Character through Conflict
Through our struggle
against the enemy
we are brought into the
real experience Christ’s
victory over him
A number of years ago, during a very difficult period in my Christian life, a dear brother gave me a pamphlet by T. Austin-Sparks entitled,(1933). It was a very timely word for me then, and it has been a great help ever since, so I wanted to pass it along to you as well.
The basic thought of TAS in the pamphlet is that the material for building up the house of God today can only be gained through conflict, just as David had to defeat all the enemies in the Good Land before he could pass along the materials for building up the Temple to his son Solomon. (See 1 Chron. 26:27-28).
In the section entitled “Character through Conflict,” Sparks considers the question of why God has not yet fully dealt with Satan, even after Christ triumphed over him on the cross. He states:
The enemy, although defeated, has still been left for the saints to have something to do with, and the Lord has not put our foes out of the universe, though in Himself He has triumphed. He has left them for us to deal with in His triumph, and it is thus that you and I get our spiritual and moral development. It is by conflict, by battle, by grim and terrible warfare spiritually, that the moral excellencies of our triumphant Head are brought out in us.
It is the conflict with the enemy that develops our character, for in such conflict, our exercise of faith
…brings out from Him, into our own souls, the strength of His victory. We are made morally one with Him in His triumph by a test of faith which is so grim and so terrible that nothing that is not of Him in us would be sufficient to carry us through. It has to be wrought into our very being, and that is done through conflict in which faith is drawn out; and so, spiritually and morally, we build through conflict, through adversity, in the Divine and sovereign ordering of our lives.
Today as Christians we are so blessed to be called to stand for God’s house, His building, the church, so that it may become His testimony on the earth. But we have to realize that such a glorious purpose will not be carried out apart from much conflict with the enemy of our souls. May we arm ourselves with a mind to suffer (1 Pet. 4:1), so that we will not be stumbled when the inevitable conflict comes. Rather, may it bring us to experience for ourselves, in a much fuller way, the victory of Christ over all the power of the enemy.
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— 12 November 2022 —