PRAYER AND THE OVERCOMERS
(Excerpted from “In Touch With The Throne”)
BY: T. AUSTIN SPARKS
Then this further thing comes out in this portion: That it is a small company, which is there in that position. Jonathan says: “There is no restraint to Jehovah to save by many or by few.” (I Samuel 14:6) It is a comparatively small company, but they represent the key to the whole situation for the Lord. They stand for the others in a relative position and the Lord knows that the others would be hard put to it were it not for this small company. The Lord must have them for the sake of the rest. In the final issue the others come into the good, which this small company has secured for them. It is what we have so often called “the overcomer company”, a little group – comparatively speaking – who are standing their ground and maintaining their prayer-life and their life in the Word. These are the hope of the Lord’s people, and the Lord’s people have no hope apart from them. They are the Lord’s key to the larger situation, and He must have them there for the sake of the rest. It is Benjamin, the link between the alienated and distant brethren and the one who is by the throne. It is the little one who is the occasion of their being brought into the full blessing. It is a privileged position, although it is difficult, costly and fraught with much travail and suffering. I must say more to myself, and you must say more to yourself, about the privilege of being an overcomer. I am afraid we are very much impressed with the suffering, the cost and the strenuousness of it, but it is the privilege of standing in a position which is going to mean much to the Lord in a great number of others who may not be in that position at present which ought to impress us.
If the Lord is to bring them, He does not do it, nor can He do it, directly. He does it through the ministration of those who are in that close fellowship with him which represents a mighty victory over the strategy of the devil. It is a position of privilege, and that is why those who are going that way with the Lord become the central object of the devil’s hate and malice, and why it is such a battle for them to maintain the position to which the Lord has called them. So much hangs upon them because of the responsibility, which is theirs by reason of the link, and the value of that link, between them and – perhaps – multitudes of others. So Jonathan and his armor bearer (and this is the part of the story I like so much) had a secret understanding.
There were those two massive, forbidding crags on either side, and the Philistines were up there in the place of advantage. Their secret understanding was this: ‘If they say they will come down to us, all right, we will wait for them. But if they say: “Come up to us,” then we shall know that the Lord has delivered them into our hands.’ You would have thought that they would have put it the other way round, for then they would have had all the advantage and it would have been comparatively easy. But to believe that being called upon to scale those difficult, forbidding crags was the Lord’s sign of victory, well, that makes the situation a very strong one, does it not? And the Philistines said: ‘Come up to us!’ So Jonathan said: “The Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel,” and as they advanced on hands and feet, which was very difficult climbing, they said: “The victory is ours.” They were climbing in a victory, not for one. They had their weapons, they had faith in God, they stood in a victory and went on in that victory. And Jonathan hewed the Philistines down. They fell before him and his armor bearer slew them. Then the Lord sent an earthquake. When faith had gone as far as it could go, He co-operated and sent consternation among the Philistines. Then the poor, weak Hebrews saw their chance, and turned on the Philistines. That was not very noble, nor very honorable, but Jonathan had been the instrument to bring them out of their weakness into strength, out of their indistinctiveness into a clear testimony, and out from the place where now they could take their stand. And a lot of people just need a Jonathan activity to bring them into a clear place. They will come in if the Lord has an instrument strong enough to meet the enemy on their behalf, but they will not come in until there is something that begins to smite the Philistines for them. Are you going to be one of these?”
In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks’ wishes that what was freely received should be freely given, his writings are not copyrighted. Therefore you are free to use these writings as you are led, however we ask if you choose to share these writings with others, please offer them freely – free of changes, free of charge and free of copyright.
PRAYER AND THE OVERCOMERS [T. Austin Sparks] 1