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Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 13

The Spiritual Resources of the Church (continued)

Spirituality Inwrought By Discipline of Circumstances

Now I must add this before I close. What I have been saying may call for an adjustment or a readjustment to your circumstances on the part of many of you. You see, my dear friends, young, middle-aged or old - and let us rule out that "old" in the light of what we have been saying - it may be that you are as much in "a training college" now as ever you could be. Going to a seminary or institution would not of necessity add anything to your opportunities of being prepared for the work of the Lord. That comforts some of you, but it calls for adjustment. If you are in the hands of God, you are in the school of God. What are you being taught, what are you learning, what is the meaning of it? Well, is it to know the Bible better as a book, and all kindred and associated subjects, or is it to know the Lord? Give me the man or woman who knows the Lord before you give me the one who knows all other things without that. Bible knowledge and all that kind of thing is a valuable, important, yes, in a sense, indispensable foundation and addition, but the thing is to know the Lord. And how will you know the Lord? - in the way in which I have been indicating: knowing Him as your life, knowing Him as your wisdom, knowing Him as you influence. Adjust to your circumstances, to your situation. If I were to appeal for young men and women to come to a course of training, and were to say, 'Now, we are starting a Bible Institute; will you give your lives to the Lord and come and be trained for His work?' I think there would be some who would respond and say, 'Yes, I am going into training for the work of God.' If you are not already in training you will never become so merely by going to any such Institute. Adjust to your present situation while it is the Lord's will for you to be in it. Adjust to it as you would a training center. Enter upon it with a new adjustment as seriously as you would if you were giving notice at business and packing your bag and going into a Bible Institute. Take that attitude toward your present situation and know that, while you are there in His will, God will teach you Himself; and that is the thing that matters. He will teach you how to live by His life, how to know Him with spiritual understanding and knowledge, how to exercise and exert a spiritual influence. I am not saying, 'Do not raise the question as to whether the Lord, after a probation and a testing of that kind, is wanting you to move out more fully into His work.' It may be; but I think you see the point of this word. We have got to adjust ourselves to our whole life situation. many of you could never depart from where you are; but that is your college, that is where you ought to be learning. But are you? Or are you all the time wanting to get out, merely enduring it, putting up with it, saying, 'Here I am; I suppose I must stay till something else opens up.' What is your attitude? Look at those fellows who row in the boat race. The time comes when they go into training and they do it with a mind, they do it thoroughly, they set themselves to it. They have one thing in view, and everything has to come into line with that - fitness to fulfill the task before them. We have to take that attitude toward life where we are in the will of God - "This is a setting in which I am in training, and I set myself to secure all the values possible in this situation of knowing the Lord, proving the Lord, living on the Lord, that I may be qualified to meet the need of the hour' - and it is a great need, a very great emergency, which is confronting the people of God today.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 14 - (The Kingdom of satan and Its Overthrow)

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