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Monday, March 16, 2015

The Stewardship of the Mystery # 20

A Man After God's Own Heart (continued)

An Utter Rejection of the Flesh (continued)

Do you see the man after God's heart? Who is he? He is a man who, though the odds against him be tremendous, sets himself with all his being against that which interferes with the things of God in an "uncircumcised" way. That which contradicts the Cross of the Lord Jesus, that which seeks to force its way into the realm of God other than by the gate-way of the Cross is represented by the Philistine. Who is this uncircumcised Philistine? David's heart was roused with a mighty indignation against all that was represented by this man.

That constitutes a very big issue indeed. It has not merely to do with a sinful world. There is that in the world which is opposed to God, positively set against God, a sinful state that is recognized and acknowledged by most people. That is all against God, but that is not what we have here. This is something else that is to be found even among the Lord's people, and which regards nothing as too sacred to be exploited. It will get into an assembly of saints in Corinth and call for a tremendous letter of the Apostle about natural wisdom, the wisdom of this world expressing itself as the mentality even of believers, and thus making the Gospel of none effect. This spirit that is not subject to the Cross creeps in and associates itself with the things of God, and takes a purchase upon them. It is not so much that which is blatantly, obviously, and conspicuously sinful, as the natural life which is accounted so fine according to human standards. The Lord's people have always had to meet that in one form or another. Ezra had to meet it. Men came and proffered their help to build the House of God: and how the Church has succumbed to that sort of thing! If anybody offers their help for the work of the Lord, the attitude at once taken is: Oh, well, it is help, which is what we want; let us heave all the help we can get! There is no discrimination. Nehemiah had to meet it. There is some help that we are better without. The Church is far better without Philistine association. That is the sort of thing that has assailed the Church all the way through. John, the last surviving Apostle, in his old age writes: "...but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence ... receiveth us not ..." (3 John 9). You see the significance of that. John was the man of the testimony of Jesus: "1 John, ... was in the Isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus." The great word of John's writings is "life": "In Him  was life ..." (John 1:4); "... this life is in His Son" (1 John 5:11). Diotrephes could not bear with that. If Christ is coming in, Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence is coming in, then Christ is kept out.

The man after God's own heart is the man who will have no compromise with the natural mind; not only with what is called sin in its more positive forms, but all that natural life which tries to get hold of the work of God and the interests of God, to handle and to govern them. This has been the thing that has crippled and paralyzed the Church trough the centuries; men insinuating themselves into the place of God in His Church.

You see what David stands for. He will take the head off that giant. There has to be no compromise with this thing; it must go down in the name of the Lord.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 21 - (The Price of Loyalty)

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