Spiritual Gifts vs. Spiritual Persons
There is a difference between spiritual gifts and spiritual persons. The gifts - what are they? The result of the Spirit coming upon a person. The spiritual person - what is he? He is spiritual as the result of the Spirit forming within. There is a lot of difference between inward formation and merely outward action.
Truly accredited ministry is through suffering. Accredited ministry represents a tremendous victory, set in a background of great conflict.
A determined effort is made through the age to discredit spiritual ministry, and to do so through the one engaged in that ministry.
One who counts for the Lord, is a joint of supply, who can be of value in any way to the Lord's people, and stand in His testimony, will know the enemy's effort to render those spiritual values nil by discrediting ...
All ministry that is to be accredited will be bound up with suffering; a decision we have to make is as to the object of our ministry. A good many things can be taken into consideration, but there comes a point where all other things have to be arranged on one side, and one thing on the other side - the real spiritual value, without alloy: that which is wholly of God and not at all of man. In the measure in which that is true there will be suffering. To stand utterly for what is spiritual is a costly thing.
There must be a willingness to be dealt with by the Lord, in such a way as to keep the ministry living and pure. All ministry which issues from such suffering is going to count. It may not be welcomed or desired by the mass, but where there is need and a call for that which we have gained through suffering, there will be response.
...But the treasure is in vessels of fragile clay; the vessel is being broken day by day.
Holding the Ground
We do not know why we are in the place that we are in Everything seems so difficult, so contrary, and then we see things begin to break up. It looks like calamity, and in the end there is something secured for God. But it necessitates our being there pronouncedly the Lord's to secure it. This does not just happen ...
He may hold us in a place and not let us go until that testimony is there established, and then perhaps He will give the situation, or those there, into our hands.
Enlargement through Perplexity
The facts are that there is often a larger service through a certain curtailment, a fuller life through a deeper death, a richer gain by a keener loss; and we have to look for the impact of the operation of God in us in a realm where the eye of man cannot trace ... Supposing the deepest purposes of God can only be realized by His hiding from our flesh all that that flesh craves for its life, and - more - supposing His work in us, whereby triumphant faith and obedience reach their highest form, necessitates His concealing Himself and accepting the risk of being considered to have been unfaithful? There is no doubt that most of those who have been called into some of the most vital expressions of "the eternal purpose" have been trained in the school of apparent Divine contradiction, delay, withdrawal, and darkness.
(continued with # 4)