by T. Austin-Sparks
Beloved of the Lord,
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
Gracious promise! But given to the redeemed: those who have accomplished the "exodus"; who are "out."
The witness to a Redeeming God always brings tribulation. The Blood while it saves and speaks to us the continually better things is also uttering its loud challenge of God's wrath and judgment against principalities and powers, which in turn stir up in hellish rage and opposition the carnal mind of this world.
The moment God's "Now" has been fulfilled in your heart, and through the Cross of Jesus, the Christ of God, you have passed out of death into life, you are a living factor for God in an actively hostile world. Do not think for a single instant that you will escape the malignity of this Egypt. The prince of this world held you in bondage as long as he could, and now that through the Blood you are out of that captivity, he pursues you yet with all the forces at his command to prevent you reaching that Mount Zion.
What then? It is still the Blood of the Lamb that shall be his destruction and your salvation! The deep is cleft for you because of the Blood; you shall pass through rage and tempest inviolate.
There is nearly always manifest immediately after some escape from the snare of evil the sudden and well-nigh overwhelming rage and activity of the enemy: the waters, the rivers, the fire, and the flame. New births enrage Herods and Pharaohs. The sword of the destroyer is immediately athirst. You may expect "liveliness" when through the Blood you have made some further step in the pilgrimage of your faith. At such moments the newly released spirit that had commenced its song of deliverance is threatened with the reactions of dismay at the fury of the oppressor, and the song is suddenly hushed in the face of the apparent turning of the battle against one. Steady! Listen to the Voice of Thy Beloved. "Fear not, for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine." The Blood of the Eternal Covenant would again speak its blessed message to our hearts. We are to go forward unflinchingly through the deep, through the floods; and through the fire and the flame. This is the way of His Cross.
It needs this faith in the faithfulness of our God if we are to go through. To commence to run is good. That first leap of faith is joyous. But there is the long race, the patient continuance, the meeting of lions in the path, the fiery trials.
The apostle gloried in these. The activities of adversaries were
to him the evidence of strategic positions to be won. The rage of
the enemy an indication that sword thrusts were taking effect. And
so the word to many a warrior who stands in a field of dire
conflict and fierce oppression is "Stand fast! Stand fast!" "Fear not... redeemed... The Blood... Thou
Strike hard with the "spoken word" of the Testimony, and stand firmly upon the ground you have taken.
Yours in His courage,