SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Looking for free sermon messages?
Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video

Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Supreme Vocation

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
PosterThread
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 The Supreme Vocation



The Supreme Vocation
by T. Austin-Sparks

Reading: Daniel 10:1-21
From the tenth chapter of the Book of Daniel I want to take just this fragment from the nineteenth verse: “And he said, O man greatly beloved, fear not peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.”
And I want to add to that, for later purposes, two fragments from the New Testament:
“Withal praying for us also, that God may open unto us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Col. 4:3).
“We would fain have come unto you, I Paul once and again; and Satan hindered us” (1Thess. 2:18).

An Expression Of The Heart Of God
”O man greatly beloved.” The actual and implied content of that declared approbation of Daniel comprehends a very great deal of the whole revealed heart of God. There is no doubt that it is a heart expression, and it is the expression of the heart of God. ”0 man greatly beloved.” ”Thou art greatly beloved” (9:23). Three times was that said to Daniel, and when we have the Lord speaking like that there must be a very great reason for it, and very great content in it. It is not just some emotional overflow of sentiment. God does not waste Himself like that, however kind He might want to be. If God says a thing like that, there is much behind it and very much in it. This declaration gathers up many of the major features connected with God’s relationship with man, and man’s relationship with God. If I indicate just two or three of these features, it will be immediately seen how true what I have just said really is.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/10 1:29Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Vocational Love
For instance, we have in the statement the tremendous truth that it is possible for a man - or let me use the larger term - for man to advance beyond the wonder of redeeming love, which is no small thing, to something even more - a vocational love, where, because of man’s fellowship with God’s purpose, Heaven may attest him in such language: ”Thou art greatly beloved.” Now, that is not peculiar to Daniel. That is a great Bible truth - it is something in the Bible. It is positively immense that an archangel, right out from Heaven, should be battling his way through to reach this man, and be saying, in effect, ’Heaven’s estimate of you, Daniel, is a very great one. In Heaven you stand in a position of very high value. ”Thou art greatly beloved.” ’ I say that is something beyond, much beyond even the wonder of redeeming love. We feel that redeeming love itself is more than we can grasp. It is beyond us; it gets us out of our depth. Redeeming love is our theme, our song, and we say it will be so for eternity. And yet here is a love of God and Heaven toward a man which goes beyond redeeming love. It is what I have called vocational love: the love which lights in a peculiar way upon that which serves God’s ultimate purpose.

We say: ’Can there be anything more glorious than redeeming love for man - anything more wonderful than man standing in the love of God redemptively?’ That you and I, knowing even the little that we do know about ourselves, should be compassed about by redeeming love - that man, such as he is, should be in such a position - is nothing short of marvelous. And yet there is something more, after redeeming love. It is a love which relates to the purpose of God served, God satisfied as to His purpose. Notice that it is man again; this is the word that we shall emphasize and underline all the way through. And Heaven is declaring, angels and archangels are speaking for God concerning man: ”Thou art greatly beloved”, ”0 man greatly beloved”. Is that a theme? That is only one thing included in the statement. We may see much more of what that means.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/10 16:26Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation


Intelligence As To God’s Purpose
We note another feature gathered into this declaration - the immense importance and value of being a part of God’s heavenly intelligence system. Perhaps that sounds strange, but that is what is here. Notice how repeatedly the thought occurs of Daniel knowing, understanding, having understanding, being in the knowledge of things, in the intelligence of Heaven about things, having intelligence as to God’s purpose and the meaning and portent of the present situation.
If God finds someone like that in that position, that someone or that instrument is of tremendous value to the Lord. It was that intelligence, that knowledge, that understanding, that spiritual insight, which led to this - ”thou art greatly beloved”. It was because of that that all the other followed. What a tremendous thing it is to have spiritual understanding and intelligence, to be in what I have called ’Heaven’s intelligence system’, being ’in the know’ as to God’s thoughts and intentions. It must be noted here that, in the case of Daniel, this included light through the Word of God. He had been studying the Scriptures, and he received light through the Word. We shall perhaps see more of this later.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/11 2:36Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Heaven-Affecting Prayer
Take a third thing included in this declaration - the basis and nature of that kind of prayer which reaches beyond temporal things and touches the whole spiritual order, setting in motion the powers of Heaven, celestial and diabolical. If we read the whole chapter, we shall see that that is what is there. That goes beyond our temporal affairs and matters, our personal and private things, the things of everyday life. They are very important, those requests which relate to the details of life; but this goes beyond the temporal and beyond the earthly. It touches the whole spiritual background of this world, and sets angels in action and Heaven on the move - and Satan, furious to combat, resist, withstand, frustrate. Is that a small thing? But that is a great Bible subject, not peculiar to Daniel.

Now I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: ’All this sounds very high, very exalted and beyond us. This is not the simple Christian life.’ But, dear friends, listen. The fact is that this is the very nature and explanation of the Church’s existence. We have failed, utterly failed, to grasp the real significance of our calling in this dispensation if we have not apprehended this fact: that, just as much as Daniel, in another dispensation and another relationship, but with the very same setting, was called into this realm of things, so are we. This is definitely shown to be the case in Ephesians, and it heads up in chapter 6:10-20.
Now, if these things which I have mentioned are examples of what is contained in this phrase: ”O man greatly beloved”, I am sure you will agree that there is very much in it. If all that was true, then Daniel certainly stands for something.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/11 9:50Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Let us then consider the basis and nature of Heaven-affecting prayer. I believe that this is a key to everything. Everything hangs upon and circles around this whole matter of Heaven-affecting prayer - the prayer that really gets right away and touches things at their ultimate source, gets right through to the throne, to the place where ”the heavens do rule”. That is a phrase, as you know, peculiar to this book of Daniel.

The following passages indicate something of the estimate placed upon Daniel because of his prayer influence:
”Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to humble thyself before thy God, thy words were heard: and l am come for thy words’ sake. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there” (the margin says ”was not needed”, because the other one had come to help) ”with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days” (Daniel 10:12-14).

”When a land sinneth... though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.... Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they should deliver neither son nor daughter; they should but deliver their own souls by their righteousness” (Ezekiel 14: 13-14, 20, A.R.V.).
What is the basis and nature of such prayer? Well, to begin with, as we have already intimated, it is intelligence as to God’s purpose, and as to the meaning and portent of the present situation. That is essential as a basis to this kind of prayer.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/11 12:57Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



The Place Of The Word Of God In Daniel’s Understanding
Now notice first of all the place of the Word of God in Daniel’s understanding. If you look at chapter 9:2 you will grasp it. ”I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet.” As I said earlier, he was reading what Bible he had, reading it prayerfully, thoughtfully, devotedly; and as he was seeking, not to get Bible knowledge as such, but seeking to know what God was really after, what God really intended, what God’s purpose really was, and how the immediately present phase of things stood in relation to that - as he so sought, in and through the Word, intelligence and understanding were given. It is not my intention at this point to spend time on how to read the Bible or how to study the Bible. What I am seeking to indicate is this: that before you can touch the powers on high, you must know what God wants to do. Before this kind of prayer - whether it be of the individual or of the company, or (would to God it could be!) of the whole Church - before this kind of prayer which had the effect that Daniel’s prayer had, can be made, there must be this intelligence and understanding as to God’s purpose, God’s intention, and where we stand at this time in relation thereto.

Dear friends, I cannot be stronger. It would be, I think, impossible to be too strong in emphasis upon the importance of this matter. I must leave you to consider it in the light of the whole situation. Here it is. Tremendous things issued from Daniel’s prayer, things in heaven and in earth, but nothing at all would have happened if Daniel had not known what he was praying about, if he had just flung out petitions and requests and longings and desires into the air without knowing quite clearly and definitely what God was after, and therefore what he himself was after. It is strange that, while so many will devote themselves to the subject of the fulfilment of prophecy - Daniel’s included - so very few will seek to discover what God has revealed concerning His eternal purpose and the character of their own dispensation - the meaning of the present condition of things in relation to God’s eternal purpose.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/11 14:14Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Yes, there are many, many, who will study the Bible along the lines of prophecy and its fulfilment, and yet there are very few who devote themselves to the understanding of God’s eternal purpose, and the peculiar character of the dispensation in which they live. Fulfilment of prophecy lies so very largely, although not exclusively, in the future, in what is subjects, but they all belong to the future. The most important thing of which we can conceive is: What is God after now, and what does the present situation say as to that? You see, there can be a wonderful knowledge of prophetic truth without in the first place the spiritual life of the student being affected at all; and what is the good of that? Though I know all about prophecy, if it does not come right home to my own spiritual life and make tremendous differences in me now, it is nothing. That is the estimate of all your prophetic study. It is possible to have this great knowledge of prophetic truth, and yet for the great purpose of God in this present dispensation not to be served at all.
Oh, how many side-tracks there are, side-tracks of secondary interest; whether they be true or whether they be false, they are side-tracks. British Israelism is a very fascinating subject. I only mention it; I am not going to discuss it. Universalism is a very likeable idea, sweeping like fire across Europe, carrying away multitudes; and so I could go on. What effect do these things have upon the spiritual life of those occupied with them, and what effect upon the present aspect of the eternal purpose of God do they have? Nil! They count for nothing in the spiritual life where there is a touching of things heavenly. For the most part they are either future or earthly.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/12 0:16Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Now note: Daniel knew God’s thoughts for His people, and he knew what was characteristic of the dispensation in which he lived. And that is where we must begin. What is the characteristic, from God’s standpoint, of the dispensation in which you and I live? What is the nature, object, purpose, of this dispensation, the day in which you and I have our time on this earth? What does God mean? Daniel knew quite well what was characteristic of his dispensation, and he knew further that, until that dispensation was finally closed, that purpose of God held good.
Now, why do we say that? What is the point? It is this. There are many people today who are giving up the revealed character of the dispensation as unattainable, hopeless. But God does not change the character of any one dispensation in itself. If God has said that a given dispensation or age is to serve such-and-such a part of the eternal goings, He does not change that. He neither goes back upon it nor alters it to fit into the conditions which arise.
Listen! If what we have in the Letter to the Ephesians is the sum, the substance, the comprehensive and conclusive revelation of God’s eternal purpose, and God saw it worth while to take a man away from his world-wide activities - from all his visitation of churches, all his personal contacts with believers the world over, all those affairs with which his whole life had been occupied - to take him right away and shut him up for a period where all that was cut off, and cause him to write the full revelation of His purpose as centred in this age: if it is true that the Letter to the Ephesians is the consummate presentation of Divine revelation, centering in the Church as the Body of Christ of which He is the Head, and that the securing of that, with all its heavenly nature and heavenly vocation for the ages to come, is the Divine characteristic given to this dispensation, then God will not depart from it, no matter what we find as to the state of the Church on this earth.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/12 9:42Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



There are many who have despaired of there being any realization of an ’Ephesian’ revelation of the Church in a practical way in this dispensation. Things seem so hopelessly confused and divided that they turn to evangelism as the only way of any effective work.
We cannot dismiss the New Testament as easily as that. The answer is not in trying - however devotedly - to realize the ideal New Testament Church, but, having the vision clearly and strongly before us, to keep the fullness of Christ as the object of all spiritual attainment and exercise, and the Cross in its fundamental and continuous power as the Holy Spirit’s way of realizing the true fellowship which is the meaning of the Church. We must work from the inward, not from the outward; the spiritual, not the temporal.
Daniel knew the characteristic of his own dispensation, and he knew that, while that dispensation continued, and until it finally closed, God would not change; and that led him to pray as he did. A man never prays for a thing about which he has lost all hope, given up all expectation, sees no prospect. Certainly he does not pray like this. But because Daniel knew, because he had intelligence on this matter, he set himself to pray it through - and he prayed it through. When Paul came to the close of his great letter to the Ephesians, he concluded with: ”praying at all seasons in the Spirit for all the saints...” (6:18). We shall only pray like that if we have in ourselves the sum of what is in that letter, and spiritual apprehension as to its meaning.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/12 13:13Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Daniel Knew The Meaning Of The Present Situation
Further, Daniel knew the meaning of the then present situation. The existing situation of the people of God was not according to God’s original thought. Of course, it was obvious in his case because it was so much in the realm of temporal things. It did not need a great deal of insight and perception to recognize that Israel in Babylon was not what God intended. Nevertheless, the principle holds good. Daniel knew the difference between what was and what ought to have been, according to God’s mind. That is the principle. However it works out, either in that dispensation of what was temporal, or in this dispensation of what is spiritual, the principle is this - having knowledge and understanding of the difference between what God intended and what is.


_________________
Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/13 2:09Profile





©2002-2019 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy