by T. Austin-Sparks
The substance of Part I consists of a slightly revised version of a book which has for some time been out of print. There has been an increasing urge to renew this message, and not a small factor in this urge has been the very definite movement, observable all over the world, toward a reconsideration of the whole testimony of the Church. There is a deep and growing dissatisfaction and disappointment with the spiritual state and impact of the Church. The rumblings of this are heard everywhere, and many conferences are being held and books written in relation to this matter. There is a strong feeling in many quarters that God must act again and do “a new thing”. The tremendous emphasis upon 'Revival' is only one aspect of this.
But it is a big and open question whether God CAN send the kind of revival that is sought, without involving the whole possibility of supporting a false position. So long as suspicion, rivalry, contention, adverse propaganda, and all such things continue between Christians, and THINGS are put in the place of the Lord Himself, how can He bless? There have always been steps that the people of God were called upon to take before God would bless them, and there never was a time when the Church needed more to look to its own house than it does at present. It might be that the Lord would do His new thing quite apart from the established Christian system. This book shows that this is what He has done on many occasions.
Part II is the substance of a more recent conference on ministry and concerns the inner spiritual life which is the nature and object of all God’s reactions.
The book is intended to be, neither critical nor censorious, but, if at all possible, a contribution to the “building up of the body of Christ, till we all attain unto... the measure of... the fullness of Christ”.
I am only too conscious of the many imperfections in the manner of presentation, but I trust that the Lord may be able to use these messages to provoke to a greater utterness for Himself on the part of some, at least, who read.