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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Discipline Unto Prayer # 12

Meekness Of the Man of God (continued)

Mercy of Recovery (continued)

At least, he thought he had. But in fact it was only the first half. He had settled down with his own failure, but now the Lord appeared to him, with this surprising call to go back again to the work which he had ruined by trying to do it in his own strength. He went back, unwillingly, hesitatingly, full of doubts as to his own ability or worthiness, but he went with the new and emphatic assurance: "Certainly I will be with thee." How amazing the grace of God must have seemed to him, rescuing him from his failure and despair, offering to one who had broken down in the past such high and privileged service. We know, of course, that it was this very self-despair which made possible such power as he had never known before. It was the proof that the forty years, far from being wasted, had done the necessary work of undoing. To receive back his original commission by such a miracle of mercy was calculated to make Moses feel deeply humbled.

There is a sense in which God's true servant is always a defeated man. The one who drives on with the sense of his own importance, who is unwilling to appreciate the worthlessness of his own best efforts and is always seeking to justify himself- that one will not be meek, and so will lack the essential power by which God's work must be done. Our brokenness must not be feigned; we must not be content with the mere language and appearance of humility. We, too, must be as conscious of Divine mercy in our being recovered for God's service as we are of the original mercy which drew us from the waters of death.

Mercy of the Exodus

God abundantly fulfilled His promise to "be with" His servant: Moses was used in a unique way to do the work of God. This, too, he realized, was pure mercy: "Thou in Thy mercy hast led the people which Thou hast redeemed" (Exodus 15:13). Moses did not need the deliverance for himself. He was free; he had never been a slave; he could walk in and out as he pleased. He was sent, however, to his people who were in 'the house of bondage,' and was faced with the impossible task of getting them released so that they might worship and serve God. The miracle happened; the great emancipation came; and Moses had been the man whom God used to bring this about. The old Moses, full of his own importance, might have been ready to take some credit to himself for this. Alas! it is all too easy for the servant of the Lord to get puffed up, even if he has been used in only a small way. Even the new Moses, deeply aware o his dependence on the Lord, had severe tests in Egypt which threw him back even more on the absolute grace of God, and he was only able to share in the great Exodus when it had become abundantly clear that God alone was doing the work.

This is the case with every spiritual servant of God. He has to be so dealt with that any tendency to imagine that he is anything in himself, or at all superior to others, must be purged from him. Then, to see God working in power and deliverance, as Moses saw Him, to be the instrument of a work which is so wholly and absolutely of God - this can only bring a man very low in humble worship. Really, the man who is most used should be the meekest of all. When Christ turned the water into wine, we are told that, while the ruler and the guests at the feast did not know the secret, those who did the carrying did. 'But the servants which had drawn the water knew" (John 2:10). They knew how gloriously Christ had worked, and that they themselves had been spectators, rather than agents, privileged to be so used, well aware that all the glory belonged to the Lord and none to man.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 13 - (Mercy of Answered Prayer)

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