Words of Wisdom and Revelation # 17-2
A Principle of Spiritual Guidance, continued -
Now, it does not follow that you never do slip in the same way again, but as you go on you do spiritually grow out of that particular thing, and what is happening is that in spirit you are taking the mastery of your soul. You are not annihilating your soul, but you are bringing it under government and making it your servant; for mark, that frequently the occasion of stumbling is only the evil form of an expression which in itself may be necessary. Take anger, for example. You became angry; but you became angry in your nature, your natural life, and it was because there was a self-interest or some self-element in your anger that you had such a bad time. Anger is not evil. "God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psalms 7:11). "Be ye angry, and sin not" (Eph. 4:26). Anger is not evil. You are not therefore going to annihilate your soul and make anger non-existent. I instance anger, but you can take any other feature that you like in the same way and you will find that the soul itself is not essentially evil. The evil lies in the evil principle that has got hold of it.
What are you going to do then? In spirit you are going to destroy the evil principle and get the mastery of your soul, so that anger is going to serve you. Love may have personal elements in it; but you are not going to annihilate love because you find love trips you up sometimes on a personal line and leads you astray. You are going to destroy the evil principle by the power of the death of Christ and master your soul and bring it under, so that by your spirit you use love, you govern the matter of love. Now then, the point that I am after is not so much the difference between the soul and spirit, but rather something related to the Holy Spirit Himself.
The Holy Spirit An Earnest
The Holy Spirit is a basic necessity, but mark that the Word puts it in this way. "...ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance" (Eph. 1:14). What does that mean? Well, if the Holy Spirit is the energy, the power, the intelligence, by Whom we are doing this very thing of which I have been speaking, He is pointing on to something. What is it that He is pointing on to as an earnest of something that is to be? Why, He is pointing on to a time when you and I will, in spirit, have our souls utterly and perfectly under our government - not annihilated, but perfectly under our government; and I do not believe that in the resurrection life, the life hereafter, we are going to be only naked spirits. We shall be men, we shall have souls, but without the evil principle and without the soul being in the place of mastery. Through the organ of the spirit we shall govern all the rest of our being and enjoy a perfectly adjusted manhood. Manhood is not a temporary thing. It is an idea of God which is to go on.
Well now, you see the principle. But the question is answered when you get the law. All questions are answered. The question is this in general. What does the Holy Spirit do in us? How does the Holy Spirit lead us? What does it mean to us in a practical way day by day to be led of the Spirit? Oh, do not just narrow that down to the question of, Lord, shall I go here or there, shall I do this or that? That is only a mere fragment of being led of the Spirit. Without any such questions arising, the Spirit is in us to lead us, and to lead us to moral issues in the way I have just been indicating; that is, to show us the way and to say to us, No, that other is not the way, this is the way; and we know, not by His pointing it out but by His effective working in us. Our reactions, as true children of God, are the work of the Spirit. That jumping back from the ground that we have touched to our hurt, that is the energy of the Spirit in us leading us, and it is a terrible thing for any child of God ever to come to the place where he can indulge without a reaction.
The enemy would like us, because of our failures, to say, Oh, well, it is no good, we give it up! If you and I have a bad time when we touch the natural realm, that is a glorious evidence of sonship. Do not try to rule out all your bad times and make light of them,but beware that the enemy does not turn them to such effect as to make you introspective and morbid. But remember the Spirit will keep alive in you a very active sense of what is, and what is not, in accord with the mind of God. These are the sons of God who are thus led by the Spirit of God.
(continued with # 17-3)