Friday, November 28, 2008

What to do when the feeling is gone

When a sinner (like you or me) first came to Christ there was a special experience of joy, peace, and hope. But over time that same experience can dwindle away. That happy experience doesn't remain for some reason. It's a bit like the experience of a couple who gets past the newly wed stage and then wonders what went wrong. In a marriage, it takes conscious effort to renew the experience, but is it the same with believers?

In this morning's reading of The Threefold Secret of the Holy Spirit, the author answered that question by referring to John 14:21. "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” This is not a legalistic "have to" attitude that makes you happy because you have done something. Instead it is a loving response to what Jesus has told us to do.
In other words, Christ simply asserts that the manifestation of God comes to hm who does the will of God. Thus, when the individual in the case cited was a sinner, the will of God for him as an unsaved man was to repent, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, unto the salvation of his soul. This he did, and at once there came the manifestation of God at conversion; the Spirit, as we have seen, was received, and entered to dwell forever. And now, as time passes on, he sees that there is within him a self-life which is enmity with the God-life, a self-will which opposes the divine will, and that God's will for him is the giving up of all self-will, and the yielding himself wholly to God to do his will. This too he does and straightway there comes, at consecration, a mighty manifestation of God, in the fullness of that Spirit who was already received. To both these acts of doing God's will, God responded by manifesting Himself to the believer just as He had promised. But now, instead of halting here, and claiming "the blessing," and trying to live the rest of his life on this experience, the believer should have pressed on to this kindred truth, that since the manifestation of the Spirit comes to him who does God's will, the continual manifestation of the Spirit can come only to him who continually does God's will.

James McConkey, The Threefold Secret of the Holy Spirit, (Richmond: Silver Publishing Society, 1987), 76-77.
He is exactly right. If believers (like you or me) are to be enjoying the abundant life promised by the Savior, it will take an active, continual choice on our part. If we are to expect God's Spirit to manifest his presence in or lives, we must do what he expects of us. There is no other way.

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