austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

November 23

23 NOV – Exercising Our Spiritual Senses

There can be no development unless you are given something beyond your capacity. It is true in every realm. It means that the Lord is constantly putting you into situations beyond your capacity. If it is a matter of seeing, and you cannot see, what are you going to do when you just cannot see what the Lord means, what the Lord is after, what He is doing? Give it up? Say, ‘I cannot see’ – that is an end of it and go home? Of course not! We are there for that faculty to be developed and capacity increased. Have we not already proved that through many a dark way? We just cannot see or understand, but we have at least learned something of the ways and mind of the Lord. And in every other way too we are put into positions beyond our capacity. Does that comfort you? Are you out of your depth today? Are you in situations that you just cannot cope with? The explanation is in Hebrews 12.

There is a very great cost bound up with capacity – that is what I find. There have been people of whom we have despaired. We have wondered if ever they really would see, whether they would ever grow at all. They seemed to stay for so long in exactly the same place and with the same measure, and we have despaired. And then the Lord has taken them into a very deep place, breaking and shattering and emptying; and before they are through, things have changed inwardly: they have got a new knowledge of the Lord; they have come out with something which we had despaired of their ever reaching. There is something there now; there is the possibility now that they are going to count for something more. They are seeing.

I do not think there is any other way for increasing capacity. Capacity is a costly thing. We had better face it. Every little bit of increase means agony. There is a big afterward in view. “All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous, but grievous”, and do not expect it to be otherwise – but afterward, and maybe, in measure, in the afterward here, we may be of greater value to the Lord, as He puts us through His school.

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