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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : Recognizing the Witness of the Spirit & Knowing God by A. W. Tozer

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 Recognizing the Witness of the Spirit & Knowing God by A. W. Tozer


Again, the experience of the Spirit's fullness coming upon the believer's heart is often judged by the amount and quality of emotional charge that accompanies it. Some go so far as to declare bluntly that no one is filled with the Spirit who has not experienced certain physical phenomena, particularly the act of speaking in unidentified tongues. Others will settle for an increased degree of joy or more effectiveness in their service.

All this is wrong, both scripturally and psychologically. It is the result of a misunderstanding of the nature of man's soul and of the relation of the spirit of man to the Spirit of God.

The workings of God in the hearts of redeemed men always over flow into observable conduct. Certain moral changes will take place immediately in the life of the new convert. A moral revolution without will accompany the spiritual revolution that has occurred within. As the evangelists tell us, even the cat will know it when the head of the house is converted. And the grocer will know it too, and the old cronies in the haunts where the man used to hang out will suspect that something has happened when they miss the new Christian from his accustomed place. All this is collateral proof of the validity of the man's Christian profession. But it is in no sense evidence to the man's own heart. It is not the witness of the Spirit.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba,Father.' Romans 8:15

Of all creation only into humankind did God breathe the breath of life. It is by means of our spirit that we may commune with the Spirit of God. And it is in our spirit that we recognize the witness of the Holy Spirit.

It seems, Lord, that I sometimes become caught up in soulish expressions of worship and mistake them for spiritual worship — my spirit communing with Your Spirit.

--- Taken from “We Travel in an Appointed Way” by A. W. Tozer


The witness of the Spirit is a sacred inner thing which cannot be explained. It is altogether personal and cannot be passed from one to another. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of God's waterspouts, and the outward ear cannot hear what it says. Much less can the worldly onlooker know what is taking place. The Spirit whispers its mysterious Presence to the heart, and the heart knows without knowing how it knows. Just as we know we are alive by unmediated knowledge and without recourse to proof, so we know we are alive in the Holy Spirit. Our knowledge is by immediate cognition altogether independent of inference and without the support of reason. The witness is in the hidden regions of the spirit, too deep for proof, where external evidence is invalid and "signs" are of no use.

When all is said, it may easily be that the great difference between professing Christians (the important difference in this day) is not between modernists and evangelicals but between those who have reduced Christianity to an intellectual formula and those who believe that the true essence of our faith lies in the supernatural workings of the Spirit in a region of the soul not accessible to mere reason.

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me . . . John 10:14

Holy Spirit to human spirit communication takes place at the deepest levels of the spirit. Unshakable assurance results though inexplicable at the intellectual and emotional levels. It is just that one knows!

Thank You, Lord, for that knowing of spirit You give even when my feelings and thoughts are in denial.

--- Taken from “We Travel in an Appointed Way” by A. W. Tozer


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