Editor's Letters
by T. Austin-Sparks

September-October 1942

Beloved of God,

In such times as these it is no mere formality to send greetings to our fellow-members of Christ in so many places of the earth; and we do truly assure you that you are in our hearts continually. We have said before that our mailing list is not just an office and business affair. The map is in our mind's eye all the time. This ministry has, and does, cost too much to become formal or routine.

There is one matter upon my heart concerning which I want to seek your special fellowship in prayer. It is with regard to the blinding work of the enemy. In this issue we have included the first of a series of messages on spiritual sight. The ground is covered there in a Scriptural way, but here I want to make the appeal more personal and direct.

Among the Lord's people the very greatest need of the moment is of an eye-opened and eye-opening ministry. In olden times the Prophet was called a Seer, one who saw. The true God-sent Seer was the interpreter of the times, and of God's thoughts in those times. Oh, how we need some Prophets or Seers to interpret these present times, and God's thoughts in them!

Here in Britain and in many other parts of the world, religious buildings - including the most evangelical, and some of great evangelical history - have been left with hardly one stone upon another. In many places the activities of Christian institutions have been brought to a standstill. Many Christians and servants of God have been killed, not in the Lord's work, but engulfed in the general destruction of war. An altogether new situation is arising in most of the great fields of Christian activity. Very severe conditions seem to be swiftly developing for an ever greater part of the world. What the present happenings in India, for instance, presage, we can only imperfectly surmise. And yet the only positive thought among the responsible leaders seems to be to rebuild what has been destroyed and resume on the old lines in the old way. We have eagerly watched for, but have so far failed to discern any real enquiry - let alone explanation - as to what God might mean by it all. If He is really Lord and is interested, then surely He has not allowed, and is not allowing all this for nothing.

But there is worse. In so many of these greater fields of Christian occupation - as we say "At home and abroad" - the Lord's people, in spite of all, still find it possible to allow Christian things to take precedence over Himself. Their "work", their "society", "mission", "church", interpretation of truth, tradition, etc., form such a strong tie, and keep alive such rivalries, prejudices, suspicions, jealousies, and fears, that the Lord has no chance of doing "a new thing".

Does the present situation and its spread and intensification mean that the Lord is under the necessity - for the sake of His full thought for His people, and the world - of creating a state of things which will bring people - and firstly His own people - to the place where they will cry in earnest, not "prophesy unto us smoother things", but "tell us the truth!"? Is there not a possibility that the Lord may be seeking to bring His people to the place where they realise that nothing short of an altogether new and fuller knowledge of Himself will save them from being put out of the fight? He has never yet been able to bring His great purpose to birth without there being travail. It is a law in nature and in grace since Adam sinned. The creation truly travails now. Is the Church entering into a new travail? Are there those inside the general company of believers who are being caused to travail with God in anguish of soul and spirit? If so, what is it for and unto? I do not presume to know the full answer, and such answer as I might give I withhold at present. My point is to seek your earnest reach-out to the Lord, that He will take the veil of the covering from the faces of His people, and all peoples; a veil which Satan has put upon them, lest God's fullest intentions as bound up with His Son should dawn upon them. Will you pray much for the destruction of this work of the Devil, and for the opening of the eyes of the Lord's people particularly?

Big changes seem to be possible in the near future, and if at any time it becomes more difficult, or even impossible, to communicate and continue this ministry by mail, remember that the communications by way of the Throne will never be interrupted, and the oneness of the Body can then be just as truly known and helpful.

With love in our reigning Lord,
Yours through His grace,
T. AUSTIN-SPARKS.

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