By what means does God reach His end in His people? What is God’s means of achieving His purpose? It is by the Spirit of sonship through the Cross. There is no hope of reaching God’s end, or even taking the first step in that direction, without the Spirit as the Spirit of sonship.
First there must be the faith’s cry, “Father!” There must be that relationship brought about by the Spirit. Then the Spirit of sonship, once He is within, must proceed fully to form Christ in us. Thus Paul the Apostle says, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). It is not a case of my struggling toward God’s end. Oh, that we had faith here! If you really have faith on this particular point, you will have the secret of a profound rest.
You know, we have our “off” times spiritually – “off” times in the prayer life when it seems impossible to pray; “off” times in many other ways spiritually. No matter how we struggle, we can make nothing of it. What are we going to do?
Well, if my experience is of any value to you – I have come to this position: Through the Spirit Christ is in me, and everything is with Him – not with me. It is not what I can do, not what I cannot do, nor how I am today; all is with Him. Today, maybe, I am not conscious of His indwelling, but on the contrary very conscious of other things that are not Christ. Well, that is my state; but He is faithful, He is true. He has given me certain assurance – about perfecting unto the day of Christ a good work which HE hath commenced (Philippians 1:6). He started this thing – I did not; He undertook this thing. Before ever I had a being, He had undertaken to carry through His perfect work in anyone who would trust Him. That was all undertaken for me before ever I saw the light of day, so that I did not start this – it is not commenced with me. My one thing to do is to trust Him – trust Him!
There are “off” times, and I am not sure that the Lord does not allow us to have such times lest we should begin to build again upon works. He takes us right off that basis and throws us upon Himself, where there is no alternative but to trust Him.
I find I have these “off” times, but as I definitely trust the Lord, and say, “Lord, this is Your responsibility, and I know this will not last; and I am trusting you in the meanwhile.” It does come back, and in greater fulness and greater blessedness.
Trust Him. “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20); He has the whole matter in hand. Positive faith in Him is the secret of everything in the will of God.
T. Austin-Sparks (1888-1971
A Witness and a Testimony (January 1940)