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Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 10

The Spiritual Resources Of The Church (continued)

The Challenge To Life Must Be Met Corporately

And how corporate a matter that is! I am talking about a people. Yes, it becomes individual; there has to be an individual exercise and experience; an individual knowledge and application and appropriation; but it is something more than individual. In that battle, every individual needs to cooperation and the encompassing of the Church. Woe betide the poor individual, whoever he or she may be, who gets out into that realm of spiritual conflict without the encompassing of the saints!

So this matter of triumph in the spiritual realm is a Church matter, and when I say "a Church matter," I mean it is a corporate matter. The Church may be indicated and implied by two or three in the Name of the Lord, but it must be that at least to minister to one another. Oh, if the Church more largely knew about that and stood right into it, what a lot of tragedies would never take place that are taking place! What a lot of people would be spared to the work of God who are being put out! What a lot of retirements from the work would never take place! Do they represent the triumph of the enemy? Everyone who has to give up for want of Divine life - is that the triumph of the enemy? That is what I mean by spiritual people in a spiritual position meeting spiritual forces - firstly, knowing spiritual life (Divine life) for spirit, the inner man: for soul, for mind: yes, and for body.

Natural Weakness Essential to Spiritual Power

Here is the great paradox of Christianity - "when I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10). "My power is made perfect in weakness" (v. 9). Divine life does not make of us Samsons in a literal, physical sense, so that our muscles develop, our biceps become abnormal, and all that sort of thing. Rather, in weakness there is something the withdrawal of which would mean that the frail vessel would crumple up and fade out very soon. There is something there which is not natural; it is the very life of God. Everything has to be accounted for on that basis.

Let me add a word in order to guard against misunderstanding or misapprehension. I am not saying that you are wrong to be healthy, or even to be physically strong. I am not suggesting that you go to the Lord and ask Him to take your health and strength away. But I have said, that if that is the basis on which you are working, if it is upon that that you are counting for spiritual effectiveness, you are wrong; it does not count at all. You may be healthy and strong, but you need to recognize that it is not that that will see this work done, but your necessity is as great in the matter of spiritual Divine life as that of the weakest, the most helpless. There may be a place for your health and strength, but something more than that is needed to do the work in the spiritual realm.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 11 - (b. Spiritual Knowledge of the Lord By Revelation, Not Intellectual)

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