My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. (Galatians ESV)
The profaning of the Lord's Name, and the taking away of His glory, is the inveterate habit and course of the old creation nature. Should you see any of the old creation getting into the realm of the things of God, what is the result sooner or later? That man takes the glory, and dishonors God. Is not that the tragic, dark story of "the Church"; man in his old creation powers and life pressing into the things of God, and making a name for himself? The Church has been the happy hunting ground of men for reputation, position, influence and all such things. The flesh always does that. It takes God's glory away, it profanes God's Name. In order that that might not be so there must be a new creation, where all things are of God.... I see the appalling state of things today amongst the Lord's people everywhere; death, weakness, limitation, defeat, failure, inability to stand up, to go on; and, without being critical, censorious or judging, you have to come to the conclusion as you speak with so many, that the measure of Christ is pathetically small. Sometimes when you speak about the Lord to people, who have borne the name of Christian for many years, they gape at you as though you were talking a strange language.
Let us ask the Lord that, so far as we are concerned, there may be an increase of Christ in every way. Let us seek grace for any fiery furnace in the light of the explanation, that it is neither what is of Christ that is being tested in us, nor any good within ourselves, but that what is not Christ should disappear, that it should be Christ, only Christ. At last this universe will know nothing but Christ. He will fill all things, and that will be a great day! May He be fully formed in us.
~ T. Austin-Sparks~