Sharing Thoughts From And On T. A Sparks
From : Partnership with Christ - Chapter 1, by T. Austin-Sparks
All of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” (2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT)
"What are the promises for? The promises were never intended to be a matter of personal pleasure, either in the case of Israel or in our case.... As the Lord's children we are often found in situations of personal embarrassment, personal difficulty, personal suffering, in a place where things for us are hard. At such times we are apt to take hold of some portion of the Word of God, and take that to the Lord and claim it for our deliverance. That may sometimes be all right, and yet if the motive should ever be definitely a purely personal one, we can take it for granted that the promise will have no fulfillment. How many have found that that is how it works. In a certain situation, by reason of some difficulty, trial, suffering, some adversity, you have gone to the Lord, taking His Word and pleading it before Him for a change of the situation, a deliverance, the bringing to pass or the removing of something, and you have found that you were up against a stone wall. You have discovered that you were knocking yourself to pieces, and you came to a standstill; you could get no further. It seemed that the heaven was closed, that there was no way through, no answering voice, no sense of a listening ear; and with deep heart exercise about the matter you have been tempted to doubt the promise, question the faithfulness of God, raise questions as to the truth of His Word. But in the final issue the Lord has shown you that something needed to be done in you.
"You were reaching after some object that you wanted, which you thought was necessary and very important, but somewhere there was a secret personal interest, personal concern - unconscious perhaps, but in God's sight very real - which was making it impossible for you to accept that situation. You have come to see at length that your seeking of the Lord was not altogether because of the Divine interests bound up with the situation, but, at bottom, because of the way in which it affected yourself. The Lord had to bring a crisis in your experience, where you were perfectly willing to accept that trial in the will of God; that if so be the Lord wished it then you gave your full consent, and said: "Well, Lord, if this is Your will for me I accept it wholly and fully. All that I ask is to know that it is Your will, and, given that, then I accept it from my heart." In such experiences we learn that the promises are not for us as things for our personal interest, but wholly and utterly for the glory of Christ, to bring about a greater measure of the fullness of Christ in us. Thus, once more, through an ordeal, we have come to the place where it is "no longer I, but Christ." That is God's required ground for the fulfillment of His promises."
I would add this, as far as prayer goes. It's not magic. It's not the coin that gets the candy from the cosmic goodie machine. James says, "You crave what you do not have; you kill and covet, but are unable to obtain it. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask. And when you do ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may squander it on your pleasures. You adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be a friend of the world renders himself an enemy of God." James 4:2-4.
The Way is narrow, not the broad way and the fast lane.
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