Monday, September 10, 2012

The Holy Spirit's Dealings

God's method in breaking our outward man varies according to the target. Let us explain the target this way : with some, it is their self-love ; with others, their pride. And there are those whose self-reliance and cleverness need to be destroyed ; such will find themselves in one predicament after another, defeated at every turn, until they learn to say, "We live not in fleshly wisdom but in God's grace." Those whose outstanding feature is subjectivity will find themselves in circumstances peculiar to their need. Again there are those who are always bubbling over with ideas and opinions. While the Bible affirms, "Is any matter too wonderful for Jehovah?" some brothers maintain that nothing is too hard for them! They boast they can do everything, yet strangely they fail in every undertaking. Things that seemed so easy fall apart in their hands. In perplexity they ask, "Why?" This is the way the Holy Spirit invades them to reach the necessary target. Such illustrations show how the target of the Spirit varies with the individual concerned.

 At times the blows may follow one upon another without respite ; or there may be periods of lull. But all whom the Lord loves He scourges. Thus God's children bear wounds inflicted by the Holy Spirit. While the affliction may vary, the consequences are the same: the self within is wounded. So God touches our self-love or pride or cleverness or subjectivity, whichever constitutes His outward target. He intends by each blast at the target to further weaken us, until the day comes when we are crushed and pliable in His hands. Whether the dealing touches our affection or our thoughts, the final result is producing a broken will. We are all naturally obstinate. This stubborn will is supported by our thoughts, opinions, self-love, affection, or cleverness. This explains the variations in the Holy Spirit's dealings with us. In the final analysis, God is after our will, for it is that which represents our self.
Watchman Nee

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