austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

March 1

1 MAR – Travailing For the Time in Which We Live

There is a romance of Christian work – but that is mere glamour; all the enthusiasm and interest of organized Christian activity; but it is not what we are before men in this matter that counts, but what we are before God in the secret place, having heart concern for the Lord’s testimony. Have you a burden, a passion? Is the breakdown in the Lord’s testimony in the earth among those upon whom His Name is called a heartbreak to you? We shall never get anywhere till, in measure, His travail is entered into by us.

Ministry, in its real, abiding, eternal value, will depend upon the measure in which the travail is entered into by us. This is a day for travail, whether it be a travail for unsaved or for the Lord’s people; every true spiritual activity is born out of travail, and those who have been most used of God in every time have been men and women who had this travail in their soul, in their secret life with God. Have you got it? Perhaps you say no. Then ask the Lord to bring you into His concern; stretch yourself out before God to be brought into His burden for the time in which you live.

And so all this represents those who carry on their hearts a burden which leads them to a point where their interests have become quite secondary, and they take their life in their hands, and hold everything in relation to the Lord’s own interest and His testimony, willing to let all go for God. This becomes a heart burden to be carried all the time, not merely a ministry burden. Oh! that the Lord would put this burden within us, so that wherever we are we cannot be slack. This is necessary to any real ministry. Not that we are ever to give the impression of being unhappy. There was a confidence and faith which created in these servants of God the strange, the very true paradox, “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (II Cor. 6:10).

Beloved, that will be one of the emancipating factors in any life. The way of deliverance from oneself and from introspection is to get a share in the Lord’s burden. Deliverance from oneself comes along the line of being concerned for the Lord’s interests. You can become tied up with your own spiritual problems, and the way out is to have the burden of all God’s people on your heart.

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