The Divine Reaction (continued)
John's Writings: A Renewed Recall to Spirituality (continued)
But, again, what is the Lord's reaction? It is a reaction to a spiritual position. What are "overcomers"? Overcomers are simply those who have maintained or recovered spiritual ground. It is not easy, in a world like this, in the present course of things, in Christianity as it has become, to recover or to maintain purely spiritual ground. You will suffer for it, so the Lord said. I venture to say that it is far more difficult to keep a clear, straight spiritual course in the Christian life, than it is to live just as a Christian in this world. To live as a Christian in the world may be difficult, but you will find that there are difficulties in Christianity which you will never encounter from the world. Am I right? Yes, "a man's foes shall be they of his own household" has a very much larger meaning. A spiritual course in Christianity is exceedingly difficult - because of Christians. Christianity has become very largely the enemy of spirituality.
These are strong things to say, but, you see, it is a matter of the effectiveness of testimony, the purity of testimony. I am not at the moment touching upon the doctrinal side of things. A large part of these letters is given up to departure from former doctrine, and I may come to that in some measure later on. What I am concerned with just now is to demonstrate two things: firstly, that this kind of crisis happens, it is the kind of thing that happens again and again, it is a besetting peril all along the line, to drop from the full, high, spiritual level to which the Lord has called, away to something lower and something less; and then, secondly, that God has ever and always reacted, and still does react by trying to get His people on to a more spiritual level of things, to increase their spiritual measure, their spiritual life. It is the only way to overcome, it is the only way to get through and (to come back to the letters again) to be able at the end to hand back the deposit to the Lord unspoiled. "O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee" (1 Timothy 6:20). "Guard the deposit! Hand it back at the end, unsullied, unspoiled, undiminished, intact!" Paul, on that very matter says: "I have finished the course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7) - "Timothy, take it up and do the same." That is the effect of it. "Guard that which is committed unto thee: - the deposit of God.
(continued with # 46 - (Timothy An Instrument of the Divine Reaction)