The Lord's Great Need - An Instrument
The Lord must have an instrument, a Daniel instrument, whether personal or collective, that moves out towards God for His testimony. He must have a Nehemiah with a heartache over the people because of the breakdown of the testimony. He must have an Ezra who is not for a moment compromising with anything contrary to the mind of God. He must have the Esther instrument who flings fear to the winds, and goes, taking life in hand, to besiege the throne for the life of her people, for the deliverance of the people of God from the threat of the enemy. Oh! What those prayers wrought! And, beloved, the burden of the Lord must come on our heart in like manner if we are to be effective instruments for the Lord in His End-time activities; we must be exercised in a very deep way with the interests of God. We must hold back nothing that will count for the Lord and His interests. You would be surprised how the Lord would come through if you gave Him a chance.
The whole thing begins with a recognition of the need, and the burden of these things upon our hearts. When we are really in it by the urge of the Holy Spirit, the common features found in these Old Testament instruments will be found inwrought in us; and we shall be found an abandoned people unto this one thing - the Lord's burden and heart concern for His testimony in His people.
Second Factor: The Opposition of the Enemy
Then when you come into the burden you find you are in a realm of opposition, and that you are really in a battle. That is another common feature of these books; every one of them represents a situation of terrific opposition and antagonism, all combining to stop the work. Ezra - "Now our enemies." And you are not far in Esther before you find you are in a realm of conflict. And what about Daniel? The den of lions was for praying!
Now this is a stile to be cleared at once. If we are going to stand with God, for that which wholly represents His mind, we have to meet the most fierce antagonism, conflict, and pressure, from every quarter; there is going to be no method overlooked by the enemy for frustrating the end in view. Why so much antagonism? Why so much pressure? Each time when something is in view which is to count for God in relation to His End-time purpose, there it is, you meet it all the time.
Where does the devil get his information from? He finds out when we have a message from God that is going to count, and we meet this pressure from within and without when we are in the thing that is counting for God. When it comes you must recognize that it is related to something which is to count for God. It will come through people, and if we blame the people and focus our attention on them, we have missed the point; if we begin to fight people whilst all the time it is something deeper. "Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies" (Ephesians 6:12).
(continued with # 6)