The Reed as a Rod (2)
As Christians we need to
appreciate how fierce is
the enemy, and the
conflict, we face today
Our previous Note in this series considered how “the reed like a rod” shows that it is not enough for us to have the ministry of life; we must also engage in the spiritual warfare if we are to carry out God’s purpose in this dark age (Rev. 11:1-2; cf. Rev. 2:26-27; see “The Reed as a Rod” 1).
Two years ago the Lord convicted me personally about this in quite a strong way. First, I was reading in Witness Lee’s book, Lessons on Prayer, chapter 19, on “Fasting and Prayer.” He states that genuine fasting comes when, as we live before God, He burdens us about a specific matter to the point that we have no choice but to fast in regards to that matter. He then says:
It is an awful thing if God’s children have never had such an experience, for it proves that they have no care for God’s purpose, or sense how fierce God’s enemy is.
— Page 235
Then, just a few days later, I happened to come across a very striking statement from D.L. Moody, very much along the same line:
The reason why so many Christians fail is just this—they under-estimate the strength of the enemy.
— Quoted by D.M. Panton in The Judgment Seat of Christ, page 56
Together these two statements were quite convicting for me to consider.
That was, as I say, two years ago. More recently I saw the statement below from T. Austin-Sparks. He is speaking of the ministry of Elijah at the time of Israel’s degradation into Baal worship under Ahab and Jezebel; surely many of us would feel that what he says about Israel applies very much to the situation, and the need, of the church in America today:
Elijah’s ministry was one of Divine authority. There were powers at work which were more than human powers. The case with Israel was not simply one of spiritual declension. It was not merely that the people had lost a measure of spiritual life and were on a lower level than they should be, so that they had to have a deepening of the spiritual life. That was not the position at all. Baal had a mighty footing in Israel, and the evil powers, the forces of darkness, were back of this state of things. The situation demanded more than merely spiritual help to Israel….A ministry of Divine authority was needed, to deal with the spiritual situation back of the condition in which the people were found. There were mightier forces at work than merely human faults and failings. The mighty power of Satan was there represented by Israel’s state. Elijah, therefore, must needs fulfill a ministry of Divine authority.
— “The More Excellent Ministry,” pages 15-16
These statements have been an admonition to me to seek the Lord for how I can stand with Him in the conflict for His building today; may they now encourage you in this regard as well.
May the Lord, indeed, raise up some of His children to stand with Him and to enter into this conflict! Only then can He still have a way to raise up His testimony in this country.
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— 23 April 2022 —