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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Supreme Vocation

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lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Daniel’s Stand For Recovery
And that situation, so contrary to God’s mind, was due to lost spiritual and heavenly position. That is another mighty principle. If things are today far from what God intended them to be, and from the condition in which He actually had them at the first, the same reasons lie behind it - firstly lost spiritual and heavenly position, and then the loss of the understanding of the nature, the essential nature, of God’s heavenly kingdom. There will be no improvement, no recovery, no getting what God is after until there is a recovery of those two things, spiritual position and understanding. Daniel stood in the reality of that position. Though physically actually in Babylon, he was standing in a spiritual and heavenly position altogether out of and above Babylon. He was just not a part of it. That is a very costly place to be in.
And then the recovery of the essential nature of God’s kingdom. You see, the disciples of the Lord had their own conception of the kingdom before the Cross. It was earthly, it was temporal, it was material. The Cross shattered that whole thing for them for ever. The coming of the Holy Spirit gave them an entirely new conception of the nature of God’s kingdom. Oh, how revolutionary and transforming was that Holy Spirit’s enlightenment as to the true and the essential nature of God’s kingdom: not meat and drink (Romans 14:17) but power, heavenly power (1 Corinthians 4:20). These things have to be recovered, and that is what God is after, and that is what Daniel saw that God was after, and that is the meaning of the present situation. Take note of this, friends - God is more concerned with character than He is with systems and institutions. Israel, even in Babylon, may have been clinging to their systems, traditions and institutions, but God was transcendently more concerned about character than all that.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/13 12:43Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



The Purpose Of Suffering
Listen now to this very important, particularly important thing. It is, indeed, all-important. Daniel knew that God was using adversity, suffering, disillusionment, to force His people back to His original and primary thought. For Daniel it was perfectly clear that God was using all that was in Babylon, that suffering, adversity, affliction, to force them back - yes, to force them back; not just to call them back, but to force them back - to His original full thought. They were being driven, literally driven, by Heaven to a position where they would just have to make a choice between two things: either a counsel of despair and compromise and frustration, or, alternatively, all that was involved in going back to, and standing for, God’s full thought.

There is much of present history in that. Let us go to China, to what has been in China for some generations from the standpoint of Christian activity and endeavor. Now what I am saying is not meant for a moment to under-value or disparage all the sacrifice and all the poured-out devotion. That will find its place in what abides. But when the whole story is read, as we are now able to read it, it is clear that much crept in that was not according to God’s full and original thought. It came to be very largely something foreign, something institutional, something organizational, something of man’s making. And what has happened? Oh, a deluge of suffering, of adversity, of disillusionment, of break-up and disintegration and scattering. What is surviving? What is coming out of it? The things have gone; the people of the things have departed. What is surviving? Only - but surely - that which is heavenly and spiritual. And it is surviving, thank God. Something not made with hands; something not of man’s making, however well-intentioned. Oh, the suffering, the unspeakable suffering! But what has it done? It has driven believers back to God’s original thought, to His full thought, with all that is less and other than that stripped off.

I have taken China as an example. But this is spreading, and it is going to spread. It is going on and coming on. God is doing in relation to His heavenly purpose what He was doing in Daniel’s day in relation to earthly purpose. He uses suffering and adversity to compel back. That is the explanation of your suffering and my suffering. What is God doing by means of all this adversity and suffering? Just driving us, forcing us to a position which cannot be shaken, to the truth which cannot be destroyed, to the spiritual which will ever overcome the temporal. He is just forcing us; we are under compulsion. And this is going to spread, dear friends. That is a mark of what belongs to the present age.

Have you intelligence as to what God is doing - doing in you by way of suffering, disillusionment, doing in the world, doing in the Church? God has not abandoned what He set out to realize, and if He cannot do it in any other way, He will force to the point of a decision. Either you deliberately accept this situation as hopeless, and you compromise, as the majority did in Babylon, and settle down; or you take the course of the remnant who said: ’All this points clearly to the fact that God is not satisfied, that the situation is not what God intended, and we are going to give ourselves to that which God meant.’ Will you be like the few who went back for that? But oh, how costly! You see, Daniel’s prayer had to do with that, the bringing about of that issue, the forcing up to that decision - co-operation with God to secure that parting of the ways. Are you going to stay behind, or are you going on with God?


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/14 1:17Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
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 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Complete Separation
And that prayer was based upon a life, in the case of Daniel, firstly of complete separation from self interest. If you have got interests, personal, private interests, in the kingdom of God, then you will not be able to pray like this, you will not be able to touch Heaven. Secondly, there was complete separation from all worldly principles. They tried to involve him in their worldly principles. He said: ’No, never’! Much ought to be said about that - the Church and worldly principles. Thirdly, there was complete separation from the fear of man. How delivered from the fear of man was Daniel! And, finally, there was complete separation from merely earthly associations. That involved him in something. The den of lions prepared for himself, and the seven times heated furnace for his companions - they were Satan’s alternatives to going his way. To Daniel’s companions Satan said: ’Either you come my way, or you burn. Those are the alternatives. Abandon your line, your way, your life of separation and your objective, and come my way - or burn.’ You can interpret that as you like. You know something, perhaps, of what that means spiritually.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/14 10:34Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
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 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Daniel Was Deliberate
In prayer such as Daniel’s, there are four things to be taken account of. First of all, he was deliberate. The angel said to him, when at length he arrived: ”From the first day that thou didst set thine heart....” ”Thou didst set thine heart.” There is a man gathering up all the loose folds of his interests, and girding to concentration on this one thing. ”Thou didst set thine heart.” If (to anticipate for a moment) we are to fall into the train of the Apostle Paul and his brethren, and take up that which particularly relates to this present age, to bring it through to consummation by prayer, it will not do for us to be diffuse and scattered. There will have to be a setting of ourselves to this thing; it is very practical. Whether it be in our own individual life of prayer with God, or when we come together for prayer as a company, smaller or larger, representing the Church and God’s eternal purpose concerning it, we shall have to come in this mind, deliberately setting ourselves to this thing. ’We are set, we are committed, we are gathered; we know what we are after. Like Daniel, we have seen, and what we have seen of God’s thought has become a pattern, a body; and we set ourselves.’ God characterize all our prayer times by this feature of the man beloved, precious to God, that which God approves.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/14 14:23Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Daniel Was Persistent
Then Daniel was persistent. The angel said: ”From the first day...”, and Daniel himself, describing it, said that this engaged him wholly, utterly, for twenty-one days. It is something to pray about the same thing continuously for twenty-one days! How we just ask the Lord for a thing, and leave it there, perhaps. in a false notion of faith. Here is an example of the opposite. Daniel was persistent. He did not let go, he would not let go; he held on until the thing was done. Let us take his example and lay it to heart. Very, very great issues are bound up with such prayer.

Daniel Was Abandoned
Daniel was abandoned. ”From the first day that thou didst set thyself... to humble thyself...” Daniel again described it like this: ”I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth.” Here is a man ’all-in’ on the issue, abandoned; not allowing indulgences, distractions, other interests, secondary things; just abandoned.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/15 0:52Profile
lwpray
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Posts: 3318
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 Re: The Supreme Vocation



Daniel Was Conclusive
And finally he was conclusive. Daniel stood for and would take nothing less than a verdict. The angel said: ”I am come for thy words’ sake.” He had spoken, and he would take no other answer in this matter from God - yes, but because he knew so deeply that this was what God wanted. Effectual prayer demands such conviction, such assurance, such knowledge. If we do not know what the Lord wants, then we do not know how to pray. But if, as Daniel had, we have made the discovery by revelation through the Word of God, that is tremendous strength. We must be there to pray in this way.
The object was of such importance to God that Satan fought it until he could fight no more. It is something to take note of when Satan fights. It is very significant and indicative when hell rises up and is provoked by the object which is in view. And whatever may have been in Daniel’s case and Daniel’s time, there is a counterpart of this in our own time. The counterpart of this, in this present dispensation, is, in the first place, Paul and his brethren, who understood what God eternally intended in regard to the Church, who abandoned themselves to that with such abandonment, who travailed and who prayed, and through whose travail and prayer there was given to the Church its charter for the whole dispensation. But that charter is passed on to us - to you, to me - for it is the same dispensation, and what was characteristic of them must be characteristic of us, if we are to come to that place of superlative value to the Lord where, not only as accepted in the beloved One, and beloved for Jesus’ sake, but because of our co-operation with God in the thing that is deepest in, and nearest to, His heart, He is able to say: “0 man...!” It may be to individuals; it may be to companies just as well. Man is a collective term as well as an individual term. “0 man greatly beloved.”
We are in the consummation of this dispensation, and it is necessary to know what God is going to have, what He has set His heart upon, and to be with Him in it. The Lord give us a heart for that.



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Lars Widerberg

 2004/7/15 12:56Profile





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