Sunday, May 20, 2012
The Danger Of Living On The Past
In the first case, in Matthew 3, you have an historical and traditional thing which has occupied the place of that which claims to represent the Lord and has had much in its history which was of the Lord, in blessing and in use and service; with which much of the Lord has been associated, and which has been associated with much of the Lord in His purpose and His ways; but which has come to a time when it is no more than a past history, a reputation without present life; something that belongs to a by-gone day; whose life, whose vitality and energy and spiritual progress is not up-to-date and abreast of its present claims.
A time of testing comes in the sovereign ordering of God for all such, and it is found by reason of its present root-dryness, lack of vitality, of energy, of up-to-dateness of life that it cannot go through the testing, it is rooted out.
A simple word that, and yet a challenging word which shows us two things: that God, in His sovereignty, does most definitely appoint a time in which He will test the state of everything and everyone which makes a claim to be related to Him. He will do that, and then no amount of past history, good history, Divine history, will stand that thing in stead for the day of His testing.
Or to put it another way, God tests to find out just exactly how up-to-date spiritual life and spiritual experience is.
There are quite a lot of people who have had a very sound, thoroughly genuine conversion, but who live back on their conversion of ten, twenty, or forty years ago; and while it is true the history was quite sound, it is something of the past.
Its vitality has not been continuous, it is not up-to-date, and such people will find that when the winds of God begin to blow they are lacking, they are wanting, and they will be carried away, not necessarily to be eternally lost, any more than Israel is, but to very great loss.
~T. Austin Sparks~