leads us into a greater fullness in Christ, into spiritual enlargement.

But disobedience brings limitation and holds up the flow of Life.
This then, is the meaning of spiritual food: the doing of His will, being obedient in all things.

This spiritual feeding is related to our union with Christ in His resurrection.

It is a living upon that which Christ is in death and resurrection.
In the background of John chapter 6 we have the Passover.

In connection with what that means spiritually, the LORD Jesus fed a great multitude.

The Jews were about to eat the Passover lamb.

But before that took place we have here a hungry multitude, and He - GOD'S Lamb - feeds them with bread saying: “I am the bread of life.” 

He links that with the Passover, the Cross, the Lamb slain, saying in effect: “I am yours. In my death and resurrection, that is, in ME you have Life.”

It is Christ imparted to us.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Friday, December 11, 2015

Honor Him In The Trials

Isa 24:15  Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.

Mark the little word "in"! We are to honor Him in the trial - in that which is an affliction indeed and though there have been cases where GOD did not let His saints feel the fire, yet, ordinarily, fire hurts.

But just here we are to glorify Him by our perfect faith in His goodness and love that has permitted all this to come upon us.

And more than that, we are to believe that out of this is coming something more for His praise than could have come but for this fiery trial.

We can only go through some fires with a large faith; little faith will fail.

We must have the victory in the furnace.

~Margaret Bottome~

A man has as much religion as he can show in times of trouble. 

The men who were cast into the fiery furnace came out as they went in - except their bonds.

How often in some furnace of affliction GOD strikes them off! 

Their bodies were unhurt - their skin not even blistered.

Their hair was unsinged, their garments not scorched, and even the smell of fire had not passed upon them.

And that is the way Christians should come out of furnace trials liberated from their bonds, but untouched by the flames.
Col 2:15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

That is the real triump;

Triumphing over sickness, in it; 

Triumphing over death, dying;

Triumphing over adverse circumstances, in them.

Oh, believe me, there is a power that can make us victors in the strife.

There are heights to be reached where we can look down and over the way we have come, and sing our song of triumph on this side of Heaven.

We can make others regard us as rich, while we are poor, and make many rich in our poverty.

Our triumph is to be in it.

Christ's triumph was in His humiliation.

Possibly our triumph, also, is to be made manifest in what seems to others humiliation.

~Margaret Bottome~

Is there not something captivating in the sight of a man or a woman burdened with many tribulations and yet carrying a heart as sound as a bell?

Is there not something contagiously valorous in the vision of one who is greatly tempted, but is more than conqueror?

Is it not heartening to see some pilgrim who is broken in body, but who retains the splendor of an unbroken patience?

What a witness all this offers to the enduement of His grace!

~J. H. Jowett~

When each earthly prop gives under, And life seems a restless sea, Are you then a GOD kept - wonder, Satisfied and calm and free?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The All Of Belief

Mark 9:23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Our unbelief is the greatest hindrance in our way; in fact, there is no other real difficulty as to our spiritual progress and prosperity.

The LORD can do everything; but when He makes a rule that according to our faith so shall it be unto us, our unbelief ties the hands of His omnipotence.

Yes, the confederacies of evil shall be scattered if we can but believe.

Despised truth shall lift its head if we will but have confidence in the GOD of truth.

We can bear our load of trouble or pass uninjured through the waves of distress if we can gird our loins with the girdle of peace, that girdle which is buckled on by the hands of trust.

What can we not believe?

Is everything possible except believing in GOD? 

Yet He is always true; why do we not believe in Him?

He is always faithful to His word; why can we not trust Him?

When we are in a right state of heart, faith costs no effort: it is then as natural for us to rely upon GOD as for a child to trust his father.

The worst of it is that we can believe GOD about everything except the present pressing trial. This is folly.

Come, my soul, shake off such sinfulness, and trust thy GOD with the load, the labor, the longing of this present.

This done, all is done.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, December 7, 2015

Active Faith

Now, we say so often: 'feelings make no difference, sight is not the question at all, faith is the thing that gives substance to the things unseen'.

Yes, beloved, that is true to principle, it is active faith.

Faith which is the active thing.

Sometimes we have said: 'Alright, I will not disbelieve, I will blankly hold on although I cannot feel, I cannot see, I have no sense of it, I will hold on to the truth.'

That is an excellent thing if we go that far, but very often for our deliverance just a little more than that is needed.

It means acting upon. Oh yes, I have to go somewhere, I have to do something, and if one thing more than another is needed, it is that there should be a knowledge that the LORD is in me for this.

I have not that feeling, that sense at all.

Well, I believe He is, but I cannot go unless I have a manifestation - well, you will never go. 

It is as you go, that is, put your faith into action and count upon the LORD as in you to meet that situation, that you will find He is there.

We have found that so often; again and again we have had to start out as though we had hardly ever known the LORD in our life, if ever we did have an experience of the LORD, well, it has gone; feels as though it's gone for ever.

We have had to start like that as though alone, but have had to say: 'LORD, You are faithful, You are unchangeable.

You are not like I am, subject to all kinds of variations of feelings and emotions and actions. 

You are the same yesterday, today and for ever. 

You abide faithful, there is no variation with You, no shadow cast by turning.

You have said this and I take You at Your word and I am going on the strength of that, feeling nothing.'

The wonderful thing is you have a good time! 

The LORD does come up to the occasion; it is just wonderful.

When it is over you may just go back again and feel as dry as ever you did.

He, the LORD, meets the occasion, you have connected your faith and the LORD has approved, and you know.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Peace Whatever Exposure

Eze 34:25  And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
It is the height of grace that Jehovah should be in covenant with man, I feeble, sinful, and dying creature.

Yet the LORD has solemnly entered into a faithful compact with us, and from that covenant He will never turn aside.

In virtue of this covenant we are safe.

As lions and wolves are driven off by shepherds, so shall all noxious influences be chased away.

The LORD will give us rest from disturbers and destroyers; the evil beasts shall cease out of the land.

O LORD, make this Thy promise good even now!

The LORD's people are to enjoy security in places of the greatest exposure: 

Wilderness and woods are to be as pastures and folds to the flock of Christ.

If the LORD does not change the place for the better, He will make us the better in the place.

The wilderness is not a place to dwell in, but the LORD can make it so;

In the woods one feels bound to watch rather than to sleep, and yet the LORD giveth His beloved sleep even there.

Nothing without or within should cause any fear to the child of GOD.

By faith the wilderness can become the suburbs of heaven and the woods the vestibule of glory. 

~Charles Spurgeon~