First published in "A Witness and A Testimony" magazine, Mar-Apr 1931, Vol. 9-2.
One of the main objects of the Holy Spirit with the children of God
is to get them spiritually and experimentally into Christ as risen
and exalted, and into the risen and exalted life of Christ.
The present phase of things is particularly marked by a cutting off
from things, men, and movements, with a view to utter attachment to
the Lord Jesus Himself. Antichrist will soon be made manifest, and
will probably come along the line of a great united world-movement
of human improvement and moral and social uplift under the name of
Multitudes will be drawn away after him, and to refuse to be
included in such
a movement will bring a stigma and
ostracism upon those who so refuse. The Lord is preparing for
Antichrist by seeking to make the Lord Jesus more completely the
life of His own than has been their experience.
Work, enterprises, activities, movements, churches, societies,
teachings, people, etc., have been and are the life of many. They
must have the stimulus of a programme, a scheme, a place to occupy.
Teaching - as such - may bring to confusion and provide no living
way through. Work may lead to exhaustion and disappointment.
Movements may become marked by merely human features and be spheres
Things - all of them - will disappoint sooner or later, but the Lord
abideth and never fails. The measure of attachment to the Lord can
often be the measure of attachment to some interest, either a
person, or persons, of place, or movement, or piece of work, and
when these break down faith in the Lord is shaken, and a dark period
of eclipse of faith is passed through.
What we must
learn supremely is to attach everything to the
Lord Himself, and to come to a full appreciation of Him. The Lord
must be life for the spirit to make it strong: not interests and
merely objective concerns. Otherwise we shall only stand up strongly
when there is the appeal of some outward occasion, crisis or
The Lord must be life for our minds so that truth is not for us
either abstract or merely true things, but life and power.
The Lord must be the life of our bodies. Natural weakness or
strength is not the criterion. Healing as a "truth" or as something
in itself can become legal bondage and a "bugbear." It is the Lord
Himself our life, whether to remain cumbered about with infirmities
or to be set free - whichever will serve most His glory. It is not
so much the natural condition as the transcendence and
accomplishment of the Lord.
In the days of terrific pressure which are now upon the Lord's
people everywhere; days when the enemy takes less "off-time" than
ever; days when it is more perilous than ever for believers to take
"off-time," there is only one thing adequate - it is that the Lord
should be known in absoluteness as our life - our very life.
The exhortation of Barnabas to the converts at Antioch may be a very
timely and salutary word for us at this time: "He exhorted them all
that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord." - Acts