The New Cruse (continued)
The Lord's Present Need
Each of the matters mentioned really needs a book to itself, but we merely touch them to lead on to our further point and object. Referring back to what we said in connection with the waters of Jericho, is it not true that in all these matters at the present day, in a very wide-spread way, the constituent of wonder and glory and life - that spontaneity and overflow in all matters which relate to the Lord Jesus - is lacking? What is needed? Our conviction is that, whatever may or may not be recognized as needed by that which ostensibly stands to represent God in the world today, His own need in the earth is that which will lift all the phases and aspects of the Church's life and work into the realm where this glorying in and glorifying of the Lord Jesus is the dominant characteristic; where formalism yields to life; where all is aglow with His wonderfulness; where His train fills the temple; where 'ordinances' are living testimonies; and where all is vital, dynamic and effectual.
No one will disagree with this, but they may with the next. What is necessary to the Lord to bring this about? It is a new cruse, a new vessel. There is so much mixture in the constitution of the vessels today. The world has got in, on the one hand, and the natural man has so much taken hold, on the other. Tradition, formalism, ecclesiasticism and 'mechanicalism' are like chains and fetters upon the Lord. Moreover, as we have already said, things are given different meanings today from what they had at first under the sanction of the Holy Spirit.
A new cruse is needed, and it must be that which has been made like unto the Lord's vessel at the first. It must be:
1. That which stands upon an absolutely New Testament basis.
2. That which marks the point where God has a clear way because the Cross has brought to zero all the personal interests and resources and confidence of such as form that vessel.
3. That which recognizes, yields fully to, and glories in, the absolute government of the Holy Spirit in every detail of life and service.
4. That which recognizes the utter Lordship of the Lord Jesus.
5. That which sees in Him all the fullness of wisdom, power, knowledge, grace and everything needed, and draws only upon Him.
6. That which is completely selfless and has only one object in view, and that passionately the glory of the Lord Jesus.
We leave till later the matter of securing the vessel, but here emphasize the necessity for it. When the Lord gets it - and He is getting it - He will make it the instrument for the restoration and preservation of His testimony in the earth. This newness may be costly, but then, special usefulness to the Lord is always costly.
No, this is not an appeal for a new sect! It is an appeal for a people embodying the principle and power of "newness of life."
(continued with # 8)