There is more to enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit than feeling tingles run up and down your spine. The Spirit teaches those who desire to learn the very thoughts of God in the Scriptures. The Word of God guides and changes us. Dr. John Kennedy explains:
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” (Psalm 25:14)
Let all beware of an unlawful employment of the Word of God, as well as of entire ignorance of its sweetness and its power. There are those who find it easy to appropriate for themselves without misgiving the precious promises of the Word, not caring to ascertain their right to them in Christ, to be rightly informed of the mind of God as expressed in them, or to be strengthened to take hold of the truth and power and grace of Him who gave them at His footstool. There are others who lay themselves open to the suggestion of “a word” as they crave encouragement or direction; and who, if a Scripture saying which seems seasonable comes abruptly into their mind, conclude, because of its suitableness and suddenness, that it is a message to them from heaven. These care not whether their application of it accords with the scope of the passage in which it occurs; they realize not His authority who’s Word it is; and they demonstrate no experience of its sanctifying power. It is convenient for them to get it, and it seems to them safe to take it, and this is all about which they care.
There are others still who have settled down in the conviction that a speculative acquaintance with what is written is all that it is wise to seek. Utter strangers to the seasonable suggestion of the truth by the Lord, blind to the wonders of grace which the world unfolds, without any exercise of appropriating faith in Christ whom it reveals, and destitute of all experience of its power to kill or to quicken, to wound or to heal, to cast down or to raise up, to burn as a fire or to break as a hammer – these go on at their ease, without joy in the communion, or profit from the Word of the Lord.
But let it be ours to be dependent on the gracious and effectual teaching of the Spirit of truth, under whose guidance even fools can be kept from wandering, and who can make it impossible that even they can be deceived. Let us not think that, amidst the multiform delusion which prevaileth, there is no genuineness and no security. . . . Let us not be content with what is barely necessary to salvation in our intercourse with God. From unholy aspirations after being like the Christian in some of his attainments, without being like him in his character, may the Lord deliver us. May we be kept athirst for communion with the Lord, and seeking grace to prepare us to enjoy it. Let His Word be precious to us, and may we be wise to use it for the ends for which it is given. Let us aspire after clearer views of its wonders, a simpler faith in its truth, a more ravishing sense of its sweetness, and a deeper experience of its power. And thus may we be guided by its light, molded by its form, fed by its manna, and cheered by its comforts, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in our hearts; till perfect likeness to Christ is attained; till the land of promise and of plenty is reached, and the fullness of pleasures enjoyed, at the right hand of God. (“The Secret of the Lord”)
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