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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Walk in the Spirit

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them ... who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1)

The idea of the Spirit held by the average church member is so vague as to be nearly nonexistent. When he thinks of the matter at all he is likely to try to imagine a nebulous substance like a wisp of invisible smoke which is said to be present in churches and to hover over good people when they are dying.

Now, how should we think of the Holy Spirit? A full answer might well run to a dozen volumes. We can at best only point to the "gracious unction from above" and hope that the reader's own desire may provide the necessary stimulus to urge him on to know the blessed Third Person for himself.

If I read aright the record of Christian experience through the years, those who most enjoyed the power of the Holy Spirit have had the least to say about Him by way of attempted definition. The Bible saints who walked in the Spirit never tried to explain Him.

We will never understand the Holy Spirit so long as we terminate our though upon Him. The Scripture always lead us on beyond every subjective experience to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

"Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil" (Isaiah 1:16)

In post-biblical times many who were filled and possessed by the Holy Spirit were by the limitations of their literary gifts prevented from telling us much about Him. They had no gifts for self-analysis but lived from within in uncritical simplicity.

To them the Spirit was One to be loved and fellowshipped the same as the Lord Jesus Himself. They would have been lost completely in any metaphysical discussion of the nature of the Spirit, but they had no trouble in claiming the power of  the  Spirit for holy living and fruitful service.

This is as it should be.

Personal experience must always be first in real life. Knowledge by acquaintance is always better than mere knowledge by description, and the first does not presuppose the second nor require it.

Happy is the man who will not allow himself to be diverted and distracted, but having emptied and cleansed his heart, will stand waiting ... for Christ to descend, fill and ever remain as the glorious indweller of the soul.

~A. W. Tozer~

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