A Peculiar Vessel for a Peculiar People (continued)
You see that is a disposition. You will just only go as far as you must if you are like that. What the Lord is looking for, and it is always a minority, those people who never, never talk like that or think like this, May I? Must I? Or is there any wrong in it? They are always saying, "Can I" do more than I am doing? "Can I" go further than I am going? Is there not some fuller thing that the Lord would have, than I know, that I am in, than I am doing? A Question like that, always in the heart. Has the Lord not go something more than what I have known and what I am doing? Has the Lord not got something more? My heart is set upon all that the Lord wants and I am never to be satisfied with anything less, however good it is. Many, many good things, but is there not something more than this? Such are the people for whom the Lord is looking. And He Who readeth all hearts knows our disposition in this matter whether we will accept something less, or never accept anything less than all that the Lord would have; if He could have it.
The Lord allows opportunities to come for personal gratification; He presents something that demands hard work and then He watches the Disposition. Ready to jump at that which offers some personal gratification, to grasp at an opportunity, to skirt the hard work, that is your disposition! It proves you our, it proves you out. He sometimes presents something in His Word, brings you up against something in His Word. Now then, watch this disposition, "Must I, really must I? Is that a command? And I, if I do not do it I shall just be breaking a command? Is that really necessary?" And then we begin to go round to people we think are authorities, or know better than we do, who know the Lord better than we do, and say, "do you think it is necessary for me to do so and so, do you think that I must?" And how often, how often, even Godly people have said, "Oh, no, I do not think it is necessary for you to do that". Making men so often out authority in the things of God, when God has presented us with something. Going round going round.
I remember many years ago, to give you an illustration of what I meant, mean, I was visiting a certain home. I felt constrained to go to that home, at the time, that particular evening. I did not know why but it just seemed that I had to go and I was asking in my heart, why is it that I feel so strongly urged to go there tonight? And I went with this question. And I got there and while we were quietly talking together I could not see anything special, then and there was a knock at the door and a man was brought in where I was and introduced to me, a man who had a very remarkable conversation. He was in the Army, in the old days it was, in the barrack rooms, converted, soundly converted, and had knelt down at his bedside with all the vile, blaspheming, drunken soldiers around him and paid the price, he meant business with God. And he came into this home on this particular occasion and I got into conversation with him, the first time I had met him and found him very earnest. And as we talked I was all the time asking this question, "what, what is it all about? What am I here for? Is there something?" We talk on and on and presently he said to me, "Mr. Sparks, what do you thing about so and so?" It was a water test. "What do you think about so and so?" Immediately he asked the question, I knew inside something touched me, "That is the meaning of your being here and his being here tonight at the moment." I said, "Why do you ask me? Does it matter what I think about it? Has the Lord said that to you?" He said, "Yes, I think He has, I think He has, I feel pretty sure He has, but I wanted some confirmation and so I am asking you." I said, "Brother, if the Lord has said that to you, you just go and be obedient to the Lord. Everything hangs upon your answering the Lord." It's a real test. And we talked, he went away. I went home.
Sometime later I was at that home and along came the same man without any arrangement and I noticed that he was a little bit shy of me this time, a little bit awkward, but we got to talking, and he said, "I remember our talk here last time." He said, "After I left I went to such and such a minister of such and such a denomination who I know who did not believe in this particular thing, you see, and asked him what he thought about it, and he said, "Of course no, that is not necessary at all, that is not necessary." And I said, "No! Mr. So and So the Lord ..." Well we talked and although I was not trying to press for this thing I was taking the Line of obedience to the Lord, and when He speaks, whatever it is, that Line. And the man came right back and said, "Yes, I see! I see! I cannot get away from it, the Lord, the Lord has brought me up against this." "All right brother, you know your way." He went away. It was some time, some months before we met again, and we did meet again a and this time there was a real arrest and death. We could not get anywhere at all. He was not coming on to that again, you see, he was afraid, afraid even to mention it, because, well it disturbed him, and we did not get any fellowship at all. But before he went I said, "Well brother, are you going on with the Lord, are you going to obey the Lord?" And he said, "I do not know when, everybody I speak to says that it is not necessary." "All right," I said, "The Lord has spoken, it is a very serious thing for you." And He went.
One year later in another part of London, the other side of London, I was going along walking along a road, and I saw the man coming toward me on a bicycle and as he got near he recognized me. He wheeled round and went for dear life in the opposite direction. That was that man. What did I hear of him? He had gone right away from the Lord back into the world, right back into his old sin, a drunkard and a blasphemer, right back where he was before he came to the Lord.
(continued with # 27)