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Friday, October 31, 2014

That Which Is Born of the Spirit # 27

The Rule of the Heavens (continued)

Sovereignty (continued)

We need to ask the Lord to reveal to us what it means to be in the heavenlies. Not a place we are to come to, but a position we have come to and have not realized it - not to make us officious, but to give spiritual and moral ascendency. The Lord makes others to take account of that. It is a strong position to be in, to be in the place of revelation of things according to God.

In this present hour the sovereignty and authority of Jesus Christ is not political on this earth - not manifest among men - "My kingdom is not of this world," but His sovereignty is a spiritual sovereignty. He is secretly governing and there is a mighty impact (John 18:36).

To come into the heavenlies means you are to have a spiritual and moral ascendency. What is the way out with God? Out of difficulty, out of suffering? It is the way through. Here you are in the midst of some suffering, difficulty, adversity. You cry to the Lord to deliver you and the Lord does not do it. Then you get into all kinds of mental fogs. Why doesn't the Lord deliver you out? Because He is trying to train you to rule and your way of deliverance is by your spirit taking ascendency over it. You say: "Lord, I take government over this thing to make it serve your end and I refuse to be under it in spirit." When you have taken that position you have come out of it - God comes in. We want to be delivered from our troubles and the Lord wants us to take ascendency over them in Him.

That is what Paul did. His thorn in the flesh was just as painful to him in some senses but he was on top of it - it was serving him and he was not a prey to it. That is the rule of the heavens. It works - I have proved it again and again. The trouble is that sometimes we are so silly and foolish and blindly go on. We yield to it or the enemy blinds us concerning it and then it suddenly breaks upon us that we should not be under it and say: "In His Name I take ascendency over this thing" - we come out by the heavens.

The Lord would show us first of all that the heavens do rule and then bring us into that elevated place with Himself spiritually and governmentally, where the gates of hell shall not prevail against us, and lead on to the great position where all authority on earth and in heaven is in His hands.

The purpose of God now is the securing of an administrative instrument and the training of that instrument to govern. People wonder why the Lord does not wipe the devil out of the universe, why He does not stop suffering and affliction, for the Word tells us that our Lord Jesus was "manifested to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). All this has been permitted in order to bring the Church individually and corporately to the place of spiritual ascendency over trial. God intended to put us into some higher position and that is our rightful position in Christ where the heavens do rule. You are only down and out and under when your spirit is under. God would have us take ascendency over conditions that are. Revelation is bound up with this very thing.. It is wonderful how you go dragging on, hardly holding your ground and then suddenly the Lord gives you a flash - why don't you take your position in Christ?

The great fact is that sovereignty is in the heavenly position and heavenly position is secured for us now in the Lord Jesus for "we have been made to sit in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). Sovereignty, government, ascendency, elevation - all in our Lord Jesus and in that position we should be governors over things - spiritual governors. Not the volume of voice or the phraseology, not the clenching of the fist. It is your spirit being in a position where you can perhaps very quietly and deeply but strongly in you spirit say, 'No, I refuse that in the Name of the Sovereign Lord." We weaken the forces of darkness by a quiet definite position in Christ. Not a mental thing but spiritual, because the heavens represent that which is spiritual.

I was impressed by reading the seventh chapter of Ezra which is the chapter of the mandate. The king had given Ezra a mandate and the enemies sought to frustrate the work, but he came in on the ground of his mandate and the words which the king used three times about the carrying out of the work at Jerusalem were "the God of heaven." Because of the God of heaven Ezra had his mandate and anybody who tried to prevent the accomplishment of that work was met accordingly. When you have a mandate from the God of heaven God will see that your commission is fulfilled - your enemies will not prevail against you. If you are put out of one place God will open other doors. It is a great thing to be a minister of "the God in heaven." A committee, or board or synod may turn you out of every church on earth but they cannot turn you out of the Church of heaven, for "The Heavens Do Rule."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 28)

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