Just thought I would pass this along.
From: Steve Waite
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Secret of Spiritual Progress
I wanted to share with you today the secret of spiritual progress. The inspiration for today's blog post comes from a remark by T. Austin-Sparks that resonated strongly with my heart and is in line with many of the things I have blogged on in the past. Sparks says:
"What is the secret of spiritual progress? It is the letting go of our own will and mind to the fact, to the truth, that after all, though Christians at our best, wanting to be a hundred percent for the Lord, it is not in us either to be or do. Our will can never do it, our reason can never accomplish it, our impulses and desires can never get us there. We have to come to a brokenness and yieldedness where nature is laid low in the dust and all our treasure is with the stones of the brook and the Almighty becomes our treasure (Job 22:24-25); the Lord alone our wisdom, our strength and vision, our desire. Until you and I have learned the lesson of that utter brokenness and yieldedness and letting go to the Lord, spiritual progress is delayed."
Letting go is the secret of spiritual progress. Put simply, if we want to follow God and walk in love (Eph. 5:1-2), we must fall on the stone and be broken and then learn to let go of our will, mind and emotions. Our soul and body - the flesh - must become subservient to the Spirit. The Cross is the place where this happens. Nothing outside of Christ makes it through the Cross.
Letting go of things - whatever they are - is one of the hardest things to do. It is often extremely painful. Many a tear will be shed during the process of being utterly broken and letting go. As the Scriptures make clear, letting go and brokenness are not optional. There is no other way into Christ - God's true expression of love.
Letting go doesn't mean we no longer care about what happens to us. Rather, it means that we wholeheartedly accept Love's will as our will. Love becomes the driving force in our lives. That is the way God wants it. And there is one thing about Love which we must lock away in our hearts and never forget:
"Love never fails." (1 Cor. 13:8).
Jesus on the Cross looked like failure. It looked like the end - the Lord, dead and gone forever. Love murdered on a tree. But no! Love was resurrected! It came back to life! The gospel the apostles preached is very simple, but so incredibly powerful: "We preach Christ crucified." As the Spirit revealed to me late last year, Love is crucified flesh.
Oh yes, people will fail you. Friends and family will fail you. Your boss and colleagues may fail you. But Love will never fail you. You have the Lord's word on that. There are no lies in Christ. He is Truth, and the truth will set you free.
Once broken, we learn to let go and put all of our faith and trust in a love that never fails. We express that faith and trust through love, always. That is the Way. The Spirit always guides hearts directly into Love via the Cross. The Spirit is the governing force of our lives. We walk in love by following the Spirit. The Spirit becomes our energy - our lifeforce. Without it, we are nothing. And we know the Spirit only comes on the ground of death, burial and resurrection through the Cross.
We die, spiritually speaking, to live a life in Christ. Dying to live. It sounds like a paradox, but there is no other way to Love. The Cross is the place where we die, are buried, and then resurrected in Christ. Love is crucified flesh.
May you be utterly broken, let go, and let Love.