One of the main objects of the
Holy Spirit with the children of God is to get them spiritually and
experimentally into Christ as risen and exalted, and into the risen and exalted
life of Christ.
The present phase of things is
particularly marked by a cutting off from things, men, and movements, with a
view to utter attachment to the Lord Jesus Himself. Antichrist will soon be made
manifest, and will probably come along the line of a great united world-movement
of human improvement and moral and social uplift under the name of
"Christianity", but without regeneration; a great thrust of 'humanism'; a full
development of the principal sin—independence of, and superiority to, God—the
Multitudes will be drawn away
after him, and to refuse to be included in such a movement will bring a
stigma and ostracism upon those who so refuse. The Lord is preparing for
Antichrist by seeking to make the Lord Jesus more completely the life of His own
than has been their experience.
Work, enterprises, activities,
movements, churches, societies, teachings, people, etc., have been and are the
life of many. They must have the stimulus of a programme, a scheme, a place to
Teaching—as such—may bring to
confusion and provide no living way through. Work may lead to exhaustion and
disappointment. Movements may become marked by merely human features and be
spheres of dissension.
Things—all of them—will
disappoint sooner or later, but the Lord abideth and never fails. The measure of
attachment to the Lord can often be the measure of attachment to some interest,
either a person, or persons, or place, or movement, or piece of work, and when
these break down, faith in the Lord is shaken, and a dark period of
eclipse of faith is passed through.
What we must learn
supremely is to attach everything to the Lord Himself, and to come to a full
appreciation of Him. The Lord must be life for the spirit to make it strong; not
interests and merely objective concerns. Otherwise we shall only stand up
strongly when there is the appeal of some outward occasion, crisis or emergency.
The Lord must be life for our
minds so that truth is not for us either abstract or merely true things, but
life and power.
The Lord must be the life of
our bodies. Natural weakness or strength is not the criterion. Healing as a
'truth' or as something in itself can become legal bondage and a 'bugbear'. It
is the Lord Himself our life, whether to remain cumbered about with infirmities
or to be set free—whichever will serve most His glory. It is not so much the
natural condition as the transcendence and accomplishment of the Lord.
In the days of terrific
pressure which are now upon the Lord's people everywhere; days when the enemy
takes less 'off-time' than ever; days when it is more perilous for believers to
take 'off-time', there is only one thing adequate—it is that the Lord should be
known in absoluteness as our life—our very life.
The exhortation of Barnabas to the converts at
Antioch may be a very timely and salutary word for us at this time: "He exhorted
them all that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord" (Acts
First published in "A Witness and A Testimony"
magazine, 1931, Vol. 9-2, republished in Jan-Feb 1964 Vol. 42-1.