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Thursday, October 16, 2014

"That Which Is Born of the Spirit" # 12

The Rule of the Heavens (continued)

Everything to the natural man which relates utterly to God is a mystery and can only be apprehended by spiritual revelation on the ground of the man himself having become a spiritual being. It is here you see that mere cleverness is already ruled out. It does not stand here. Intellectual development and power, as such, is set aside. Scholarship, as such, has nothing to do with the things of the Spirit. The natural man cannot come in here, good or bad. Human efficiency cannot come into this realm. The natural man will count on the things of nature, and so God must rule him out. The proud cannot enter into the things of the Spirit. And yet we do very often come before men as if we knew something. We have here on the earth certain advantages and abilities and we display them before men. That is just the terrible danger of the present system which makes something of man and puts man in a certain place and gives him a position of power over crowds of people.

God beholdest the proud afar off, and when you want the real essence of spiritual blessing you have to come to the one who has been broken and shaken and ground to powder and who in himself is absolutely nothing. And then God begins to pour of Himself through  that one and He has got what He wants. What God wants is spiritual people in this deepest sense, wholly spiritual, that He might give revelation and show that the heavens do rule.

Again, this represents the great necessity for everyone who is coming into the things of God essentially. What is the essence of what is from God? That they should come into it from above. You can come to things on the horizontal - through a certain amount of college preparation or other preparation for it, and you can enter into something here on the earth which is called the "ministry," or you can enter into Bible teaching on the horizontal. You may know it and you may be able to cite it. You are in all the doctrines of the Scripture. You come into it this way because you have "taken it up."  You can come into the church that way. You call it "joining" the church, and when you come in that way, you are not in it at all. You are in a false position entirely. The only way to come into the things which are especially of God is that you have to come in in the Spirit and by the Spirit, and by way revelation.

Then the "ministry" is no longer a matter of churches and pulpits and congregations, etc. The ministry is not governed by anything outward. It is that God has given you a revelation and you have a fire burning in your bones. You have a message from God for the hour in which you live. The heavens are ruling. You may come into the Word of God by cleverly mentally apprehending it, but the Holy Spirit has something back of the Scripture. It is not a wonderful presentation of the Bible to people. What that is over they say, "That was a clever address"; but is there a mighty change? The dynamic impact of God upon their innermost being - what about that? What does it do with reference to their conformity to the image of God's Son?

You come into a ministry from above, not horizontally. No servant of God fulfills the full measure of the Divine purpose except as he comes into it from above. And that represents something in the nature of a terrific upheaval in one's life when you come in that way. This is why imitation is so fruitless. The imitation of Christ is cold, there is no dynamic in it. It is very beautiful and mystical but it does not change the very substrata of your being and conform you to the image of His Son. You cannot put things into Scriptural mold and have life. Everything that is of God has got to be wrought out by the Holy Spirit.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 13)

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