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

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Again and again in the Old Testament we find disaster as the result of a failure to keep the Word of God always before them.

Even Moses, who had sacrificed and suffered so much for those people, was at the last forbidden by the Lord to ask any more that he might go into the land. 

Why? Because the Lord had said something and Moses had not meticulously observed what He had said. 'Well,' you say, 'that is terrible! He is a hard God.' 

Ah! but you must remember that it was not just Moses - Moses has attained and obtained now, for he was with Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration - but it was the people for ever afterwards who had to learn this lesson: you cannot violate anything that the Lord has said without forfeiting and losing something.

Then we remember David bringing the ark up to Jerusalem and making a new cart on which to carry it. But there was a disaster on the way. 

The whole thing, about which they seemed to be having such a good time and feeling that they were being prospered and blessed of the Lord, turned into that threshing-floor calamity. 

Uzzah died before the Lord, and David was angry with Him that day. 

He turned the ark aside and went and sulked, nursing his grievance with the Lord. But he got over that, and we do get over these things! 

We have those bad times with the Lord, but when we get over them He is able to show us the meaning of what He has done. 

David went back to the Word of the Lord and found the Lord's instructions about the carrying of the ark. 

He had not said: 'Thou shalt make a new cart'. That was not in the Word at all, indeed, it was another heathen idea.

Then David saw and said: 'Oh, it is written that the Levites shall carry the ark.' 

The tragedy of that day, with the all good intentions, was because the Word of God was overlooked and missed, but the Lord never overlooks His Word.

There may be many secret tragedies in our lives, many arrests in our spiritual progress, not because our motives were not good, but the best motives may just miss the particular thought of God, and He does not substitute a good motive for something that He has laid down as law.

This all sounds very terrible, but we must take it further, and this is where our hearts are really going to be touched.

The answer to these failures was not just a sort of legal, mechanical way of observing some statement in the Bible. The issue was very much bigger than that!

If you will look at every such instance in the Old Testament, the big and the small, you will see that it was always a matter of the Lord's presence. Do you remember Ai?

What had the Lord said about the principles of spiritual progress? You know what He had said! 

The people came to Ai, and you know what Achan did. He violated the Word of God, and the whole of Israel was arrested in their progress, brought to a standstill and there was a scene of tragedy. 

But what was the real tragedy? The manifest presence of the Lord had departed! 

Is not the manifest presence of the Lord everything? Oh, we do not want anything greater than that! 

Surely there is no heart here which is interested in anything in this life and all this world apart from the presence of the Lord! 

If only we know that the Lord is with us, what a lot of difference that makes! 

There may be a lot of victories, a lot of strength, yes, there may be conflicts, as there were with Joshua afterwards, there may be many problems and many difficulties in life, but if only we are assured that the Lord is with us, that is everything, is it not?

I tell you that is my battleground all the way along. The devil is so cruel, using the very discipline of God meant to bring us into His greater fullness, using those trials as accusations against God, and making us feel that because of this situation and circumstance, this trial, this difficulty, this thing that is so hard, the Lord is not with us.

Don't you listen to that lie! You will be absolutely worsted, ruled out of all the conflict and the possession if you take on that lie of the devil.

The presence of the Lord is the battleground. What can we do without His presence? How can we get on without it?

What would our meetings be but for His presence? 

If only we are able to say after our prayer-meetings: 'The LORD was with us. He was there and we knew His presence.' That is life, and that is strength.

Now all that in the Bible, as you see, hung upon this Word of God. He is with us according to His Word, on the basis of His Word and He is only with us as His Word is in our hearts. 

So the Apostle says: "Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom" (Colossians 3:16), and that is the Presence of the Lord. 

He stood back at Ai and in the incident in David's life because of the defaulting over His Word. And it is always like that.

~T. Austin Sparks~

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