issue of the paper was in the press before we could give
fuller information regarding the change of premises, and
we had to be content with inserting a slip. We sought
your prayers very earnestly on this matter because it
involved so much of concern for the right place, and
quite a heavy piece of work. The Lord very graciously
answered prayer. Every attempt that we made to get new
premises was thwarted by the authorities because we are
in a residential area. We did have the question as to
whether we should move right out of the London area, but
there seemed to be no seal of God on this. Eventually, in
a very quiet way (just like the Lord) we were reminded
that accommodation existed outside the 'Fellowship
Centre', at the back. A large hut, where years ago the
literature was dispatched, still stood empty and a
'workshop' of considerable size was also available. The
use of these places is not outside of the law, and so
willing hands got to work clearing, cleaning and
painting. We have been able to secure a small and
comfortable house nearby for the residence of Miss Guy
and Miss Read. This all has one particular advantage: for
these recent years the element of uncertainty and
tentativeness has kept us in suspense, but now there is a
sense of release from this and we are hoping that
concentration will result.
What the Lord means in the larger realm of the ministry we do not know, but this will become clear as we go on. Just now the year seems to be filling up with many calls for wider ministry, and your prayers are much needed if all these are of the Lord.
It is never very difficult to surrender to the seeming hopelessness of the situation in Christianity. Indeed, it is a constant battle to believe that there can really be at the end a true expression of the Church as it is revealed in God's Word, especially when we have seen more clearly and fully what the Divine mind is as to the Church. It is impossible to describe the real state of things, not only in general, but in the churches themselves. If one were asked to put a finger on the point upon which most of the trouble turns, I think that I should say with considerable emphasis: the absence of real spiritual discernment. In such a large degree the Lord's people do not see Leaders, and those responsible, do so many foolish and unwise things, constantly making for fresh complications and creating situations which will sooner or later mean confusion and regret. It was because of this that the Apostle fell on his knees and prayed that "a Spirit of wisdom and revelation" might be given to believers and the Church. Impulse, reason, human judgment, sentiment, and the ways of the world so much govern decisions, choices and procedure, and often, because of disappointment and spiritual death, there is a leaping to an apparent alternative which seems to promise better things, but after a time proves to be an illusion and a mirage. That prayer of the Apostle should be taken up in desperate earnestness, as confusing spirits are so desperately in earnest to deceive and confuse. Ask the Lord to raise up ministries for eye-opening, and ministers whose eyes have seen! But, let there be no mistake about such ministry. Spiritual enlightenment is the one thing that Satan is most positively and vehemently opposed to. He will do anything to prevent this, or discredit it. Because of this the Apostle so much appealed for prayer that "utterance might be given" him, and "a door might be opened to speak the mystery". It was for this that he said that he was "an ambassador in bonds". Such ministry costs everything! The battle is against letting something go, lowering the standard, and compromising in order to obtain wider acceptance. The Lord keep us faithful to "the whole counsel"!
We thank you again for your co-operation, and for the many letters of appreciation and encouragement.
- T. Austin-Sparks