Tradition By T. Austin-Sparks

Daily Thoughts

Tradition

By T. Austin-Sparks

From the latter days of the Apostles till now, the history of Christianity is a history of prisons. This history is not of literal or material prisons, though there have been not a few of these. It is a history of prisons, which are the result of man’s long established habit of bringing the Spirit into bondage.

How many times has the Spirit broken loose and moved in a new and free way only to have that way brought under man’s control and crystallized into another form, creed, organization, denomination, sect, order, community, or the like! The invariable result has been that the Spirit’s free movement and life has been cramped or even killed by the prison of the framework into which He has been drawn or forced.

Every time we seek to express something divine in word or form, we at once limit it. When that expression or form becomes the established and recognized formula, we have, in effect, put fetters on the Spirit. God gives a vision, and every God-given vision has unlimited potential and possibilities. But all too soon the vision is laid hold of by men who never received it by the Spirit. Then the grapes of Eschol turn to raisins in their hands. So very many of the living fruits of the heavenly country have suffered in this way and become dried, shrunken, and unctionless shadows of their early glory.

Successors, sponsors, or adherents build an earthly organization on a living movement of the Spirit, born with fire in the heart of some prophet. They imprison the vision in a tradition. A message becomes a creed; a heavenly vision becomes an earthly institution; a movement of the Spirit becomes a work, which must be kept going by the steam of human energy and maintained by man’s resourcefulness.

Any real (or seeming) departure or diversion from the recognized and traditional order of creed or practice will sooner or later become heresy, to be violently suspected, repressed, and cast out. What was, at its beginning, a spiritual energy-producing living organism, expressing something that God really wanted and to which He gave birth has too often become something which the next generation has to sustain and struggle hard at to keep going. The thing has developed a self-interest, and it will go hard with anyone or anything interfering or seeming to interfere with it. The Spirit has become the prisoner of the institution or system, and as a result the people become limited spiritually.

All along the way the Spirit must be referred to and deferred to. In anything in which the Spirit may have His liberties limited, the Spirit will be a rebel. And if He is in us, He will make us to rebel against unspiritual restrictions.

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We Are Now the Word Made Flesh By Fred Pruitt

Daily Thoughts

We Are Now the Word Made Flesh

By Fred Pruitt

God’s purposes and God’s people (which is “anyone” who wants to be one), will be revealed, fuThe greatest change perhaps is that we no longer are looking for blessings. My life has finally ceased to be “about ME!” We realize we ARE the blessing and the blessers, and that means we have something to bring to the table.

Now, the most powerful thing we bring to the table of being with other humans, is ourselves. We don’t need props or proofs. Why? Because we are the Light of the World, the Salt of the Earth, known and read of all men. We do not come to people as enlightened heavenly beings, here to “grace” those who receive us with special favor and secret knowledge. No, we come as brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, cousins and friends. We come finally as Who and What we are – human beings whose self-identity is Christ in us. One person, manifest in and as the many persons, each unique and distinct in their Christ-empowered humanity.

Whatever is the mist on the mountain of humanity right now, whatever is trying to block our view of the whole panorama of God’s continual workings and manifestations, is only a passing thing. Whatever turmoil there is or whatever turmoil that may come, whatever pain or insecurity or fear we might experience worrying about our future, NOTHING HAS CHANGED! Today’s current events do not change the plan of God or put it on hold or alter it in any way. Today’s vexations are the springboards to tomorrow’s opening of the things of God.

God’s hand is still outstretched, calling every and anyone to come, take of the water of life freely. It is an open invitation and we repeat it now. It doesn’t matter one’s station, level of knowledge, politics, or professed beliefs, because when we knock on God’s door He answers with overabundant love and grace. So are all who are born of His Spirit. We become the overabundant love and grace. We are all, “the Word made flesh.”

Peace be with you.

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We Begin IN Union By Fred Pruitt

Daily Thoughts

We Begin IN Union

By Fred Pruitt

You see, it is just here that we begin to get a clue to our answer we are seeking. If it is established in us that we have been wholly translated from one kingdom to another in our new birth and subsequent walk in Christ, then we begin to have a vantage point from which we may see this understanding of ourselves. We have made our real choices in our inner spirit, and the rest of life afterward is based on these foundational choices.

Even our choice for Christ was not made by us independently. Even as we said whatever we said to declare our faith in Christ, we were speaking in and by the Holy Spirit, for as Paul said, “No man can call Jesus Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” He answers before we call. He is the voice in us before our brains move our tongues.

(Or as I like to say, He’s REAL FAST! As soon as it occurs in us to speak the Word of our betrothal and marriage to Christ, even if at the time we did not understand anything about the New Life we were about to enter, the Holy Spirit fills our mouths with the words of that confession!)

GOD HIMSELF enters us to speak in us, as us, the Word of faith that we are His! How about that? Right there at minute one, day one, of our new birth, the Holy Spirit entered us before we even spoke the word, for it was He at that moment Who prompted us and then as us spoke the Word of our eternal salvation! “No man can call Jesus Lord except by the Holy Spirit!”

That is the closest temporal moment, which we can say that the union and new birth begins. They (union and new birth) are one and the same. Our first “act” in the kingdom of God, our entry point, is an act accomplished by the Holy Spirit, using our mouths. It is a union act, at the very beginning of our spiritual lives!

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