John 16:12-13 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”
I love it that God knows what we can take, and He acts accordingly. As David said, “He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:14) This applies even to the conviction that the Holy Spirit provides, that Jesus has just been talking about. If He were to show us everything unholy about us all at once, we literally could not endure it. That’s why He shows us things by His priorities, and why we should not try to do His work for Him in relation to other people. When we do it, it comes across as condemnation. When He does it, it is pure love, calling for repentance so that we may be better. As God made so very clear to Ezekiel, when He tells us to warn someone to repent, we had better do it. (Ezekiel 33:7-9) However, we aren’t to run around faultfinding! The name, Satan, means “accuser,” and that’s exactly what the devil does. If we try to do the Holy Spirit’s work for Him, we wind up doing the devil’s work instead! As I tell people regularly in all sorts of counseling situations, the Holy Spirit never issues blanket condemnations, ie. “You’re no good.” When that’s what we’re hearing in our hearts and minds, we can be sure it’s the devil. The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman, and He is always specific. In my own very dramatic encounter, in which I fell to my knees and cried out, “My Lord and my God,” really all He showed me was my spiritual pride. That was enough! In the years since then He has showed me many more things, and the quicker I have repented of them, the quicker they have cleared up. We don’t have to be afraid, because God will only do in and to us what He has made us capable of dealing with.
As a pastor, this is something I have to be very aware of, and very careful I don’t mess up. I am indeed a watchman as Ezekiel was, but even so I must not spout warnings out of my own imagination; I must speak only what the Lord tells me to. I started to write, what the Lord shows me, but sometimes He shows me things I’m only to pray about at that point, and not confront the individual involved. However, when He tells me to speak I’m not to fear confrontation. That’s a hard one for me! I must be fully available and willing as God’s agent and messenger, but at the same time get myself out of the way as much as possible. Sometimes He has said through me things that have shocked me that I said them, but the results have been good. At other times I have jumped the gun in what and how I have spoken to people, and the results have not been good. I am to operate in humility, love, and assurance, not forgetting to receive for myself the warnings I speak to others.
Father, thank You for the ministry of Your Spirit. Thank You for the sweet fellowship that He makes possible, with You and with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank You that He indeed leads us into Your truth, as fast as we can absorb it. Help me be faithful to receive and act on that truth, as well as transmit it undistorted, to build up the Body of Christ for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!