THE NEED FOR VIOLENCE ON OUR PART
There are two things in that connection that are, I think, very clear and obvious. One is this, that this wonderful blessing of an open heaven, that we have been talking about - this recovery of the face of God, this entering into that world of Divine fullness, this apprehending of the thoughts of God which means so much - is not just going to happen to us while we sit passively, hoping something will happen. The Lord Himself said, "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and men of violence take it by force" (Matt. 11:12). This man (blind Bartimaeus) had entered into that spirit. He had inwardly perceived what a tremendous thing it would be to have his eyes opened. And if you are concerned about a "spirit of wisdom and revelation", "the eyes of your heart being enlightened" - if this to you is of any concern at all, you will not be passive about it. You will get on your knees, and say, 'Now, Lord, this has got to be made good.' You will cry and cry aloud. Are you doing that? It is not enough for us to attend meetings and hear things said, whether they be more or less wonderful, and just think that we have got it. We have not got it, and a very great deal of the failure of so much ministry to have a real outworking is because we do not go at once to the Lord and say, 'Now, Lord, I have heard that: mentally I know it, I am informed about it; but that thing has got to become a living revelation in my inner man.' I have to SEE it, and I can only see it by a Divine touch, by the finger of God, by a miracle from heaven.
We shall never see Divine things by the aid of our reason. We shall never see things because they are put plainly to us by the one who ministers. No, it will only be as Jesus of Nazareth comes into touch with us and we with Him. And that applies to every stage of the Christian life.
If there are any reading these lines, who have never in the first place had their eyes opened to SEE, so that the result is life eternal - for knowing is only another word for seeing, and Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ" (John 17:3); "that they should know" - another word for seeing - if you have not yet entered into life, received eternal life, remember that it will not just HAPPEN to you; it will not simply HAPPEN. You will have to become tremendously concerned about this and show the Lord that you mean business; you will have to be like Bartimaeus, cry, and 'so much the more', cry. Remember that the Lord does so often wait, delay, hold off, to see if we really place value upon this seeing. We are tested as to how much we esteem His things.
Here is a man of great possessions, called a rich young ruler. It was not that the Lord wanted him to become a philanthropist and give away his money. It was the question: 'Do you value eternal life more than all your worldly possessions? Let us see! What value do you put upon eternal life, upon having your blind eyes open? Do you cry and cry so much the more, become desperate about it?' The Lord waits to see that. We have known so many cases, when sinners have been seeking the Lord, and we would have thought that immediately they began to seek the Lord they would find Him - and yet very often the Christian worker has been greatly perplexed and distressed. Days and nights pass in agony. There seems to be no coming of the Lord to save. What is the Lord doing? He is just bringing out that desperation that represents a heart conviction that, unless the Lord does this thing, there is nothing else to live for. It is a matter of life and death, and it is not cheaply and easily got.
And what is true at the beginning is true all the way along. There is no end to Divine revelation; there is no end to our seeing. Oh, how little we have seen, how little we know, of the vast stores of Divine intention and thought and purpose and meaning. We stand and paddle on the shores of this vast ocean of God and of His purposes and meanings in our creation. How little we know about it! - and we are not going to know until we have deep heart exercise. But it is there, and it is there for us, and oh, we have got to come in this way - 'so much the more'. Are you like that after a conference, or after any meeting in which there has been a ministry of God's Word? Are you sure you have seen all that God meant you to see? Are you just hearing what is said? You agree - but what is the effect? The real effect waits upon this heart exercise, this crying out - and a crying out 'so much the more'. The Lord is not close and mean, holding it from you, but He is wanting to know that this is of greater price to you than all else; if needs be, of greater price than your sleep, your rest: you are going to give Him no rest until He opens your eyes.
That is very simple, but it is very important.
-from [i]The Significance of Christ[/i] by T.A. Sparks