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Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 48

The Triumph of Righteousness (continued)

b. Yieldedness and Obedience (continued)

Now again, it is not a matter of introspective self-examination and analysis. It is a matter of knowing what is the meaning of having the Spirit of Jesus resident within us in order to make us Christlike; and the thing to be kept in view is not only our need of being Christlike but the reason for that need, namely, that there is a great kingdom to be overthrown. Yieldedness is the way to it.

And yieldedness includes and issues in obedience - the opposite of rebellion. In view of what we have been saying, I do not think we need dwell in more detail upon this; but it is well that we ponder the specific statement that concludes and crowns the declaration concerning the yieldedness of the Lord Jesus - "becoming obedient even unto death ... wherefore also God highly exalted Him ..." (Phil. 2:8, 9).

c. Dependence

Then dependence; the opposite of independence, with all its many forms of outworking, of which we were speaking earlier - either throwing God over altogether, seeking to realize our destiny without calling upon Him, or through the various less blatant expressions of independence on to the place where even the sanctified man begins to show signs of spiritual pride because the Lord blesses him. It is so easy to assume that, because He has blessed, a step taken can be repeated without the need for going back to the Lord and saying, 'Lord, even though the last hour was a mighty hour, nothing can be for the next hour unless it comes from Thee.' That subtle movement, the taking of a second step because the first one has been blessed, springs from spiritual pride - presumption.

Look at the Lord Jesus. If there is one thing that stands right out as you follow Him in those years here on the earth, it is this matter of His dependence upon the Father. "The Son can do nothing of Himself" (John 5:19). Very often you can almost feel Him waiting, poised, suspended between doing and not doing, going and not going, with constraints and influences being brought to bear upon Him to cause Him to act. You recall His mother's words, "They have no wine" (John 2:3), with their suggestion of an opportunity for Him to save from embarrassment in a very unhappy situation, to do something quite kind. But He is the the moment poised. "Mine hour is not yet come." He cannot, He will not, do it simply at their suggestion. His brethren urged Him to go up to Jerusalem at the time of the feast of tabernacles, but His answer was "Go ye up unto the feast; I go not up unto this feast" (John 7:1-10). Then, when they were gone up, He Himself went up. All through His life it was like that. Not because other people did it, not because it was the recognized thing to do, not because of any consideration, sentimental or otherwise, did He act in any matter. It was - 'Father, do You want this?' He would not act apart from the Father. He was absolutely dependent on the Father. Was not satan's kingdom overthrown in that way?

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 49)

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