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Knowing the Lord

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On Knowing the Lord
by T. Austin-Sparks


"That I may know....." - Phil. 3:10.
"Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know Me." - John 14:9; (A.S.V.).
Phil. 1:10; Heb. 8:11; I John 2:20, 27.

It is of the greatest importance for the Lord's children to recognize fully that, above all other things, His object is that they should know Him. This is the all-governing end of all His dealings with us. This is the greatest of all our needs.
It is the secret of strength, steadfastness, and service. It determines the measure of our usefulness to Him. It was the one passion of the life of the apostle Paul for himself. It was the cause of his unceasing striving for the saints. It is the heart and pivot of the whole letter to the Hebrews. It was the secret of the life, service, endurance, confidence of the Lord Jesus as Son of Man.

All these facts need looking at more closely. We begin always with the Lord Jesus as God's representative, the Man after His own mind. In His life on earth there was no part or aspect which did not have its strength and ability rooted in, and drawn from, His inward knowledge of His Father, God. We must never forget that His was a life of utter dependence upon God, voluntarily accepted. He attributed everything to the Father: word, wisdom, and works. The miracles were made just as possible through His apostles as through Himself. This does not put the apostles on the same personal level as Himself. His Deity remains. He is God manifest in the flesh; but He has accepted from the human and manward standpoint the limitations and dependence of man so that God might be God manifested. There is a subjection here because of which He is able to do nothing of Himself (John 5:19, etc.). The principle of His entire life in every phase and detail was His knowledge of God. He knows the Father in the matter of the words He speaks, the works He does, the men and women with whom He has to do; with regard to the times of speaking, acting, going, staying, surrendering, refusing, silence; with regard to the motives, pretensions, professions, enquiries, suggestions, of men and of Satan. He knows when He may not, and when He may, give His life. Yes, everything here is governed by that inward knowledge of God. There are numerous evidences in the "Acts" as the practical, and in the Epistles as the doctrinal, revelation of God's mind, that this principle is intended by God to be maintained as the basic law of the life of the Lord's people through this age. This knowledge in the case of the Lord Jesus was the secret of His complete ascendancy and of His absolute authority.

Masters in Israel will seek Him out and the issue which will precipitate their seeking will be that of knowing. "Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?" (John 3:10). Nicodemus has come to One Who knows, and Whose authority is superior to that of the scribes, not merely in degree but in kind.

Toward the end of the Gospel of John, which especially brings into view this very matter, "to know" occurs some fifty-five times. Our Lord makes the statement that "this is life eternal, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him, Whom Thou didst send, even Jesus Christ." (John 17:3). This does not mean merely that eternal life is given on the basis of this knowledge. There can be life with very limited knowledge. But life in fulness is closely related to that knowledge, and the increasing knowledge of Him manifests itself in increasing life. It works both ways; knowledge unto life and life unto knowledge.

Seeing, then, that the Lord Jesus Himself, as Man, represents man according to God, we are well prepared to see that

The Dominating Objective Of The Divine Dealings With Us

is that we may know the Lord.
This explains all our experiences, trials, sufferings, perplexities, weakness, predicaments, tight corners, bafflings, pressures. While the refining of spirit, the development of the graces, the removing of the dross, are all purposes of the fires, yet above and through all is the one object - that we may know the Lord. There is only one way of really getting to know the Lord, and that is experimentally.
Our minds are so often occupied with service and work; we think that doing things for the Lord is the chief object of life. We are concerned about our lifework, our ministry. We think of equipment for it in terms of study and knowledge of things. Soul-winning, or teaching believers, or setting people to work, are so much in the foreground. Bible study and knowledge of the Scriptures, with efficiency in the matter of leading in Christian service as the end in view, are matters of pressing importance with all. All well and good, for these are important matters; but, back of everything the Lord is more concerned about our knowing Him than about anything else. It is very possible to have a wonderful grasp of the Scriptures, a comprehensive and intimate familiarity with doctrine; to stand for cardinal verities of the faith; to be an unceasing worker in Christian service; to have a great devotion to the salvation of men, and yet, alas, to have a very inadequate and limited personal knowledge of God within. So often the Lord has to take away our work that we may discover Him. The ultimate value of everything is not the information which we give, not the soundness of our doctrine, not the amount of work that we do, not the measure of truth that we possess, but just the fact that we know the Lord in a deep and mighty way.

This is the one thing that will remain when all else passes. It is this that will make for the permanence of our ministry after we are gone. While we may help others in many ways and by many means so far as their earthly life is concerned, our real service to them is based upon our knowledge of the Lord.
The greatest of the problems of the Christian life is

The Problem Of Guidance

How much has been said and written upon this subject! The last word for so many is, "Pray about it, commit it to God, do the thing that seems right, and trust God to see that it turns out all right." This to us seems weak and inadequate. We make no claim to ability to lay down the comprehensive and conclusive basis of guidance, but we are strongly of the conviction that it is one thing to get direction for the events, incidents, and contingencies of life, and quite another thing to have an abiding, personal, inward knowledge of the Lord. It is one thing to call upon a friend in emergency or at special times for advice as to a course to be taken; it is another thing to live with that friend so that there is derived a sense of his mind in general that will govern in particular matters.

We want instructions and commands, the Lord wants us to have a 'mind.' "Have this mind in you," "We have the mind of Christ." Christ has a consciousness, and by the Holy Spirit He would give and develop in us that consciousness. The inspired statement is that "His anointing teacheth you concerning all things." We are not servants, we are sons. Commands - as such - are for servants, a mind is for sons.

There is an appalling state of things amongst the Lord's people to-day. So many of them have their life almost entirely in that which is external to themselves - in their counsel and guidance, their sustenance and support, their knowledge, their means of grace. Personal, inward, spiritual intelligence is a very rare thing. No wonder that the enemy has such a successful line in delusions, counterfeits, and false representations. Our greatest safeguard against such will be a deep knowledge of the Lord through discipline.

To know the Lord in a real way means steadfastness when others are being carried away - steadfastness through times of fiery trial. Those who know the Lord do not put forth their own hand and try to bring things about. Such are full of love and patience, and do not lose their poise when everything seems to be going to pieces. Confidence is an essential and inevitable fruit of this knowledge, and in those who know Him there is a quiet restful strength which speaks of a great depth of life.

To close let me point out that in Christ "are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden," and the Lord's will for us is to come to an ever-growing realization and personal appreciation of Him in Whom all the fulness dwells.
We have only stated facts as to the Lord's will for all His own, and their greatest need.
The absence of this real knowledge of the Lord has proved to be the most tragic factor in the Church's history.

Every fresh uprising of an abnormal condition has disclosed the appalling weakness amongst Christian people because of this lack. Waves of error; the swing of the pendulum to some fresh popular acceptance; a great war with its horrors and many-sided tests of faith; all these have swept away multitudes and left them in spiritual ruin.

These things are ever near at hand, and we have written this message to urge upon the Lord's people to have very definite dealings with Him that He will take every measure with them that they might know Him.

In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks' wishes that what was freely received should be freely given, his writings are not copyrighted. Therefore, we ask if you choose to share them with others, please respect his wishes and offer them freely - free of changes, free of charge and free of copyright.
 
Member
It is as I said this morning to our sister 'To Christ' , He is all we really need, and He will often remind us of this in His own tender loving way.
"This explains all our experiences, trials, sufferings, perplexities, weakness, predicaments, tight corners, bafflings, pressures. While the refining of spirit, the development of the graces, the removing of the dross, are all purposes of the fires, yet above and through all is the one object - that we may know the Lord. "
Glory to God amen!

1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
 
Member
1 Corinthans 13:1

jiggyfly said:
On Knowing the Lord
by T. Austin-Sparks
"That I may know....." - Phil. 3:10.
"Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know Me." - John 14:9; (A.S.V.).
Phil. 1:10; Heb. 8:11; I John 2:20, 27.
It is of the greatest importance for the Lord's children to recognize fully that, above all other things, His object is that they should know Him. This is the all-governing end of all His dealings with us. This is the greatest of all our needs.
It is the secret of strength, steadfastness, and service. It determines the measure of our usefulness to Him. It was the one passion of the life of the apostle Paul for himself. It was the cause of his unceasing striving for the saints. It is the heart and pivot of the whole letter to the Hebrews. It was the secret of the life, service, endurance, confidence of the Lord Jesus as Son of Man.
All these facts need looking at more closely. We begin always with the Lord Jesus as God's representative, the Man after His own mind. In His life on earth there was no part or aspect which did not have its strength and ability rooted in, and drawn from, His inward knowledge of His Father, God. We must never forget that His was a life of utter dependence upon God, voluntarily accepted. He attributed everything to the Father: word, wisdom, and works. The miracles were made just as possible through His apostles as through Himself. This does not put the apostles on the same personal level as Himself. His Deity remains. He is God manifest in the flesh; but He has accepted from the human and manward standpoint the limitations and dependence of man so that God might be God manifested. There is a subjection here because of which He is able to do nothing of Himself (John 5:19, etc.). The principle of His entire life in every phase and detail was His knowledge of God. He knows the Father in the matter of the words He speaks, the works He does, the men and women with whom He has to do; with regard to the times of speaking, acting, going, staying, surrendering, refusing, silence; with regard to the motives, pretensions, professions, enquiries, suggestions, of men and of Satan. He knows when He may not, and when He may, give His life. Yes, everything here is governed by that inward knowledge of God. There are numerous evidences in the "Acts" as the practical, and in the Epistles as the doctrinal, revelation of God's mind, that this principle is intended by God to be maintained as the basic law of the life of the Lord's people through this age. This knowledge in the case of the Lord Jesus was the secret of His complete ascendancy and of His absolute authority.
Masters in Israel will seek Him out and the issue which will precipitate their seeking will be that of knowing. "Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?" (John 3:10). Nicodemus has come to One Who knows, and Whose authority is superior to that of the scribes, not merely in degree but in kind.
Toward the end of the Gospel of John, which especially brings into view this very matter, "to know" occurs some fifty-five times. Our Lord makes the statement that "this is life eternal, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him, Whom Thou didst send, even Jesus Christ." (John 17:3). This does not mean merely that eternal life is given on the basis of this knowledge. There can be life with very limited knowledge. But life in fulness is closely related to that knowledge, and the increasing knowledge of Him manifests itself in increasing life. It works both ways; knowledge unto life and life unto knowledge.
Seeing, then, that the Lord Jesus Himself, as Man, represents man according to God, we are well prepared to see that
The Dominating Objective Of The Divine Dealings With Us
is that we may know the Lord.
This explains all our experiences, trials, sufferings, perplexities, weakness, predicaments, tight corners, bafflings, pressures. While the refining of spirit, the development of the graces, the removing of the dross, are all purposes of the fires, yet above and through all is the one object - that we may know the Lord. There is only one way of really getting to know the Lord, and that is experimentally.
Our minds are so often occupied with service and work; we think that doing things for the Lord is the chief object of life. We are concerned about our lifework, our ministry. We think of equipment for it in terms of study and knowledge of things. Soul-winning, or teaching believers, or setting people to work, are so much in the foreground. Bible study and knowledge of the Scriptures, with efficiency in the matter of leading in Christian service as the end in view, are matters of pressing importance with all. All well and good, for these are important matters; but, back of everything the Lord is more concerned about our knowing Him than about anything else. It is very possible to have a wonderful grasp of the Scriptures, a comprehensive and intimate familiarity with doctrine; to stand for cardinal verities of the faith; to be an unceasing worker in Christian service; to have a great devotion to the salvation of men, and yet, alas, to have a very inadequate and limited personal knowledge of God within. So often the Lord has to take away our work that we may discover Him. The ultimate value of everything is not the information which we give, not the soundness of our doctrine, not the amount of work that we do, not the measure of truth that we possess, but just the fact that we know the Lord in a deep and mighty way.
This is the one thing that will remain when all else passes. It is this that will make for the permanence of our ministry after we are gone. While we may help others in many ways and by many means so far as their earthly life is concerned, our real service to them is based upon our knowledge of the Lord.
The greatest of the problems of the Christian life is
The Problem Of Guidance
How much has been said and written upon this subject! The last word for so many is, "Pray about it, commit it to God, do the thing that seems right, and trust God to see that it turns out all right." This to us seems weak and inadequate. We make no claim to ability to lay down the comprehensive and conclusive basis of guidance, but we are strongly of the conviction that it is one thing to get direction for the events, incidents, and contingencies of life, and quite another thing to have an abiding, personal, inward knowledge of the Lord. It is one thing to call upon a friend in emergency or at special times for advice as to a course to be taken; it is another thing to live with that friend so that there is derived a sense of his mind in general that will govern in particular matters.
We want instructions and commands, the Lord wants us to have a 'mind.' "Have this mind in you," "We have the mind of Christ." Christ has a consciousness, and by the Holy Spirit He would give and develop in us that consciousness. The inspired statement is that "His anointing teacheth you concerning all things." We are not servants, we are sons. Commands - as such - are for servants, a mind is for sons.
There is an appalling state of things amongst the Lord's people to-day. So many of them have their life almost entirely in that which is external to themselves - in their counsel and guidance, their sustenance and support, their knowledge, their means of grace. Personal, inward, spiritual intelligence is a very rare thing. No wonder that the enemy has such a successful line in delusions, counterfeits, and false representations. Our greatest safeguard against such will be a deep knowledge of the Lord through discipline.
To know the Lord in a real way means steadfastness when others are being carried away - steadfastness through times of fiery trial. Those who know the Lord do not put forth their own hand and try to bring things about. Such are full of love and patience, and do not lose their poise when everything seems to be going to pieces. Confidence is an essential and inevitable fruit of this knowledge, and in those who know Him there is a quiet restful strength which speaks of a great depth of life.
To close let me point out that in Christ "are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden," and the Lord's will for us is to come to an ever-growing realization and personal appreciation of Him in Whom all the fulness dwells.
We have only stated facts as to the Lord's will for all His own, and their greatest need.
The absence of this real knowledge of the Lord has proved to be the most tragic factor in the Church's history.
Every fresh uprising of an abnormal condition has disclosed the appalling weakness amongst Christian people because of this lack. Waves of error; the swing of the pendulum to some fresh popular acceptance; a great war with its horrors and many-sided tests of faith; all these have swept away multitudes and left them in spiritual ruin.
These things are ever near at hand, and we have written this message to urge upon the Lord's people to have very definite dealings with Him that He will take every measure with them that they might know Him.
In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks' wishes that what was freely received should be freely given, his writings are not copyrighted. Therefore, we ask if you choose to share them with others, please respect his wishes and offer them freely - free of changes, free of charge and free of copyright.



I have to disagree with your above statement, "It is of the greatest importance for the Lord's children to recognize fully that, above all other things, His object is that they should know Him."

The emphasizes needs to be on LOVE and not knowledge. If you had said, "Above all other things, his object is for LOVE." I could have agreed.



Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
1 Cor. 13:8 -- New King James

Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away.
1 Cor. 13:8 -- American Standard

All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever. Someday prophecy, and speaking in unknown languages, and special knowledge--these gifts will disappear.
1 Cor. 13:8 -- Living Bible

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Cor. 13:8 -- Revised Standard

Love lasts forever. There are such things as prophecies, but they will disappear. There are such things as languages, but they will stop. There is such a thing as knowledge , but it will disappear.
1 Cor. 13:8 -- Simple English

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1 Cor. 13:8 -- King James
 
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Member
There are many scriptures that place the emphasis on "knowing God"...here`s just a few:

Joh 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

Phi 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:

2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.

It is quite possible to think oneself to have a love for God and not know Him at all...as this scripture explains quite clearly:

Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

“zeal” (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively of God]

When John said 1Jo 4:8 "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." this is exactly what he was saying, if you do not love, it is because you do not KNOW God. We cannot truly know love without first KNOWING God.
 
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Member
I have to disagree with your above statement, "It is of the greatest importance for the Lord's children to recognize fully that, above all other things, His object is that they should know Him."

The emphasizes needs to be on LOVE and not knowledge. If you had said, "Above all other things, his object is for LOVE." I could have agreed.
This is not head knowledge but knowledge of an intimate level that has to reside in the heart, I hope you will reread the article brother and see what brother Sparks is saying, because it is in agreement with God's Word.


Philippians 3:8-17
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ
9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
10 As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death,
11 so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!
12 I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
15 I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.
16 But we must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already.
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
 
Member
If..

If what you are saying is true, that it is about heart instead of head, than we are in agreement since GOD is LOVE.
That is why I refered to that statement only and not the whole post. It was the statement that was inferring HEAD knowlege instead of the mind of the Spirit of LOVE.
jiggyfly said:
This is not head knowledge but knowledge of an intimate level that has to reside in the heart, I hope you will reread the article brother and see what brother Sparks is saying, because it is in agreement with God's Word.
Philippians 3:8-17
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ
9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
10 As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death,
11 so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!
12 I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
15 I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.
16 But we must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already.
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
 

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