And the remnant… shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. (Isaiah 37:31)
The Lord must have something which cannot be carried away, which cannot be removed, cannot be shaken, and certainly, something which cannot be rooted up. That is His remnant. That, He must have for His own glory, and, that being so, He will take every measure with His remnant to have them after that kind, with roots downward. Of course, unto fruit upward. We speak much about the upward side of things, life in the heavenly, sitting in the heavenly, and our warfare and work – the fruitfulness of our life in union with the Lord. That is only possible as our roots are downward. In order that might be so, we have to get into a place of unshakeableness where the roots have got such a grip that nothing can overthrow them. And I believe that explains a very great deal of what the Lord is doing with His own spiritual people these days.
It is true that the true children of God are going through a time of intense trial and testing spiritually in these days; everywhere it is so. Why? Because the Lord must have something against which hell is impotent and by which He demonstrates to the universe that strength of His might which causes to stand and withstand, and having done all to stand. If one were asked what the last issue for the Church in this age is, I would say that it stands, and that is saying a tremendous thing. Oh, you say, that is surely limiting things, are you not expecting much more than that? Progress, advance, sweeping movements? The Church will have all its work cut out in the end to stand, but its standing will be its victory.
Just to be able, through testing, trial, when everything is blowing around you like a blizzard; when everything is dark, mysterious, and even God seems far away and unreal, and faith is tested and you are being assailed on the right hand and on the left, and there is every reason outwardly for your moving, giving up, falling down, surrendering, lowering your standard, just to stand and not be moved in your faith is the greatest possible victory. We are passing through deep experiences, the enemy is doing it and the Lord is not preventing him, but we are coming to a fuller knowledge of the power of our God and a deeper rooting beyond all previous shakeableness. And the Lord is seeking to have a people who cannot be shaken, against whom hell with all its demonstration of arrogance and pride, is impotent. “And the remnant… shall again take root downward.” That is what the Lord needs.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: Rooted and Grounded