Editor's Letters

by T. Austin-Sparks

September-October 1951

Beloved of God,

Having returned from the visit to the USA, I want to thank all those friends who so faithfully prayed for us during that time, and to accord our deepest gratitude to all those there who showed us so much love and fellowship.

I am not going to report here in any fulness upon the time in America. The Lord graciously carried us along and gave us a real sense that He was with us. If there was any weakness, it was that we tried to cover too much ground and put too much into the limited time. This meant that we had to leave much undone where we did go, and are sorry that many requests for ministry had to be left unfilled for the present.

As to the general impression? well - need - need - need! Deep and appealing, sometimes heart-breaking need!

I have returned with a very heavy heart and a strong cry to the Lord. I suppose this burden and distress is because of some vision of the Lord's fuller purpose for His people, and therefore, inability to accept or accommodate to the so much less which seems to exist everywhere; not only in the USA. Only the Lord can do what is necessary to reach and realise His full end, but we are compelled to a stronger-than-ever seeking those acts of sovereignty and grace unto something much more. Pray with us that, yet, He may have His "eternal purpose" brought into fuller expression in a concrete way in many places. Unto this we are made to search our own hearts and to seek a clearer way in ourselves for the Lord; and, of course, all who share the desire for "the fulness of Christ" must have the same exercise. It will be nothing short of His travail, "the fellowship of his sufferings". Surely Paul meant the sufferings which lead to fulness, not our salvation! "The sufferings of Christ for his body's sake, which is the Church".

One thing has surely come out of this extensive touch with the spiritual situation: it is the necessity of the ministry entrusted to us. More than ever I feel that we have that which would touch this situation, and, although I have no illusions as to how many may receive it, there are not a few evidences that it is recognized as that which answers to the deep sense of need. Do pray much about the enlargement of this ministry in every way, not forgetting that we labour under severe and many restrictions in this country, which the Lord can overcome, and will do so as you pray. We feel that a next phase is at our door, and we are much before Him as to what it is.

A wide and needy door is open to us which could extend us for all our days, but we need the economising wisdom of God. Again we say, "Brethren, pray for us".

We assure you that you are much in our hearts; not for the success of our ministry, but truly for the fuller satisfaction of the Lord; that "He may see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied".

With love in Him, and warmest greetings,
Yours in His bonds,
T. Austin-Sparks

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