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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Thy Kingdom Come # 6

The Kingdom and Revelation (continued)

Cooperation

Furthermore, the proper effect of revelation from God is inspiration and action, or perhaps we can describe it as spiritual cooperation. True revelation means that we know what God intends to do and are convinced that He will do it - so convinced, indeed, that His objective becomes the great aim and end of our own lives. The simple illustration of this was in the windows which Daniel kept open towards Jerusalem. To him the immediate expression of the kingdom of heaven was "the city which is called by thy name" (9:18). God had decreed that this city was to be re-built. Nothing seemed less likely at the time, for even those who were true to the Lord were doing nothing about it; but Daniel had 'seen', and therefore felt constrained to make this the one great purpose of his life. And because he was so true to the light he had, the Lord gave him more and more light, until he came to understand that the real end in view was not earthly at all or local, but the bringing in of the eternal kingdom of Christ to possess all things for God. The "stone ... cut out of the mountain without hands" (2:45) is no vague or shapeless weapon which the Lord seizes impulsively to do a job for Him; it is a city, a community of redeemed saints, vitally related to Christ the King, suitably shaped and prepared for its great vocation.

Daniel's vision governed his whole life. His prayer was centered on one objective, but it was more than a prayer, for his whole life was behind it. And he persevered and saw the matter through, even though he had to go into the lions' den because of it. What that amounts to is this. If God shows us something, He means us to shoulder the responsibility of it, to take it up and see it through in humble dependence on Him. It makes nothing of us personally, for it is the coming of the kingdom which matters, not our place in it. There was a sense in which Daniel and his friends had no care or concern as to what happened to them. They said, "It does not matter if we go into the fiery furnace; it is the kingdom which matters. It does not matter if I go into the lions' den, so long as the prayer watch for Jerusalem goes on." Being thus happily delivered from all self-interest, they became men of one purpose - God's purpose. That is what vision does for you. The time will come when the kingdom will come, when the saints of the Most High will possess it. They will have it because they have seen it afar off, laid hold of it by faith, kept true to it, and suffered for it. The New Testament tells us that we are to "inherit" the kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9), to be "receiving" it (Heb. 12:15) and to "suffer for" it (2 Thess. 1:5).

We shall see, as we go on, that revelation leads to warfare, spiritual conflict. Daniel was no mere visionary; he entered into close cooperation with his Lord for the realization of what had been revealed to him. Because he suffered for the kingdom of God, he was counted worthy of it. May the Lord make us strong to fight His battles and to possess the kingdom for His Son.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 7 - (2. The Kingdom and Spiritual Warfare)

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