Editor's Letters
by T. Austin-Sparks

May-June 1961

It is a cause of very great encouragement to us that we continue to receive so many appreciative letters from so many far-apart places. Not often do we step aside from what may be called 'the ministry of the Lord' to express to the readers our gratitude and real thankfulness for their inspiring fellowship. This is one of those infrequent occasions. Many stories could be told of how a seemingly 'chance' lighting upon this little paper has brought help and light to those concerned. This is the kind of thing that frequently comes to our knowledge.

The Lord has been pleased to give His seal to this ministry over many years, and is doing so right up to date. The circle quietly but quite definitely enlarges all the time. We know quite well that the ministry contained herein is fairly solid food, and, of course, only the really hungry will appreciate it. But, there, that is just our particular calling. Those who want lighter fare are not without abundant provision, and the Lord has much variety in need and supply.

Most of us who have sought to go on with the Lord to His full end know how, at different stages, certain kinds of spiritual food have met our need. But the time has come when a certain kind no longer helps us and we look for something more. The Lord has His provision along the road suited to the particular point of progress. We do not look upon what He gives us as everything or even final, but just as something provided by the Lord to meet His people at a point and to take them a bit further on.

The spiritual life follows closely the course of the natural: infancy, childhood, youth, manhood, maturity. It is, however, necessary to note that the Word of God makes it very evident that the last governs all the others. "Full growth" governs all in the mind and will of God, and it is subnormal or abnormal to stay unduly long at any stage short of that end. A consideration should be given by every normal Christian - not to what he or she likes or fancies, but - to what is necessary to carry the life forward beyond its present measure. All the Lord's dealings with us in discipline and ordering are governed by this end - to increase the measure of Christ in us; and He would have us to be concerned about the food question in this direction.

We should not write off as valueless certain food because at present we cannot understand it. If we go on with the Lord, that which at this stage is beyond us may come to be our very life. The point is, let us be always going on, reaching forward.

The great need is that spiritual life and spiritual truth keep in step as demand and supply. If this is not so, the life will become unbalanced. Let us pray continually that the Lord will be very faithful with us in this respect, that He keep life and experience abreast of teaching and truth, and meet us with light for the maintenance of life.

This is certainly our prayer concerning this ministry, and we are deeply anxious that all of our readers shall be on the above twofold basis.

EDITOR.


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