called by God, experience, Fellowship of His Sufferings, following Jesus, fullness, God's voice, Jesus Christ, Overcomer, overcoming the world, resurrection power, spiritual power, suffering, the cross
If God wants to show us something in particular, He will get us interested in that very topic. Not so much by yelling into our ears, 😉 rather, God will nudge us to delve into the issue concerned and to mull over it. By way of example, one specific thought comes back to our mind again and again, often times when we are right in the middle of doing something that has NOTHING to do with the thoughts God wants to share with us. Whether God speaks to us through Scriptures, through other people, through experience, or more directly through a dream or a vision is not important. It seems to me He uses the communication line which has been tailor-made for us individually.
Before posting another extract from one of T. Austin-Sparks’ books with you on here, I am going to summarize the main features of an overcomer’s life according to what I have seen myself. Just in case someone feels addressed by what I share, you might like to check out TAS’ book “Overcomer Testimony” which is a pretty small book that consists of only three chapters. (1) Here are my observations.
- The overcomer has been called by God personally
- The path of the overcomer is, for long periods, a very lonely path
- God’s dealings with the overcomer are characterized by direct teaching (Spirit to spirit)
- Through personal revelation Jesus Christ makes Himself known and seen by the overcomer
- Cross-bearing to eliminate self-interest of any kind becomes crucial
- The overcomer gets to know suffering with Christ and His resurrection power as well
- The overcomer is often misapprehended by other Christians who have not had similar experiences themselves
There might be some more features than those I have just mentioned, but I decided to leave it at that this time in order to finally present a much shorter blog article than usual. 😉 Below is the excerpt from T. Austin-Sparks I gave notice of above. The writing was taken from chapter 1 “The Fact of Overcomers” which also deals with several biblical personalities who could be seen as overcomers.
“Overcomers, if they are according to God’s mind, are not people individually or collectively who simply underline certain truths and keep to that. Therefore they cannot be a separate and distinctive movement marked by just particular and specific teaching and separated from all others for that reason. They cannot be joined, you cannot join the Overcomer band. You cannot argue, discuss, reason out Overcomer truth and adopt it or reject it. You cannot have a Round Table for considering this thing, and then deciding what you are going to do with it. All such conceptions, mentalities and activities are ruled out. It cannot be taken up, for it is not an “it” as something apart from all God’s thought. It is the very embodiment of all God’s thought. We have heard a certain interpretation given to a fragment which is repeated in those early chapters of Revelation. “If any man”, and “to him that overcometh” and the explanation, the interpretation, is that at the end things are no longer corporate but just individual, and the suggestion or implication of that interpretation is that all that is in Ephesians is cancelled out by Revelation, that all the teaching on the corporate nature and expression of the Body of Christ is now suspended and it has become resolved into a personal and individual matter. “If any man,” and “to him”. Dear friends, I have always found very great difficulty in believing that any one part of God’s Word rules out another part, and especially such parts as Ephesians; and while, as you shall see in a moment, there is an element of truth in that interpretation, unless it is safeguarded, it is very dangerous and misleading. Anything that is misleading is very dangerous.
“It is a very immediately personal thing of what God has been doing and is doing in the life, in the spirit, in the being of those concerned. Anything corporate must come out of that. Of course, that has always been the law of the Church. But here at the end in order to get back to a full and adequate corporate testimony, the individual has got to have a very living history with God as to what God is really after, has got to know that he or she, no matter what is happening to all the rest, he or she is under the hand of God and God is doing something. That is the bedrock of Overcomer testimony, and if what I have already said is not wrong, that Rev. 12 is the sum of Rev. 2 and 3 in its spiritual essence, the corporate is found in Rev. 12 in a Man-child. A Man-child is born which is spoken of firstly as a single entity and then referred to as “they”. It is many in one; it is the corporate, but it is the sum total of all those individuals who have overcome, the “any man”s, the “to him”s now brought into a final collective expression. What I am trying to emphasize is this, that the essence of Overcomer testimony is that God has done something very definitely and very specifically, something much more than a general operation in the heart in relation to something which is very near to His own heart, and which the whole body even of Christians will not be prepared to accept and follow after.” (2)
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