Month: August 2013

A Declaration of Dependence

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:29)

Freedom. Independence. Self-actualization. Self-fulfillment. These seem so very American don’t they. A proudful boast that has been packaged in shiny boxes for all the world even. To be a “free spirit” is considered by many to be the ultimate fulfillment of life, of gratification. Modern marketing is literally saturated with such themes and messages. The modern gospel has followed suit to the ruin of so many blood-bought souls. The scope of this ruinous lie is so extensive it is hard not to be seduced by such a sweet, seductive, syrupy message. It drips from everything today, even from many church signs unfortunately.

But what does the Spirit say about such things. How is fullness and fulfillment actually achieved? I am sure you all know the answer all too well – Nothing less or other than the utter, total, unconditional surrender and abandonment to the yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlimited, unqualified dependence upon Him. In everything. For everything. Forsaking all that comes from within ourselves and serves ourselves, that we might live and move and derive our very life in Him alone.

Dear ones, it is no wonder the modern church has practically no idea who Timothy Austin-Sparks is or what poured forth from the spirit of this man for almost a century. For his was an emphasis of all from Christ, all for Christ.

I truly love this phrase – “But a life of dependence upon God can be a life of continual romance. It is there that we make discoveries which are a constant wonder.”

Dear saints – do you really, ultimately wish to know the Lord, to learn from Him, and in doing so to find rest for your weary soul (this is a rest not just from sin but from religious toil it should be said) – then do this one simple, beautiful thing – bow your head and your heart, empty your soul, and then step peacefully, meekly into His yoke. Just do it! And then taste and see that how good the Lord truly is. This is all He asks. This is His gracious invitation given with such meekness and lowliness of heart for all those so wearied in this world. Lord, may we each just do this now, by You. For You. Only for You.

From TAS –

In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2:9,10 NLT)

Oh, those subtle suggestions that are ever being whispered in our ears, that if we give up this and that we are going to lose, and life is going to be poorer, and we are going to be narrowed down until we have nothing left. It is a lie! That is the thing that is countering God’s great thought for us. God’s thought for us is that One, no less than His Son Jesus Christ, in Whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form, should be our fullness. All the fullness of God in Christ for us! You never attain to that by rejecting Him. Life must be much less than it need be if you are not going all the way with the Lord; and what obtains in the matter of our consecration to the Lord, our entire and complete abandonment to Him in our life and our complete cut with all that is not of the Lord, obtains in the realm of service. This flesh loves to sport itself in Christian work, and tells us that if we are going to be dependent upon the Lord we are going to have an anxious time. But a life of dependence upon God can be a life of continual romance. It is there that we make discoveries which are a constant wonder.

You may be nearly dead one minute and in the next the Lord gives you something to do and you are very much alive, dependent upon Him for every breath you breathe. But thus you come to know the Lord. Then after that experience you are just as helpless and dead again for a while, but you remember that the Lord did something. Then He does it again; and so life becomes a romance; yet no one would ever guess you were depending on the Lord for your very breath. It is a very blessed thing to know the Lord is doing it, when you could not do it at all; it is, humanly, naturally, impossible, but the Lord is doing it!

By T. Austin-Sparks from: Christ – All, and In All

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Is He All?

Dear saints – as the days and hours of this age draw to a tumultuous close, as the wheels of this broken cart called the world wobble and begin to fall away, as the apostasy among named christianity becomes ever more entrenched and “birds” have made a permanent home in its branches (Matt 13:32), as sides are being drawn, and hearts are being tested through tremendous fires and afflictions among His own – can we say with pure and sincere hearts that “He is all”? That He is now our very life? That we live and move and exist, no longer in ourselves, but in Him? That we see through His eyes alone, and that His purpose, and His glory, and His kingdom is what animates us in all we do? Has there been a registration and occupation of His life within us? Do we even comprehend in the spirit what this means?

No He did not come to make you or me a better person; to clean us up and dress us up and set us on our feet again to face the world.

From T.A. Sparks –

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

Christ is not a second personality or power, to come along to reinforce us, to vivify us, to strengthen us, for us to use in life and in service, and that He should make us something. That is not the thought, and that is not the angle of Scripture at all. And yet, how almost universally, perhaps largely unconsciously, that is what is happening. Christians are wanting to be made something, even as Christians; and Christian workers and the Lord’s servants are, though perhaps unwittingly, wanting to be made something as workers; and they want Christ to reinforce them, come behind them, and make them something as His servants and in His service.

That whole system of things is diametrically opposed to the truth. The truth is that Christ shall be All, and that we decrease that He may increase; that He should be the primary Personality, and that the impact and registration of any life and any service should not be: “What a good man he was!” or “What a good woman she is!” or “What a fine worker!” but: “What a presence of Christ! What a testimony to Christ! What an expression of Christ! What a sense of Christ! What a reality of Christ!”Are our hearts set upon God having that which is wholly of Himself? That means “I” crucified! No longer I, but Christ! And that means that Christ in us is the basis of our conformity to His image, until we partake with Him of His own nature – pure gold. It is something to face seriously before Him. It brings to us a challenge, but surely it also brings to us a glorious possibility! What Christ is can be made good in us!

Where did Saul go; what happened to that man way back then? What became of that pharisee of pharisees? Gone. All gone! Crucified, then subsumed into the one called the Christ. Not new and improved, not a shiny new man, not a rehabilitated “Saul” (he could never use this name again for it was forever gone, like Abram and Jacob) – No and never for this is NOT what the Word teaches at all. It is in fact what 99% of all christian theology teaches perhaps, but it is not what is being offered to man in the Scriptures.

So let us stop looking to ourselves, even the hope or promise of what we can be if Christ is “added” to us or some such thing. We are nothing and can never be. He must be All. He must be Everything! He must be the First and the Last and all in between. He is the first letter, the alpha, and the last letter, the omega. He is the author and finisher, the starting line and the finish line, He is the heart, the lungs, the head, and we are drawn up into His life never the other way around. Oh how we so often want Him, and pray that He would become part of our lives, that He might supplement us, strengthen us, enable us, etc. Yet the Word says we are to become part of His Life! That indeed the Father sees us as part of Him! That He is now our very life!

There is a vast difference between –

“Strengthen me Oh Lord” and “Be Thou my Strength Oh Lord”,

…between –

“Make me righteous and holy” and “Be Thou my Righteousness and my Holiness”.

Oh that we would grant us a new kind of mirror where our reflection is now and only the Living Christ.

Dear ones, we really do not need to fully comprehend how all of this works for it to be made so. To experience Him as our life will reveal itself in living reality, not theology or doctrine or concepts. “Taste and see” says the Lord. “Come to Me that you may have life”. He must become our Living Reality. Grace and Truth (Living, Self-Revealing Reality) came through Jesus Christ and is offered to each one of us, if we come as little children to receive it by faith and trust. The essence of the abiding life is “shared existence”; it is a union, an integration, a spiritual symbiosis of sorts but it is far deeper than any words can define. “Abide in Me and I in you”. As the dust is dissolved in the Living Water, we too must dissolve in Him. Let us just say simply “amen” (so be it Lord, I truly don’t understand it but I trust you, so be it) and then receive with meekness and rich gratitude the engrafted Word.