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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pioneers of the Heavenly Way # 31

The Holy Spirit with A Drawn Sword (continued)

That will not do. The Lord is concerned with these people coming actually into possession; not theoretically, not doctrinally, not on the ground of a Bible reading, but actually into possession; and when you really come under the mastery of the Holy Spirit, then you are in the way of the actuality, and the Lord believes in it being actual and very practical.

Jericho is representative: the great example of how it will always be in principle. You have first of all to have a heavenly position, as we have said; not an earthly position, not man's way of doing things. This is the outworking of that principle which we saw first of all with Abraham, where man tried to act and made an awful mess, because he touched earth; and again with Moses, where he took things into his own hands, and assailed the Egyptian and the Hebrew, and made an awful mess. Here is the outworking of the discipline, and Joshua takes up all that spiritual history, and at Jericho we find there are no carnal weapons - no human reason here, nothing left to man here. If this is not heavenly, it is nothing. Things do not happen like this on the earth. We can walk around, not only seven days, but all our lives, and nothing will happen unless we are in a heavenly position, unless heaven is coming in. Jericho is man set aside, altogether excluded. It is heavenly.

Well, that is the basis. And then immediately afterward you find this - that, if the enemy cannot succeed by open resistance, he will try more subtle tactics. He cannot succeed by open resistance if you and I are in our heavenly position and keep it - and keep it, for that is what Jericho means. They not only took it on the first day but they held it and kept it and ratified it, and seven times on the last day they confirmed it, holding their heavenly position; they did not give up. We do not always get through with the first or second day. There has to be a holding to that position in faith, and the enemy is completely worsted when that position is really held like that. When he is worsted along that line, he must somehow turn it to defeat, if he possibly can, and so he will work subtly.

Is that not the word about the Gibeonites? They worked subtly to make an "earth touch" somewhere. It was the same with Achan and Ai, the Babylonish garment and the wedge of gold - an earth touch. The Gibeonites and the covenant made with them constituted another earth touch. We must not thing that it is always going to be just open, clear, straightforward spiritual warfare. There is that aspect where we must see where the earth touch is being maneuvered by the enemy - where there is the introduction of something that will make a contact with that which is cursed, and with which God cannot go on.

How is that done? You know, of course, that Gilgal was the place from which they moved out - Gilgal, the place of the rolling away, the place of the flesh set aside. But they did not go back to Gilgal after Jericho. They went straight on to Ai: whereas it was the custom always to go back to Gilgal after any advance or conquest - back to Gilgal and out again from Gilgal. This time they did not go back to Gilgal. They went on.

Let us keep near the Cross, and never assume that because the Lord has blessed and prospered and given success we can go on. Never for a moment must we get away from the Cross. The Cross is not something that lies back there, to be left. It is something to be with us all the time. It is our safety.

This is the heavenly way, the whole nature of the heavenly way, the way to God's end. The Lord keep us in it.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 32 - "The Significance of Levites in Relation to Heavenly Fullness")

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