by T. Austin-Sparks
First published in "A Witness and A Testimony" magazine, Mar-Apr 1948, Vol. 26-2.
If we were asked what we feel to be the greatest need of the time, in the light of our far-flung travels this year, first as far East as India, and then over U.S.A. and Canada, we should say with strength: the greatest need of the times is a movement of God to bring His people to know the fullness of Christ! Only as the Church is brought into the good of that will the world be adequately touched and the spiritual forces in this universe be shaken from their hold upon men and things. The evangelism of our times needs much more behind it than it has. The Church is very busy, but very ineffective. It is fighting to have itself recognized, but it has little impact upon the powers of darkness; therefore little also upon the world.
We have often pointed out that the things which have become the greatest evangelical and missionary forces have always been movements or ministries which brought God's own people or new converts into a far greater measure of Christ and spiritual life than is usual and fairly general. We could easily prove this by mentioning names, but it is not necessary. Our grief is that in so many of these cases the enemy has succeeded in making them other than they were at their beginnings. This is the present need, and nothing but this will counter the vitiating, dissipating, diluting, and cheapening course of things in these days and make the Church able to complete her testimony on the earth in power and triumph.
It is time for all who have spiritual responsibility to get down, as far as possible together, to consider the spiritual state of the Church and to be willing, whatever it costs, to take the way by which the lost fullness of Christ may be recovered!
There is no doubt that a situation exists today which corresponds to that which is found in the Book of Esther; and the need is for an intercessory instrument coming to the Kingdom "for such a time as this."