The Reinforcement of Spirituality (continued)
Spirituality Must Be Recovered or Reinforced
Now, all the troubles inside of Christianity - and "Christianity" is a big term, it comprehends a very great deal; you can localize it and personalize it, if you like - all the troubles in Christianity are due to loss or lack of spirituality. God's method, ever and always, in getting over some trouble in us, whether personally or together, locally or in His Church, is always reinforcement of the spiritual life. We never get over any trouble without some strengthening of our spiritual life. Is that not true? When we are faced with some crisis, we are just not going to be able to patch it up, put it right, do something about it outwardly - we have got to come into a new spiritual position about this. We shall never get through until we have got a new spiritual position, or until our spiritual measure has been increased.
It is futile to try to get rid of any troubles in Christianity at large, or locally, or in ourselves, along any other line but God's line: recognizing, "This is a crisis - everything in the future depends upon how we get round this awkward corner, this difficult situation - all the past is going to be jeopardized if we do not not negotiate this spiritual situation triumphantly." How will it be done? By an extra board - the the reinforcement of what has been in the past against the future, holding everything intact by a strengthening of our spiritual life. So the Divine safeguard, or remedy, for every trouble is the reinforcement, or recovery, of spirituality.
Just look again at those boards of the Tabernacle. Firstly, they were made of acacia wood, which is known for its great strength and power of endurance. Secondly, they were of considerable height - ten cubits - which is higher than any man naturally: this is something of greater stature than you or I are naturally - we who comprise the House of God. Thirdly, they were upright, standing on their feet. Those three things are very significant. Here is something that needs strength that is more than ordinary strength, for endurance. Here is something that means stature that is more than ordinary human stature, to rise above. And here is something that must really be on its feet, established.
Spiritual Strength Of Christianity At the Beginning
Now you have the New Testament crowded into those few things. And these letters to Timothy, from which we have momentarily digressed, are just full of those very things. How wonderful these things are seen to be in the beginnings, are they not? For, you know, even at the beginning of the Church's history, it was a tremendous corner that was being turned. The coming of Christ Himself represented the biggest crisis in all history. It was a universal turning-point; from that time onward, things were going to change. And into that tremendous crisis right at the beginning the Church was thrown, it was a delicate, dangerous, perilous time. All the succeeding generations would be colored by how the Church behaved and got through those critical days.
(continued with # 39)