but by stimulating them to seek food for themselves, so God provides for his rational creatures by giving them a sanctified common sense and by leading them to use it. In a true sense Christianity gives us more will than ever. The Holy Spirit emancipates the will, sets it upon proper objects and fills it with new energy. We are therefore not to surrender ourselves passively to whatever professes to be a divine suggestion <620401>1 John 4:1 ? ?believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God.? The test is the revealed word of God; <230820>Isaiah 8:20 ? ?To the law and to the testimony! if they speak not according to this word, surely there is no morning for them.? See remarks on false Mysticism, pages 32, 33.
(b) In opposition to naturalism, we hold that God is continually near the human spirit by his providential working. This providential working is so adjusted to the Christian?s nature and necessities as to furnish instruction with regard to duty, discipline of religious character and needed help and comfort in trial.
In interpreting God?s providence, as in interpreting Scripture, we are independent upon the Holy Spirit. The work of the Spirit is, indeed, in great part an application of Scripture truth to present circumstances. While we never allow ourselves to act blindly and irrationally but accustom ourselves to weigh evidence with regard to duty, we are to expect, as the gift of the Spirit, an understanding of circumstances. It is a fine sense of God?s providential purposes with regard to us, which will make our true course plain to ourselves even though we may not always be able to explain it to others.
The Christian may have a continual divine guidance. Unlike the unfaithful and unbelieving, of whom it is said, in <19A613>Psalm 106:13, ?They waited not for his counsel,? the true believer has wisdom given him from above. <193208> Psalm 32:8 ? ?I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go?; <200306>Proverbs 3:6 ? ?In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths?; <500109>Philippians 1:9 ? ?And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment? ( aijsqh>sei = spiritual discernment); <590105>James 1:5 ? ?if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth tou~ dido>ntov Qeou~ to all liberally and upbraideth not?; <431515>John 15:15 ? ?No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth but I have called you friends?; <510109>Colossians 1:9,10 ? ?that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing.?
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