austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

June 4

4 JUN – The Service of God Begins With the Cross

Only as all service is brought within the limits of this Divine ordering by a positive witness within the sanctified and quickened spirit of the “chosen vessel” can there be “the works of God” which alone count. This, on the other hand, rules out all our works.

Motive, good intent, laboriousness, enthusiasm “in the name of Jesus,” “for the Kingdom,” “in the interests of mankind,” etc. these do not count in the realm of “the eternal purpose in Christ Jesus” if they are our own activities… with our own natural resources. It must be “God who works within.”

We have yet to know the nature and immensity of the works of God… and how His ends call for His infinite energy; and when we have a little light on this matter, we shall see that all our works are “dead works” indeed.

The flesh cannot enter into the works of God; hence the measure of spiritual effectiveness is the measure in which the Cross of Christ has slain our flesh experimentally… not what appears to be successful Christian work, but what is done not by men but by God through crucified men. We must be content to have our fruitfulness and spiritual value registered in the unseen… and not be dominated by the scales of values as set up by men on the earth. One sign of counting beyond mere flesh and blood is the malice and fury of the oppressor… and his persistent efforts to get one out of the fight.

Finally, we can only get into the true service of God as we are put into it by the Holy Spirit. This is not as from the earth, but as from above. Men cannot make these appointments or ordinations! To press into this service of oneself is to meet the fire of God breaking forth. To touch this “ark of testimony” with our hands is to die.

Even after Moses had been chosen, had received the revelation, and had been commissioned, “God met him and sought to kill him.” Why? Because the circumcision of the flesh had been neglected… and no flesh can serve the Lord.

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