Austin Sparks, Christian Ministry, Christianity, Daily Devotional

May 18

18 MAY – Only God’s Spirit Can Conform Us to Christ

“The Spirit… maketh intercession… according to God.”

The Spirit Who knows God, God’s thoughts, God’s mind, is working according to God and working in us. We have received the Spirit of sonship, adoption, by which we cry, Father! We are children of God to be manifested as the sons of God, but all this is because the Holy Spirit is operating, making intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered. “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity.” He comes alongside. He alone can reproduce Christ, conform us to His image. And yet we have thought that service was preaching, teaching, doing this or that or a hundred and one things! Oh, that is only the vehicle of the Spirit. Let us be undeceived about this matter.

The fact is this, that we may advance a long way in spiritual knowledge (I mean in information, the knowledge of the truth) beyond our own real measure, and then have the shock, under terrible conditions, of discovering that all that we have accumulated through the years does not help us. The peril then, of course, is to jettison all the teaching we have had and to say that it is a valueless thing. It is not valueless; but we must recognize that there is all the difference between knowing the thoughts of God in our minds, and the Holy Spirit’s using that knowledge to accomplish God’s ends. Thus we have to come back with every fragment and have very real dealings with the Lord. Our attitude every time must be, ‘Lord, do save me from ever coming to the time when what I have heard proves only to have been a thing heard; make it a basis of Holy Spirit activity to reach the Divine end.’

Now, if you can grasp this, it is going to be great deliverance. Why are the people of God suffering? It is that they may be conformed to the image of His Son. God is going to use all conditions to that end, and, tragically enough, there are multitudes of the Lord’s people who do need a world shaking. They are so bound up with the externalities of Christianity, with its whole structure and system, that nothing but that which will overthrow, disintegrate, destroy, and raise tremendous questions about the whole business will bring them to the place where the Spirit of God can begin really to do the work which He has come to do in them.

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