We Pray That The Seeds Of Truth Contained In This Blog Will Penetrate The Good Soil Of Your Heart And Bear Much Fruit.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Faith In God The Secret Of Courage

Come back to the word in Joshua.

Of that first generation, only two men got out of that soul realm - Joshua and Caleb.

They triumphed in and over that realm.

They triumphed in that realm first,and then the Lord brought them out...

But the fact that it was the rest of faith which was the secret of their triumph while they were in it is brought so beautifully, magnificently, to light in this fourteenth chapter of Joshua.

I think this is fine.

Caleb, one of the two, comes to Joshua.

He is an old man now, but still living by faith in the position which he took up with the Lord years before.

He took up that position when he went as one of the spies and when the great majority, the overwhelming majority, brought their evil report.

They looked at God through their circumstances;

These two men looked at their circumstances through God;

It made all the difference.

Caleb took up that position of looking at everything through God, and he is still living in that position;

And now, as an old man, he comes to Joshua, and, while all the other people are being given their inheritance in nice, easy, prosperous positions where every prospect pleases...

Caleb says, Give me this mountain where the giants are, and cities great and walled up; this hilly country; give me this mountain!

Oh, dear friends, there is a lot to be said about that, but I am going to be content with this now as following up this challenge to my heart and to yours.

What are you looking for? - an easy inheritance, a nice, workable cabbage-patch, something that is going to respond to your touch immediately and give you satisfaction?

Are you looking for the flourishing land?

The faith which brought Joshua and Caleb into rest of heart before they came into the rest of the land was this kind of faith - Give me a tough proposition!

Here is a situation full of difficulties, full of threatenings, full of adversities; why, it is almost an appalling prospect, yet nevertheless give me a chance there!

You see the challenge.

Do difficulties appall you or do they at once present a great opportunity for the Lord? "It may be that the Lord... as the Lord spake."

How are we facing the big difficulties? - and there are difficulties! there are problems! and these mountains seem to pile up upon one another as we go on.

Sometimes it seems an impossible outlook and prospect, a hopeless situation.

Perhaps for our own lives individually for some reason within ourselves or outside of ourselves, or for the work to which we are called, the ministry, the testimony that is laid upon us, it seems so utterly hopeless, the mountain is impossible.

Well, what about it?

Is it - Give me this mountain!

Nothing but a real faith in God can take things on like that, and say...

All right, it is difficult, there is no doubt about it, it is an appalling prospect naturally, a hopeless outlook...

Nevertheless let us take it on in the Name of the Lord;

If it may be that the Lord...The Lord - looking at the mountain through the Lord, and not at the Lord through the mountain.

I think that is the kind of faith that we need, that brings into rest.

A mountain - yes, it is a mountain right enough, a physical mountain, a circumstantial mountain, a mountain of outlook in the work.

Naturally we would do the right thing, the wise, common sense thing if we said, No, we are not going to touch that!

But faith says, I am not going to try and skirt that mountain, I am not going to turn my back on it and run away; give me this mountain!

I want that faith, you want it.

It is not just our natural courage, our bulldog nature, our pugnacity that will do it.

We know quite well that we have nothing; if left to ourselves, we had better quit.

But the Lord is challenging us, and Caleb does come up as a rebuke to us.


At the end of a long life when we might think that now is the time for him to be given a very nice little garden and a lodge somewhere where the work was easy and he could take his rest...

No, he says, Give me this mount wherein are the giants, the walled cities; give me this mountain!

His choice was a difficulty, because it was an opportunity for the Lord.

Probably we shall very soon be brought up against what we have been saying in very practical ways, but let us have dealings with the Lord on this.

We are going to have to face what will be naturally appalling difficulties, within and without, taking the very heart out of us...

But oh, for this quiet, restful assurance and confidence in our God which says, Give me this mountain as an opportunity for proving the Lord!

And Caleb got it - and it was Hebron, and that is another story; a very long story is Hebron.

I leave you to look that up, for Hebron has a wonderful place in the purposes of God.

David was first crowned king in Hebron before he was crowned in Jerusalem.

Hebron means 'fellowship'.

There is a great inheritance bound up with Hebron.

Hebron is secured to men and to women of this kind of faith which says, I am not wanting to escape from my difficulty and get out of my hard way;

Let me take it in the Lord's strength and give the Lord an opportunity to show that He can do what is naturally impossible.

The Lord give us that faith!

~T. Austin Sparks~

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Implicit Trust

Jer 39:18  For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD.
 

Behold the protecting power of trust in God. 

The great men of Jerusalem fell by the sword, but poor Ebed-melech was secure, for his confidence was in Jehovah. 

Where else should a man trust but in his Maker? 

We are foolish when we prefer the creature to the Creator. 

Oh, that we could in all things live by faith, then should we be delivered in all time of danger! 

No one ever did trust in the LORD in vain, and no one ever shall.

The LORD saith, "I will surely deliver thee," Mark the divine "surely." 


Whatever else may be uncertain, God's care of believers is sure. 

God Himself is the guardian of the gracious, Under His sacred wing there is safety even when every danger is abroad. 

Can we accept this promise as sure? 

Then in our present emergency we shall find that it stands fast. 

We hope to be delivered because we have friends, or because we are prudent, or because we can see hopeful signs...

But none of these things are one-half so good as God's simple "because thou hast put thy trust in me." 

Dear reader, try this way, and, trying it, you will keep to it all your life. 

It is as sweet as it is sure. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, July 10, 2017

Faithful And Useful

Psa 101:6  Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

If  David spoke thus, we may be sure that the Son of David will be of the same mind.

Jesus looks out for faithful men...

And He fixes His eyes upon them...

To observe them, to bring them forward, to encourage them, and to reward them.

Let no true-hearted man think that he is overlooked; the King Himself has His eye upon him.

There are two results of this royal notice...

First we read, "That they may dwell with me." 

Jesus brings the faithful into His house...

He sets them in His palace...

He makes them His companions...

He delights in their society. 

We must be true to our LORD, and He will then manifest Himself to us. 

When our faithfulness costs us most, it will be best rewarded; 

The more furiously men reject, the more joyfully will our LORD receive us.

Next, he says of the sincere man, "He shall serve me." 

Jesus will use for His own glory those who scorn the tricks of policy and are faithful to Himself, His Word, and His cross. 

These shall be in His royal retinue, the honored servants of His Majesty. 

Communion and usefulness are the wages of faithfulness. 

LORD make me faithful that I may dwell with Thee and serve Thee.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Complete Deliverance

Jer 39:17  But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.

When the LORD's faithful ones are suffering for Him, they shall have sweet messages of love from Himself, and sometimes they shall have glad tidings for those who sympathize with them and help them. 


Ebed-melech was only a despised Ethiopian, but he was kind to Jeremiah, and so the LORD sent him this special promise by the mouth of His prophet. 

Let us be ever mindful of God's persecuted servants, and He will reward us.

Ebed-melech was to be delivered from the men whose vengeance he feared.


He was a humble...man, but Jehovah would take care of him. 

Thousands were slain by the Chaldeans, but [he] could not be hurt. 

We, too, may be fearful of some great ones who are bitter against us; 

But if we have been faithful to the LORD's cause in the hour of persecution, He will be faithful to us. 

After all, what can a man do without the LORD's permission?

He puts a bit into the mouth of rage and a bridle upon the head of power. 

Let us fear the LORD, and we shall have no one else to fear. 

No cup of cold water given to a despised prophet of God shall be without its reward; 

And if we stand up for Jesus, Jesus will stand up for us.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Sunday, July 2, 2017

“Our Heart Shall Rejoice In Him.”

Blessed is the fact that Christians can rejoice even in the deepest distress; although trouble may surround them, they still sing...

And, like many birds, they sing best in their cages.
 

The waves may roll over them, but their souls soon rise to the surface and see the light of God’s countenance...

They have a buoyancy about them which keeps their head always above the water, and helps them to sing amid the tempest, “God is with me still.” 

To whom shall the glory be given?

Oh! to Jesus...it is all by Jesus. 

Trouble does not necessarily bring consolation with it to the believer...

But the presence of the Son of God in the fiery furnace with him fills his heart with joy. 

He is sick and suffering, but Jesus visits him and makes his bed for him. 

He is dying, and the cold chilly waters of Jordan are gathering about him up to the neck...

But Jesus puts His arms around him, and cries, “Fear not, beloved; to die is to be blessed...

The waters of death have their fountain-head in heaven; they are not bitter, they are sweet as nectar, for they flow from the throne of God.

As the departing saint wades through the stream, and the billows gather around him, and heart and flesh fail him, the same voice sounds in his ears, “Fear not; I am with thee; be not dismayed; I am thy God.” 

As he nears the borders of the infinite unknown, and is almost affrighted to enter the realm of shades,
 

Jesus says, “Fear not, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Thus strengthened and consoled, the believer is not afraid to die; nay, he is even willing to depart...

For since he has seen Jesus as the morning star, he longs to gaze upon Him as the sun in his strength. 

Truly, the presence of Jesus is all the heaven we desire. 

He is at once “The glory of our brightest days; The comfort of our nights.” 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, June 30, 2017

There We Saw The Giants

Num 13:33  And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Yes, the Israeli spies saw giants, but Joshua and Caleb saw God!

Those who doubt still say today, “We can’t attack...they are stronger than we are” 

Num 13:31  But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

Yet those who believe say, “We should go up and take possession...or we can certainly do it”.

Num 13:30  And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

Giants represent great difficulties, and they stalk us everywhere.

They are in our families, our churches, our social life, and even our own hearts.

We must overcome them or they will devour us, just as the ancient Israelites, fearing those in Canaan, said,“The land we explored devours those living in it. 

All the people we saw there are of great size” .

Num 13:32  And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

We should exhibit faith as did Joshua and Caleb, who said, “Do not be afraid because we will swallow them up”.

Num 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.

In effect, they told the others, “We will be stronger by overcoming them than if there had been no giants to defeat.”

In fact, unless we have overcoming faith, we will be swallowed up...consumed by the giants who block our path.

With that same spirit of faith that Joshua and Caleb had, let us look to God, and He will take care of the difficulties.

~Selected~

2Co 4:13  We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

We encounter giants only when we are serving God and following Him.

It was when Israel was going forward that the giants appeared, for when they turned back into the wilderness, they found none.

Many people believe that the power of God in a person’s life should keep him from all trials and conflicts.

However, the power of God actually brings conflict and struggles.

You would think that Paul, during his great missionary journey to Rome, would have been kept by God’s sovereignty from the power of violent storms and of his enemies.

Yet just the opposite was true. 

He endured one long, difficult struggle with the Jews who were
persecuting him.

He faced fierce winds, poisonous snakes, and all the powers of earth and of hell.

And finally, he narrowly escaped drowning, by swimming to shore at Malta after a shipwreck nearly sent him to a watery grave.

Does this sound like a God of infinite power? 

Yes, it is just like Him. 

And that is why Paul told us that once he took the Lord Jesus Christ as his life in his body, a severe conflict immediately arose. 

In fact, the conflict never ended.

The pressure on Paul was persistent, but from the conflict he always emerged victorious through the strength of Jesus Christ.

Paul described this in quite vivid language: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

2Co 4:8  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
 

2Co 4:9  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
 

2Co 4:10  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

What a ceaseless and strenuous struggle he related!

It is nearly impossible to express in English the impact of the original language. 

Paul gives us five different images in succession.

In the first, he has us picture enemies completely surrounding and pressuring but not crushing him, because the heavenly “police” have protected him and cleared a path just wide enough for him to escape.

The literal meaning is, “We are crowded from all sides, but not defeated.”

The second image is that of someone whose way is completely blocked or thwarted by the enemy. 

Yet he has persevered, for there is just enough light for him to see the next step. 

Paul said, “Perplexed, but not in despair,” or as one literal translation put it, “Without a road, but not without a ‘side road’ of escape.”

The third picture, “Persecuted, but not abandoned,” is one of the enemy in hot pursuit of him while the divine Defender stands nearby. 

He is pursued, but not left alone.

The fourth is even more vivid and dramatic.

The enemy has overtaken him, struck him, and knocked him down.

But it is not a fatal blow...he is able to rise again. 

He has been “struck down, but not destroyed,” or literally, “overthrown, but not overcome.”

In the fifth and final image, Paul advances the thought still further, giving us a picture that appears to be one of death itself: “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus.”

Yet he does not die, for “the life of Jesus” comes to his aid, and he lives through Christ’s life until his lifework is complete.

The reason so many people fail to experience this divine principle is that they expect to receive it all without a struggle.

When conflict comes and the battle rages on, they become discouraged and surrender. 

God has nothing worth having that is easily gained, for there are no cheap goods on the heavenly market.

The cost of our redemption was everything God had to give, and anything worth having is expensive. 

Difficult times and places are our schools of faith and character.

If we are ever to rise above mere human strength, and experience the power of the life of Christ in our mortal bodies, it will be through the process of conflict that could very well be called the “labor pains” of the new life.

It is like the story of Moses, who “saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up”;

Exo 3:2  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 

Although Satan’s demons tried to extinguish the flame in Moses’ life by continually pouring water on his plans, they could not, because God’s angels were ever vigilant, pouring oil on the flame to keep it burning brightly.

Dear child of God, you may be suffering, but you cannot fail if you will only dare to believe, stand firm, and refuse to be overcome. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hold Your Hand In This Fire!


Heb 4:13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Take heed of what men call secret sins.

There are only too many who continue in wickedness, because as they think, no one knows how wicked they are. 

They are drunkards but it is in the night. 

They are immoral but it is in the dark. 

Their mystery of iniquity trades in the works of darkness and in the dark. 

Indeed, if men could sin and no eye see them...then they might sin securely; but this is a falsehood as well as a mistake.

Once a young maiden was tempted to be unchaste.

The person who solicited her, promised to do great things for her if she would yield.

I will, he said, "do anything for you!"

Will you? she said, "then hold your hand in this fire!"

Oh, that is unreasonable! he answered.

But, she replied, "it is much more unreasonable that I should burn forever in Hell for your sake!"

Who would venture his soul to eternal torment to gratify his own or another's pleasure and lust? 

We cannot escape God's sight any more than we can escape His judgment.

He sees us, though like Adam and Eve we cover ourselves with fig-leaves.

And He will one day call to us, as He did to them, "Sinner...where are you?" 

You cannot flee from His presence.

You may more easily hide from yourselves...than from God.

I hope you will say, for I am sure you will see cause to do so, "How shall I do this wickedness and sin against God!"

~Ralph Venning~




Friday, June 16, 2017

Mistrust Grieves The LORD!

John 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief.


For a child of God to mistrust his love, his truth, his faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to him. 

How can we ever grieve him by doubting his upholding grace? 

Christian! it is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that thou shouldst ever be forgotten or left to perish.

If it could be so, how could he be true who has said, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? 

Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee.

What were the value of that promise...“The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

Where were the truth of Christ’s words...“I give unto my sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. 

Where were the veracity of God, his honour, his power, his grace, his covenant, his oath, if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in him, should nevertheless be cast away? 

Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonour God. 

Arise, shake thyself from the dust, and put on thy beautiful garments. 

Remember it is sinful to doubt his Word wherein he has promised thee that thou shalt never perish. 

Let the eternal life within thee express itself in confident rejoicing.

The gospel bears my spirit up: A faithful and unchanging God Lays the foundation for my hope, In oaths, and promises, and blood.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Sunday, June 11, 2017

No Cause To Blush

Isa 54:4  Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

We shall not be ashamed of our faith. 


Carping critics may assail the Scriptures upon which we ground our belief, but every year the LORD will make it more and more clear that in His Book there is No Error, No Excess, and No Omission.

It is no discredit to be a simple believer; the faith which looks alone to Jesus is a crown of honor on any man's head and better than a star on his breast.

We shall not be ashamed of our hope. 


It shall be even as the LORD has said...

We shall be Fed, Led, Blest, and Rested. 

Our LORD will come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended. 

How we shall glory in the LORD who first gave us lively hope and then gave us that which we hoped for!

We shall not be ashamed of our love.


Jesus is to us the altogether lovely, and never, never, shall we have to blush because we have yielded our hearts to Him. 

The sight of our glorious Well-beloved will justify the most enthusiastic attachment to Him. 

None will blame the martyrs for dying for Him. 

When the enemies of Christ are clothed with everlasting contempt, the lovers of Jesus shall find themselves honored by all holy beings, because they chose the reproach of Christ rather than the treasures of Egypt. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, June 5, 2017

Is There a Difference?

Exodus 11:7  But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

What! Has God power over the tongues of dogs!

Can he keep ours from barking?

Yes, it is even so. He can prevent an Egyptian dog from worrying one of the lambs of Israel's flock. 

Doth God silence dogs, and doggish ones among men, and the great dog at hell's gate?

Then let us move on our way without fear.

If He lets dogs move their tongues, yet He can stop their teeth. 


They may make a dreadful noise and still do us no real harm. 

Yet, how sweet is quiet!

How delightful to move about among enemies and perceive that God maketh them to be at peace with us!

Like Daniel in the den of lions we are unhurt amid destroyers.

Oh, that today this word of the LORD to Israel might be true to me! 


Does the dog worry me? I will tell my LORD about him. 

LORD, he does not care for my pleadings; do Thou speak the word of power, and he must lie down. 

Give me peace, O my God, and let me see Thy hand so distinctly in it that I may most clearly perceive the difference which Thy grace has made between me and the ungodly! 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, June 2, 2017

Let The LORD Decide When "It Is Enough"

                                                 
It is a sweet and blessed event which will occur to all believers in God’s own time...the going home to be with Jesus.

In a few more years the Lord’s soldiers, who are now fighting “the good fight of faith” will have done with conflict, and have entered into the joy of their Lord. 

But although Christ prays that his people may eventually be with him where he is, he does not ask that they may be taken at once away from this world to heaven.

He wishes them to stay here. 

Yet how frequently does the wearied pilgrim put up the prayer, “O that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest;”...

But Christ does not pray like that, he leaves us in his Father’s hands, until, like shocks of corn fully ripe, we shall each be gathered into our Master’s garner. 

Jesus does not plead for our instant removal by death, for to abide in the flesh is needful for others if not profitable for ourselves.

He asks that we may be kept from evil, but he never asks for us to be admitted to the inheritance in glory till we are of full age.

Christians often want to die when they have any trouble. 

Ask them why, and they tell you, “Because we would be with the Lord.”

We fear it is not so much because they are longing to be with the Lord, as because they desire to get rid of their troubles; else they would feel the same wish to die at other times when not under the pressure of trial.
 

They want to go home, not so much for the Saviors company, as to be at rest.

Now it is quite right to desire to depart if we can do it in the same spirit that Paul did, because to be with Christ is far better, but the wish to escape from trouble is a selfish one. 

Rather let your care and wish be to glorify God by your life here as long as he pleases, even though it be in the midst of toil, and conflict, and suffering...

And leave him to say when “it is enough.”

~Charles Spurgeon~

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"Be Of Good Cheer"

John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

My LORD's words are true as to the tribulation. I have my share of it beyond all doubt. 


The flail is not hung up out of the way, nor can I hope that it will be laid aside so long as I lie upon the threshing floor...

How can I look to be at home in the enemy's country, joyful while in exile, or comfortable in a wilderness?

This is not my rest.

This is the place of the furnace, and the forge, and the hammer.

My experience tallies with my LORD's words.

I note how He bids me "be of good cheer."


Alas! I am far too apt to be downcast.

My spirit soon sinks when I am sorely tried.

But I must not give way to this feeling. 

When my LORD bids me cheer up I must not dare to be cast down.

What is the argument which He uses to encourage me?


Why, it is His own victory. He says, "I have overcome the world."

His battle was much more severe than mine. I have not yet resisted unto blood. 

Why do I despair of overcoming?

See, my soul, the enemy has been once overcome. I fight with a beaten foe.

O world, Jesus has already vanquished thee; and in me, by His grace, He will overcome thee again. 

Therefore am I of good cheer and sing unto my conquering LORD. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Need And Value Of Suffering

Let it be settled with us once for all that the sufferings of Christ are an absolute necessity.

I am going to say a very strong thing, and it is this...that if you know nothing about the sufferings of Christ, there is something wrong with you as a Christian.

I am not, of course, speaking of such as have only just entered upon the Christian life, though suffering is sometimes encountered right from the first.

But obedience and faithfulness soon lead to the experience of some form of Christ’s sufferings.

If you are avoiding those sufferings, if you are rebelling against them, you are taking an entirely wrong line.

They are the true lot of children of God.

I do not say that you will each have them in the same measure or of the same kind, but you will have them. 

Ask the Lord if your bad times may not, after all, fit into this. 

You have been thinking of them merely as circumstances, as disappointments, working out to your misfortune, your disadvantage.

But wait; see whether these are not, after all, bound up with your spiritual life, whether they do not bear a relationship to your spiritual growth.

Interrogate yourself, examine this question.

Sufferings are necessary for several things; first of all, to keep things real, practical and up-to-date. 

The Lord is not going to allow any one of us to live upon a past, upon a theory, upon a tradition, upon a doctrine as a doctrine.

He will allow us to live only on what is real and practical and up-to-date, and, being made as we are, we do not so live unless we are made to.

If I know even a little about the Lord and the Lord’s things, I can tell you perfectly frankly it is because of suffering.

I could not and would not have learned unless the Lord had made me learn, and taught me in a very deep and practical school where things were kept right up-to-date, and where every bit of ministry sprang out of some new experience.

It is a law which applies to us all. 

The fact is that these sufferings are absolutely essential to keep things real; 

People have a right to ask, How did you get to know that? 

Have you proved that?

How much has that been to you in the deepest hours of life, when things were beyond your power? 

Did that prove to be true then?

If we are not able to say with all our heart in utter sincerity, ‘I found the Lord to be like that; I have put that truth to a thorough test and proved it’, then we are frauds. 

The Lord has no place for frauds; therefore He keeps us up-to-date. 

Reality is by suffering.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Ground Of Satan's Power-The World


You see it is a matter, in the first place, of the ground which is taken and occupied by the one concerned.

When Peter took heavenly ground - "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" - he was in a very strong position.

The keys of the kingdom of heaven, binding on earth and binding in heaven, were his.

He was weak, and in a very weak position, when he took earthly ground, the ground of men, the ground of his own judgment and of his own selfhood.

The ground taken decided whether he was spiritually strong or weak, and whether Satan had power over him or not.

It would seem that, when the Lord was speaking to them about what was going to take place in Jerusalem as to His death, Simon just took Him apart quietly, and in a very kindly and consolatory way, and yet with a certain amount of patronage, one would feel, told the Lord that He must not be so depressed and gloomy, that He must take a brighter view of things, and that this sort of thing would certainly not happen to Him.

But in Peter's attitude, on Peter's ground, the Lord saw quite distinctly a recurrence of what He had met so terribly in the wilderness in His temptation, when Satan had offered Him the kingdoms of this world without the Cross - had sought, that is to say, to divert Him from the way to which He had committed Himself.

Peter became but the voice and instrument of that same arch-enemy to turn the Lord away from the Cross.

Hence the word following about saving the life. 

But taking this ground of having the Kingdom and the Throne on any other line but God's ordained line, which is the way of the Cross, is alliance with Satan, and will put anyone in that alliance into the power of Satan and destroy them spiritually.

Firstly, then, it is very evident that any ground of the world, which in its nature is a kingdom without suffering, without the Cross, without the setting aside of natural life, is the realm of Satan's power and authority.

It is perfectly clear that, in the case of the Church, speaking fairly generally, and in the case of countless individual Christians, the weakness, defeat and dishonour which characterize them, and which became so manifest in Peter's case, are due to occupying the ground of Satan's strength.

That ground may be said to be compromise with the world in its principle.

~T. Austin Sparks~