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« on: February 01, 2010, 05:05:00 AM »

THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

BY

S. Franklin Logsdon

"It is expedient for you that I go away . . . I will send him unto you"

Copyright @ 1960

CHAPTER ELEVEN

THE SPIRIT WALKS WITH CHRISTIANS
"Walking in the comfort of the Holy Ghost"

LIFE MUST LEAD down some pathway. It must follow some course. When we think of the outreach of the emotions, the sporadic plunges of desires, we perhaps envision an intricate network of winding paths. In a sense, our impression is correct. Yet, the Saviour pointed out just two ways: the narrow which leads to life; the broad which leads to destruction.

THE COURSE OF PROGRESS

Walking is moving. Motion is the manifestation of life. Spiritual life is the manifestation of the Spirit, and there should be a naturalness about it. How strange should one lament, "I wish I knew how to breathe. I wish I knew how to eat. I wish I knew how to sleep. If only I knew how to grow from boyhood to manhood, from girlhood to womanhood"! Nothing is more natural than for a living creature to breathe. It is most normal for people to eat and to sleep. It is likewise in keeping with the laws of development for boys to become men and girls to become women.
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2010, 05:05:50 AM »

Maturity Encouraged

Why should we make spiritual life and growth to be such an insoluble enigma? The principles and conditions of growth and development are clearly stated.

- We are told what the Christian should put off and put on;
- We are told whom he should and should not follow;
- We are told what he should desire and what he should not desire;
- We are told what his associations should and should not be.

He is told:

- To walk in the light,
- To follow peace,
- To try the spirits to see whether they be of God,
- To prove that which is excellent,
- To separate from evil,
- To honor the Lord,
- To rescue the fallen,
- To comfort the sorrowing,
- To help the needy,
- To search the Scriptures,
- To pray without ceasing,
- To rejoice in the Lord,
- To edify one another,
- To forgive,
- To assemble for worship,
- To watch for God's Son from Heaven,
- To keep himself in the love of God.

Maturity Possible

If the above, though only a partial delineation, seems complex, observe how wonderfully simple the matter has been made: "Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead" (Romans 6:13).

Yieldedness is letting the Spirit of life live through us, to furnish the atmosphere of purity, to supply the Bread of Heaven, to give the rest that "remaineth for the people of God." He builds us up in that most holy faith where maturity is but the inevitable result of His work in and through us. Let us "henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness . . . grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:14, 15).
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 05:06:39 AM »

THE PATH OF OBEDIENCE

Acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ forever settles the matter of servant obedience. This is why the apostle Paul's life became so exemplary from the very moment of his conversion. "Lord," he said with seriousness, "what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6).

The Path of Fruitfulness

When the Lord issues a command, there is no alternative. To pursue a different course is a deliberate plunge toward defeat.

As another has said,

"There is no failure within God's will;
there can be no success without."

Jesus commanded., "Launch out; let down!" Peter replied, "We were out there, Lord. We toiled all night, only to meet with failure; nevertheless, at Thy word, I will let down the nets."

Success was that moment assured. The overwhelming proof was soon evident. The Word states that Peter "was astonished, and all that were with him" (Luke 5:9).

If our faith were but more simple, we would take Him at His Word.

- This is obedience.
- This is the promise of victory;
- This is the assurance of success.
- This is walking in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.

The Path of Joyfulness

The reason it is better to obey than sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22) is that obedience brings joy, and spiritual joy is synonymous with the comfort of the Holy Ghost. Nothing grieves the blessed In-dweller more than disobedience. When the Holy Spirit is grieved, a state of joy is impossible. Conversely, when the Spirit is honored and obeyed, the resultant blessing may be boundless.
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 05:07:39 AM »

A STATE OF DEVOTION

Devotion to Christ is fixing one's affections on things above (Colossians 3:2). It is the welcome discovery that there is none in Heaven whom we have but Him, and none on earth to be desired beside Him (Psalm 73:25).

The Point of Devotion

With Peter, the point of true devotion arrived in a little ship in mid-sea. It was the grandest moment in the life of the apostle. This sturdy weather-beaten fisherman, in bent posture, was broken at the knees of Jesus. His bearded, upturned face was stamped with indescribable, gripping amazement. "Leave me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man" (Luke 5:8), he mumbles. He had followed and revered His Master for some two years, but then came a different perspective. Now he has witnessed something, sensed something, faced something which had never registered before. At once he became ready to leave, not only his ship as before, but all.

- It was the sight of the Saviour's wounds for Thomas.
- It was the voice of the resurrected Christ for Mary.
- It was the temple vision for Isaiah.
- It was the ladder with the angels ascending and descending for Jacob.
- It was the loss of all things for Job.
- It was the question posed by the Captain of the Lord's hosts for Joshua.

But whether in a ship, at a home, by a tomb, in the temple, in a dream, through a loss, or on a battlefield, there must be a point where the heart of the Christian attaches itself to the heart of Christ with unwavering fidelity and earnest intensity.

The Proof of Devotion

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust him" (Job 13:15) is an echo of rich encouragement from out of the past. This is devotion holding firm against the battering storm of adversity. This is steadfastness in a trying hour. Add to this the exhibits of Hebrews 11—those who inarched unfalteringly through the gauntlet of sorrow and suffering. The martyrs of all ages give witness to the same stirring truth.

Devotion to Christ must be apparent in everyone who bears His name. It must characterize every servant, motivate every worshiper, animate every student, and command every brother. This is synonymous with walking in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 05:08:25 AM »

THE WAY OF HOLINESS

The psalmist exulted, "Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, forever" (Psalm 93:5). Since this was true in the long ago concerning the temple, how very true it must be today concerning the body of the believer in which God the Holy Spirit dwells!

Holiness Becometh the Character

"Be renewed in the spirit of your mind," the beloved apostle counseled, "and . . . put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:23, 24).

When one is born of God, one has the imparted nature of God (II Peter 1:4). This being so, and God being both righteous and holy, it is not difficult to see why a regenerated person would be created in true holiness. But the practical point is the "putting on" aspect of the counsel. Anything which tends toward the increase of holiness in the experience is consonant with the very nature of the Spirit, and pleasing to Him.

The believer is called to "holiness" (I Thessalonians 4:7), exhorted to yield his "members servants to righteous unto holiness" (Romans 6:19), and urged to abound in love "to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God" (I Thessalonians 3:13). Then, and only then, can one "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2).

Holiness Becometh the Conduct

"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Corinthians 7:1).

What wholesome instruction!

The word "perfecting" means to fulfill, to execute. In three other places (Romans 15:28; II Corinthians 8:11; Philippians 1:6) the word is translated "to perform." Performing holiness in the fear of God is definitely the primary factor in "walking in the comfort [or company] of the Holy Ghost." This condition of being is contingent upon self-cleansing and is encouraged by certain promises.
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 05:08:54 AM »

A LIFE OF SERVICE

The basic meaning of service is a willing expenditure of self for the benefit of others. This truth was glorified in Him who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister—to give Himself for others.

The Prompting of Love

As Paul and his faithful colleagues pressed onward, through hardship indescribable, they offered but one explanation—"the love of Christ constraineth us" (II Corinthians 5:14). The appeal of Christ's love has an overwhelming effect upon the heart of a true servant. Such service cannot be bought. It is not affected by the time of day, nor the kind of weather, nor yet the confronting difficulties. "Love suffereth long."

The dauntless Paul reveals another important fact—"I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son" (Romans 1:9).

When one's spirit is in a thing, the whole of the individual is there. Christian service has no room for a divided heart—no place for a haphazard attempt. "I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:23), the noble exemplar of devotion pleaded.

The whole of our being will be preserved for us by Him if it is reserved for Him by us.

The Promise of Honor

If you find delight in plucking fragrant bouquets from the garden of Scripture, then you will want to gather a few "sweet p's" from John 12:26:

- The Possibility-"If any man";
- The Privilege -"serve me";
- The Procedure-"let him follow me";
- The Place-"where I am";
- The Position -"there shall also my servant be";
- The Prerequisite-"if any man serve me";
- The Promise-"him will my Father honor."

If, in being honored of men, people are moved with joyful emotion, what will it mean to be honored of God? Yet, this is promised to them who follow Christ in service. If there were no other inducement, this alone should prove impelling. If all Heaven is to be amazed when the ransomed are presented before the presence of the Father with exceeding joy (Jude 24), what will the celestial spectators do when they see the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ honoring redeemed men for having served His Son on earth? The day is fast approaching!

With such a glorious prospect, we should be encouraged to emulate the early Christians who, "walking . . . in the comfort of the Holy Ghost," had PEACE, WERE EDIFIED AND MULTIPLIED (Acts 9:31).

¬~ end of chapter 11 ~

CHAPTER 10. THE SPIRIT OPERATES IN PRAYER

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