Getting READY??!! Anywhere Near READY Yet??!! Please??
“Prophecy obsession” or heart preparation?
How can we “speed the Lord’s coming” today? How can the Bride make herself ready? At the very least, let’s decide this day to long for His appearing and to purify ourselves as He is pure! Then maybe He’ll find us ready to be a vessel for taking the Gospel of the Kingdom to all nations…
“‘He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at in all them that believed” (2 Thess 1:10).’
How then do I best know that the coming of the Lord draws nigh? Not best of all by prophetical signs, but by what is going on within the hearts of the Lord’s people. That is the best sign of the times, namely, what the Spirit of God is doing in the people of God. But maybe you are not interested in that. You would far sooner know what is going to happen between Germany and Russia, whether these two eventually are going to become a great confederacy! How far does it get us? Where has all the talking about the revived Roman Empire [or current events in the Middle East or so-called “Bible codes”] got us? That is adventism as a “thing.” If only we keep close to Him who is the sum of all truth, and move with Him and learn Him, we shall know the course of things. We shall know what is imminent. We shall have in our heart whisperings of preparation. The best Advent preparation is to know the Lord. I am not saying that there is nothing in prophecy: don’t misunderstand me. But I do know that there are multitudes of people who are simply engrossed in prophecy as a thing whose spiritual life counts for nothing, who really have no deep inward walk with the Lord. We have seen it so often.
I shall never forget on a visit to a certain country going into one of the big cities where I was to speak for a week. Everything was so arranged that my first message was timed to follow the last message of a man who had had a week before me, and he had been on prophecy for the whole week. I went into the last meeting where he gave his final message on the signs of the time. Notebooks were out, and they were taking it all down, fascinated. It was all external, all objective; such things as the Roman Empire revived and Palestine recovered. You know the sort of thing. Then he finished and they were waiting for some more, and the notebooks were ready. The Lord put it right into my heart that the first word was to be, “And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3); to speak on the spiritual effect of that spiritual hope. They were not interested in that. The notebooks were closed, pencils put away, there was no interest as I sought in the Lord to be very faithful as to what all this should mean in an inward way, in adjustment to the Lord, and so on. They were only longing for the meeting to close. When I finished—they hardly waited for me to finish—they were up and out.
Oh no, it is the Lord, and the Holy Spirit would bring us back to the Lord, and it is not, after all, coming back to nonessentials, to elementary things, to come back to Christ. It is coming on to the only basis upon which the Holy Spirit can really accomplish all God’s will and purpose, to be in the School of Christ where the Holy Spirit is teaching us Christ; and the Holy Spirit’s way of teaching Christ is experimental [experienced through an abandoned life rather than in theory]. (T. Austin-Sparks, 1942)”