Brothers and Sisters:  Why do we persist in our modern beliefs that peace on earth is the ultimate goal of God?  This is the desire of the weak human heart.  We mean by 'peace' that we just want everyone to sit down, shut up and get along!  Yet there is nothing in God's character, nor should there be in ours, that allows us to live peaceably with the evil of sin and the destructive plans of Satan upon the earth.  When you read this wonderful short teaching, remember--you and I are to be Christ on the earth.  He lives His life in us.  So--we must make the same statement today:
"I have come to set the world on fire!"

T. Austin-Sparks

"I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!
Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth?
No, I have come to divide people against each other!"
Luke 12:49,51 NLT

If you and I are going to be men and women of the Spirit, we are not going to have an easy time. Hell will see to that. At once the clash arises and it is true that the more the Holy Spirit is able to have His way in us and to lead us into all the will of God, the more we find this opposition, this antagonism. And it not only comes between us and the world, it sometimes comes in the circle of the Lord's own people. It is inevitable provocation.

You wonder why, sometimes. As you read the New Testament you wonder, "What is the matter with these people? Why should they be so upset and so annoyed? And why should it be so spontaneous, this thing? And persistent; so unreasonable?" but there it is. There is the fact. It is inevitable.

You see, this thing that the Lord came to do and is doing, will not allow for any neutrality. It is going to be one thing or the other. It is going to be for or against. The eyes of flame (here the fire comes in again) the eyes of flame will not allow lukewarmness or anything that is of the Laodicean character. The fire is a positive element always, and it will create positive situations.

If everything is all just nice and quiet, no disturbance, no trouble and no antagonism and opposition, you have reason to question whether the Holy Spirit is doing much, because He does aim at such a positiveness, which is a very, very costly thing.

It is either with the Lord, or not with the Lord, and there is nothing between.

It is going to come out sooner or later and be precipitated. Now, the Lord says that is what He came to do. This is not an accident, a chance or things having gone wrong or miscarried.

This is exactly what He came to do - to scatter fire on the earth and these are the inevitable effects of the fire. They are going to work out.

By T. Austin-Sparks from: The Cross and the Way of Life - Chapter 1


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