Google+ Followers

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Arm of the Lord: Related to the Cross

The Arm of the Lord, with all that that means, is inseparably related to the Cross of the Lord Jesus. There you have the heart and the sum of the whole matter. Do you want the Arm of the Lord? Do you want vindication? Do you want the Lord to stand by and support, to uphold, to carry through, to commit Himself, to be on your side, to be with you in your life, and with you in your company of believers, in the work of the Lord? The Arm of the Lord is inseparably related to the Cross, and none of us will ever find the Lord with us otherwise than on the ground of the Cross.

I spoke, at the beginning of this message, of the situations of spiritual tragedy obtaining in so many places among the Lord's people. The root cause of these situations comes to light again and again, both in personal conversation, and in the letters that one receives, in some such terms as these: 'It seems that the Cross hasn't done its work in us yet!' Yes, that is it! A deeper work of the Cross is the one answer, and the sure answer, to all this spiritual tragedy. The absence of such a work explains all the lack of support from the Lord. Isaiah 53 covers everything. The support of the Lord, the presence of the Lord, the power of the Lord, the Lord's committing of Himself to us and to the work, will only be - can only be - on the ground of the Cross of the Lord Jesus, as being the ground upon which we stand and live, whether individually or collectively. The Arm of the Lord only operates by the Cross. You may say, indeed, that the Cross is the Arm of the Lord. It is there that Divine vindication is found. "Christ crucified ... the power of God" - the Arm of the Lord!

Related to a Seed, the Fruit of His Travail

The Arm of the Lord is inseparably related, also, to a seed which is the fruit of the travail of this Servant of the Lord. "To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" To this One: "He shall see His seed"; "He shall see of the travail of His soul." The Church is essentially the fruit of His travail, not the making or the building of men. It is something that has come right out of His own anguish and passion; something born out of His Cross. The Arm of the Lord is inseparably bound up with that.

I am sure you recognize, then, how important it is that you and I should be a part of that. I say, 'a part of that,' advisedly. There is always a danger that we may make things too personal - in this sense, that very often we are not so happy to be a part of something larger; we want attention to focus down upon ourselves: if it focuses down on us we are happy! To have to say: 'I'm just a bit of something more; I am only a bit of something' - well, that is not very interesting! Ah, but the Arm of the Lord is bound up with the larger thing, of which we are perhaps only small bits, and we come into the value of the Arm of the Lord as parts of that whole. For instance, if the Arm of the Lord is with a local company, we shall only find the Arm of the Lord for ourselves as we are really integrated into that local company. If we take an independent and personal line we may not find the Arm of the Lord; the Lord will not stand by us on that ground at all. It is a very important thing that we should let go our own independence and individualism (though not, of course, our individuality) into that in which the Lord is finding His fullest interest and concern. We should live for that, for i is there that we shall find the Arm of the Lord.

Related to the Vindication of God's Son

And finally, for the moment, the Arm of the Lord, with all that it means, is inseparably bound up with the vindication of His Son. That is a test of our lives! Paul said: "For me to live is Christ," and God has vindicated Paul. What enemies he had in his own lifetime, and how many more he has had since, and still has! I think nothing has been left untried in efforts to discredit the Apostle Paul; but he has a greater place today than he has ever had in history.  The Arm of the Lord is with that man! Why? Because for him to live was Christ. He had one all-absorbing concern - the vindication of God's Son. Read again Paul's sad, bitter words about his earlier life against the Lord Jesus. Again and again he tells us of what he did: how he persecuted the Church, how he hauled men and women to prison; but now his whole being, to the last ounce of his strength, is set upon vindicating the One Whom he persecuted, and God is with him.

Remember that! A life really poured out for the vindication of God's Son will have God with it. If we are serving ourselves, or some piece of work, trying to make something go and be successful, God may leave us to carry the whole responsibility, and all the trouble associated with it. But let us have a passion for the honor, the glory, the Name of His Son, and God will take care of the rest.

"To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" These are a few of the things which answer the question. We shall find that Arm revealed on the ground of the Cross, on the ground of the Name, and the ground of the Glory of the Lord Jesus.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 1 - "The Ground of the Revealing of the Arm")

No comments:

Post a Comment