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Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The Recovery of Spiritual Power #5   T. Austin Sparks

Started Sep-23 by PAULFROMNYS; 117 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-23

   

 

Chapter 3 - Going on with the Lord

 

 

Reading: Judges 1.

As we have pointed out, the tragedy of Judges is made all the more noticeable because it follows the book of Joshua. These two read together creates such a change in your feeling as you come from the one to the other, that you become heartsick after seeing all the wonders of those Joshua days, all the possibilities of the Divine intention, all the hope, the great things of Joshua and what the will of God was. And then you came into Judges and see the sequel.

We have a counterpart of these two books in our own dispensation. We have the Joshua state of things in the book of the Acts - a wonderful story of spiritual conquest, triumph, ascendency, the mighty things by the right hand of the Lord. Then, before the New Testament closes, you move into the Judges condition of things and find yourself right there with the first Revelation: seven messages to the churches. Before that you find Judges conditions coming in at Corinth, creeping in at Galatia and other parts, and today we are undoubtedly in the Judges condition of things. There is widespread spiritual failure, a state very largely of weakness, defeat and disappointment which is proved (as it is proved in the book of Judges) to be so by the fact that so many things which are not according to it, but very contrary to the Lord's mind, have got the upper hand among the Lord's people. There are things outside the Lord's purpose that are in the ascendency, and the Lord's people are in bondage to much that is contrary to the will of God.

In reply toRe: msg 1
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-23

   We come back in a moment to speak of that in a more specific way, but here you have this book of Judges representing a state of things so contrary to what God intended... so much less than the Lord willed for His people. Rather than a state of universal glory and victory and joy and praise, there is a state almost entirely of groaning under oppression, sighing by reason of weakness, helplessness and bondage. What was really of God was found in secret places among a few hidden away somewhere - such as Gideon threshing his wheat behind the wall for fear of the Midianites - just like that. And I think that we recognise that we are in the Judges condition of things spiritually today. Recognising the condition, we have to enquire as to the fundamental cause. What lies at the root of this state of things? The chapter we have read tells us plainly what the cause of it all was in their case and the same cause lies at the root of things always when there is a state of spiritual weakness and failure. That constant reiteration, nine times: "they could not drive them out" or "they drove them not out" goes to the root of everything and lies behind the whole state and condition.

In reply toRe: msg 2
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-23

   As we said at the beginning, it is by reason of failure to go on with the Lord into all the fulness that the Lord intended. Somewhere there was a hesitation, a reservation, an argument to debate, a question; somewhere there was a holding back. At some point there was a counting of the cost with the result that a line of less resistance was adopted. Somewhere some little personal interest was taken account of. Somewhere something that the Lord had demanded should be utterly slain was spared. Somewhere the Lord had put His finger upon something and said "that must go" and it was not done away with. The Lord had required a movement, another step to be taken, and the step was not taken; somewhere a little bit of flesh which had to be completely yielded up to the Cross was spared. And whenever such things happen, such reservations, sparing, personal considerations, failure to go right on... whenever that takes place, immediately there is a compromise; the enemy gains advantage. And the power of God's people was lessened and they found themselves having released forces of evil which gradually, slowly worked to get the upper hand until they found themselves almost helplessly and hopelessly in something less than God intended for them.

In reply toRe: msg 3
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-26

   God had intended fulness, absoluteness, finality, supremacy, sovereignty, but for one or other, or more of those various reasons, they had failed to just move with God as His Spirit would lead, and in that failure they had not only come to a standstill themselves, but they had opened the door to some positive evil to come in and occupy the ground which they ought to have occupied themselves, in the name of the Lord. So they were not up to that standard, but they were in bondage and they found that eventually when they did not cast the enemies out, eventually they could not cast them out. It works like that, from the stage of not doing it, you are not able to do it. This is always the history of not going on with the Lord. Oh, that the Lord would stress this in our hearts by this tremendous presentation of spiritual facts... that He would press home upon us that it is the most perilous thing to have any question about going on with the Lord, to stand still for a moment when He says go on; to allow any other consideration to come in and influence us when He has told us what we should do.

In reply toRe: msg 4
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-26

   

And I want you to notice this, that one party doing that influenced all the rest. It is an impressive thing that all these people are gathered into this state of things and they are interrelated in it. They do not live or die to themselves. It is not dealing with an isolated party, it is the influence and effect of each upon all the rest - a matter of tremendous responsibility.

We have an illustration in the case of Judah; always the leading tribe in going out to battle. They were the leaders in the conflict, and Judah means "Praise". It is interesting to notice that praise is always intended by the Lord to lead the way into battle and to always go into the Lord's battles praising is a sign you have the victory before you strike a blow. Judah went so far and then stopped short and did not finish the thing and so the very praise of a full victory was cut short.

In reply toRe: msg 5
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-26

   Immediately you go into battle with half a sound, not full praise, full certain assurance, glorying in the Lord, you know you are only going to have half a victory. There is going to be something lost; you are not going to get right through to what the Lord intended. Judah stopping short, meaning what Judah did, had an effect upon all the rest and you find all the others stopping short as well. If there is one man or woman connected to the will of God, some company of His people in the body of Christ meet face to face with something the Lord has called upon them to do, and they stop short half or three quarters of the way and do not go right through, this has an arresting force upon the rest. One man or woman in a fellowship so vitally related in the spirit has the power of arresting all the others spiritually and holding up the full purpose of God. Not simply because they are not personally going on with the Lord, but because they become the gateway for the entrance of some arresting power of the enemy; immediately they stop, the enemy comes in with some spiritual influence and checks the whole action of the Lord's people.

In reply toRe: msg 6
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-26

   

Go to the New Testament and you find this. At Corinth one man was holding up the whole assembly because there was something there God had said must go - idolatry. Because that man was there, the whole fellowship at Corinth was involved, and the apostle gave clear instructions that the fellowship were to take responsibility for this and judge it. They were to deal with it. This brings you to the point in Judges. Why are these people called Judges? Of course it represents an official capacity, or position, but it represents something more, for you see it was in the day of the Judges that the state of things prevailing was broken into, arrested, and reversed. Read it again, that while this one judged, things were reversed, but immediately the judge died, things went wrong again.

Another Judge arose; things were arrested, put right for a time; immediately he died, things went wrong again.

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