Editor's Letters

by T. Austin-Sparks

July 1927

Beloved of our Lord,

There is no other way of running this arduous race of faith than "looking-away" unto Jesus, with such a vision as we have of Him in the Throne.

But it must be this vision, "Jesus, crowned with the Divine Honour and Glory." The heavenly revelation of His absolute Lordship in the Throne of God is the supreme incentive to faith. Such was Paul's constant beholding of Him in the Spirit; and this was Stephen's witness, for which he died, and surely by which he lived through that brief and glorious time of testimony. So whether in the heart, or face to face, this is the heavenly vision, "The Glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God."

Then looking away, or "looking-onward" unto Him. There is not only a direction of the gaze toward Him, but a lifting of the eyes away from near scenes and horizons suggested. Otherwise there must be hesitation, doubt, fear, vacillation. Our only safe way of adventuring this faith-path to the Throne is to maintain our looking-away unto Jesus. Otherwise the spectacle of the seemingly insuperable difficulties of the path to Him will daunt the stoutest heart. Thus it was with Peter's venture upon the heaving sea. There was the initial vision, "If it be Thou, Lord." There was the confidence that it was the Lord Who thus called; but we read, "when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid." So it always is, when we lose sight of the Lord as the eyes are directed toward the present and near troubles and problems to our faith. "JESUS, crowned" is faith's incentive.

This becomes the habit of the believing heart. It is interesting to note that this word "looking" is used only twice in the New Testament, and the other reference is made by Paul with regard to the events of his life in Phillipians 2:23: "as soon as I shall see how it will go with me." He is in prison, of course. His earthly vision is very narrowed, but he maintains vividly his heavenly vision, for it is in this epistle we remember he has that glorious passage about pressing on "toward the goal unto the prize, of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." His faith's view is God in Christ, and therefore, he sees the things of time, the happenings and circumstances of his life, coming along that path of glory. What a way of looking at life! Seeing its events in the light of the Throne, and often seeing them long beforehand, for this is surely the implication: "as soon as I shall see." Coming events thus cast not their shadows, but their glory, before them; for they are seen coming in the will of God and along the line of His Purpose as we are found "looking-away" unto Jesus.

This forward look makes the forward step of faith possible. Our vision is not of the present anarchy, confusion, and menace of the earth phase of the situation, but of the Sovereign security of the Divine Will for us, His own.

Beloved, look away, and thus see your lives coming to you as from His Throne.

Yours with such a vision,
T. Austin-Sparks
T. Madoc-Jeffreys.

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