The world? “Oh yes”, you may say, “I have given my life to the Lord: I am born again, I have finished with the world, I am out and out for the Lord now. All my life, service and energy is for the Lord”.
Very well, says Satan, “let us placard your name everywhere as a great witness for the Lord, and then you will begin to be made a lot of by organized Christianity!”
It is all wrapped up under the guise of affording you a great opportunity, and you are altogether unaware of how nice it is, and how you like it. What has happened? That is not the way of the Lamb.
What is the way of the Lamb? He “emptied himself” (Phil. 2:7) — “but made himself of no reputation”, “He emptied himself”: the devil is out to FILL you.
Since he could not fill you with the world, he is going to fill you now with the gratification of the natural life in the service of God. It will not live very long. It will spend itself, and it will, moreover, mean spiritual immaturity. It is not the way of the Lamb.
If we were to press this, we could expose that whole thing very thoroughly by a good deal of evidence.
If the enemy cannot get us in one way, he will get us in another, and he has got many a young life by flattery, ruined many a powerful servant of God by popularity.
Yes, he has brought him down from his excellency by deeply-laid devices in the way of fame, pushing on, bringing to the fore; getting into the limelight, giving a name.
Spiritual life has gradually receded and the end has been tragedy. That is not fiction, that is a tragic fact.
The way to Zion, the way to the throne, the way to spiritual ascendency is the way of the cross, and the cross ever more deeply planted right down to the very roots of self-interest, self-gratification, self-pleasure, even in the things of God.
In the end we shall be brought to the place where it is not the Lord’s things that delight us, but the Lord Himself alone Who is our life.
So the whole scheme of the enemy is to make the work of the Lord so attractive, to offer the prizes, the spheres, the opportunities, and all that sort of thing.
It is very nice, it is very pleasant, it answers to something in our fallen nature.
That something has to pass through the crucible of the cross. It may be something legitimate, something God-implanted, something essential to the outworking of this divine purpose, but it has been dragged into a realm of defilement.
~T. Austin Sparks~