to the Inner Voice of the Holy Spirit
(Bethel -- Written in the 1930’s)
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not
as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work
out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is
God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good
pleasure" Phil 2:12-13.
This passage of Scripture begins with an exhortation, "Let
this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus"
Phil 2:5. The quality of this "mind-set" that is
to be the pattern for our lives is clearly set before us by
the example of Jesus. "Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself
of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant"
Phil 2: 6-7a. There is a further expression of the outworking
of this "mind-set" that was within Jesus. "And
being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" Phil
Though He had eternally lived in the very presence of God,
He considered that His being equal with God was not a thing
to be grasped. Therefore, in submission to the will of His
Father, He took upon Himself the form of a servant. He did
not just act like a servant, He became a servant. Knowing
who He was, He could have chosen pre-eminence, but this possibility
was "emptied" from Him and He became utterly subservient
to God. Jesus humbled Himself unto obedience, which led to
His death upon the cross.
We are now exhorted unto this same quality of obedience.
An obedience that is not a thing of "eye-service,"
but an obedience that is deeply rooted by faith in a solemn,
all-controlling relationship with Him who indwells us, and
in whose Presence we walk, whether consciously or unconsciously.
We may be tempted to walk as men-pleasers, relaxing our spirituality
when not under their eye. Our life of obedience must be upon
a far higher plane than "eye-service." Like Christ's
obedience, it must be an obedience to the Inner Voice of the
Holy Spirit. It must stem from a holy determination, by His
grace, to do God's will at any cost.
In showing to us the mind of Christ, there is the utter
absence of the lightness and shallowness in much of modern
Christianity. We are presented with a challenge to come into
a deeply spiritual relationship between us and the Lord, in
which God is continuously working within us the knowledge
of His will, the desire to will with God, and the power to
do that will.
All this is to be obeyed with a holy, reverential fear,
with that same trembling at God's Word that marked the man
described by Isaiah as pleasing the Lord. "For all those
things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been,
saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that
is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word"
This "Trembling at His Word" through faith and
obedience, what God "desires of us" requires a dedicated
walk before Him, an attentive ear to His Voice, and an attitude
toward the Lord of a broken spirit. A "trembling"
in recognition that it is Almighty God, the Holy One, with
whom we are dealing. There are many voices in these days;
unless our ear is attuned to the Inner Voice of the Holy Spirit,
we will miss the path and find ourselves in confusion.
If, due to any lack of discernment, our ear is open to the
voices of those who are seeking for self-glory in the building
of religious empires, we will find ourselves on the way to
sad distress and disillusionment. There is only one way to
safely go through the labyrinth of human inconsistencies and
self-seeking of our day: To walk in holy fear and trembling
before God, with the ear of our soul attuned consistently
to hear the Inner Voice of the Holy Spirit, with our heart
set to obey that Voice. Glory to the Lord who rules and reigns
over the whole of the earth and over the affairs of men!
This fear of God can be defined as "a holy affection,
or gracious habit, wrought in the soul by God whereby it is
inclined and enabled to obey all God's commands, even the
most difficult, and to hate and avoid evil." The Holy
Spirit admonishes us to daily walk in this fear of Him, even
as this spirit of the "Fear of the Lord" rested
upon Jesus in His holy walk among men. The early Church, in
its pristine purity and glory, walked in this holy fear of
the Lord, and had the resultant Presence of the Lord marvelously
manifested among them. The Church of today stands in great
need of this fear and reverence of the glory of the Lord.
We are in danger of letting the holy things become common
to us, and of being lightly moved when God speaks.
The word "obedience" causes the neck of the un-submissive
one to stiffen; but it is a beautiful word to the one who
desires to "eat the good of the land"(Isa 1:19).
The obedient spirit is submissive to the control of God and
to His guidance, ready to yield to His restraints, and to
commit all to His decisions, harkening submissively to His
Voice. An obedient spirit always accompanies the fear of the
Lord: the lack of obedience, regardless of protestations to
the contrary, is a proof of the lack of this abiding "Fear
of the Lord."
May we be fully convinced in our hearts that God's way is
always a way of spiritual profit! Man's way is always a way
of spiritual loss: the flesh profits nothing. Only as we truly
believe this, shall we yield ourselves unto obedience to the
Inner Voice, the Inner Working of the Spirit of God.