The Faith that Challenges Mountains
Here is a situation full of difficulties, full of threatenings, full of adversities; why, it is almost an appalling prospect, yet nevertheless give me a chance there! You see the challenge. Do difficulties appall you or do they at once present a great opportunity for the Lord? How are we facing the big difficulties? - and there are difficulties! There are problems! And these mountains seem to pile up upon one another as we go on. Sometimes it seems an impossible outlook and prospect, a hopeless situation. Perhaps for our own lives individually for some reason within ourselves or outside of ourselves, or for that work to which we are called, the ministry, the testimony that is laid upon us, it seems so utterly hopeless, the mountain is impossible. Well, what about it? Is it - Give me this mountain! Nothing but a real faith in God can take things on like that, and say - All right, it is difficult, there is no doubt about it, it is an appalling prospect naturally, a hopeless outlook; nevertheless let us take it on in the Name of the Lord; it may be that the Lord ... THE LORD - looking at the mountain through the Lord, and not at the Lord through the mountain.
I think that is the kind of faith that we need, that brings into rest. A mountain - yes, it is a mountain right enough, a physical mountain, a circumstantial mountain, a mountain of outlook in the work. Naturally we would do the right thing, the wise, common sense thing if we said, No, we are not going to touch that! But faith says, I am not going to try and skirt that mountain, I am not going to turn my back on it and run away; give me this mountain!
The Road to Conformity to Christ
As the Man (Christ) is the full embodiment of the perfection of God's thoughts concerning man that is ultimately to be, man that is eventually to occupy God's realm, and as Son of man He is installed, enthroned, established as the perfect model of how things are to be; and God is taking the straight course in the power of the Spirit to that end - to have things according to the Man in the glory. And that Man in the glory is not just officially, but morally and spiritually, governing everything to that end. You and I are not brought to God's end simply by those sovereign acts of the Lord in heaven which save us from all kinds of difficulties. Something has to be done in us, and therefore it must be spiritual and moral government that operates to conform us to the image of God's Son; so that, although there may seem to be hindrances and obstructions and difficulties - and there are - nevertheless, His spiritual government is producing spiritual ends in us which mean approximation to His own likeness. So it is by the Spirit that He governs, and not just as official, sovereign Lord. It is most important to recognize that it is a spiritual government, for it means that everything is spiritual. Ascendancy and triumph and arrival are going to be spiritual, not just natural - we shall not simply be brought there apart from anything that is accomplished in us. We are moving toward God's end by spiritual government within our lives, not merely by a sovereign hand upon us.
The Testimony Before the Work
The Lord is more concerned for a testimony than for a work. We need to get clear on that. A good deal of confusion comes in when you begin to think of things in the light of a work. When you get a lot of people leaving their employment to go into "the work," all kinds of complications arise; and really the Lord is not, in the first place, after the work. I am not saying you are not to work for the Lord, but in the first place it is not the work the Lord is after, it is a testimony, it is a light, a living flame.
(continued with # 5)