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Thursday, January 15, 2015

God's Reactions to Man's Defections # 37

The Reinforcement of Spirituality (continued)

Christianity Wholly Spiritual (continued)

Everything else in the Christian life is spiritual. As the people are spiritual people by their very birth by the Spirit, so their work and service are spiritual. It is not a matter only of how many things we do, but of the spiritual quality of what we do. There can be tremendous spiritual value intrinsically in a "small" thing done in the Holy Spirit, while very little may come of a vast amount of feverish activity in what is called Christian work. Everything is judged in Heaven by its spiritual value. The warfare is spiritual; you have no need to be reminded of that. "Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood but ... against the spiritual hosts of wickedness ..." (Ephesians 6:12). Our knowledge and our understanding as Christians are spiritual. Our fellowship is spiritual - our relationship with one another is a spiritual relationship, in the unity of the Spirit.

All government among Christians is spiritual. It is not autocratic, it is not official - it is spiritual. Very, very few Christians today are able to discern and discriminate between human government and spiritual government in the House of God. They confuse the two, and thereby bring in many, many complications. Government in the Christian realm is spiritual government. Guidance is spiritual guidance - "led by the Spirit" (Romans 8:14). The methods and resources of the Church, of Christians, are spiritual methods and resources. All this makes up the comprehensive truth that the fundamental reality of the true Christian life is spirituality: that is, that it is all of the Holy Spirit.

In one of the closing chapters of the prophecies of Ezekiel (47:1-12), there is brought into view the river - the river rising in the sanctuary, broadening and deepening on its way - and on its banks trees, bearing fruit every season, and the leaf unfading. I believe that to be a foreshadowing, a prefiguring, of what we have in the Book of the Acts. The trees are men, planted by God, drawing their life from the river of God. How that river broke out in the sanctuary in the days of the "Acts"! And how we see the men planted then by God on the banks of that river; and the fruit - how abundant was the fruit! Trees, sustained by heavenly life, carrying on a heavenly testimony: in a word, spiritual people, men and women whose life and resource and everything was the Spirit of God - for it was the Spirit of God Who broke out in the sanctuary on the day of Pentecost. God's testimony down the whole course of the river requires spiritual people, drawing upon spiritual resources, and that is what we have there.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 38 - (Spirituality Must Be Recovered or Reinforced)

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