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Monday, January 18, 2016

The Cross, The Church, and the Kingdom # 49

The Triumph of Righteousness (continued)

c. Dependence (continued)

Were not many of these things all of a piece with that threefold temptation in the wilderness? "Command that these stones become bread"; "Cast Thyself down"; "...if Thou wilt fall down and worship me" (Matt. 4:3, 5, 9). What is behind it? - 'Act on Your own initiative, do something out from Yourself, take the matter into Your own hands!' But He refused, knowing that He had been committed to the Father and that He was the Father's bond-slave. "Behold, My servant" (Isaiah 42:1). This was dependence indeed.

Now our whole being revolts naturally against the idea of dependence. Our pride will not let us be dependent by nature. Yes, that is the poison of satan in us.  If that comes into the spiritual realm, it is in principle the kingdom of satan

But dependence is the way of power. Why? - because it is the way along which the Lord comes. It is the meek, the dependent, to whom the Lord looks. "To this man will I look ..." (Isaiah 66:2). Power results from having the Lord with us. We may presume and assume and go on with some activity, but what is the good if the Lord is not with us?

d. Selflessness Born of Love

All this is summed up in selflessness, which is not simply negative - self-abnegation, the cessation of desire,such as seen in Buddhism. Selflessness is the fruit of love, and love is a very positive thing. Why did the Lord Jesus take that position and hold to it and fight out that battle right to the end, even to great drops of blood, against all the pressure brought upon Him from the spiritual world? Why did He say, "Not My will, but Thine, be done?" Why? Because of His love for His Father. Love was the positive factor, and selflessness is positive when it comes into this realm. It is love, the love of Christ constraining. When love comes in, self goes out. So we are not going to take the negative side in this matter; we are going to ask the Lord to fill us with His love, and self will go out. Those two things can never hold the throne together. Selflessness - that is how love shows itself; that is the fruit of love.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 50 - (The Effects of Sin Negated by Righteousness)

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