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The Instructing Spirit

January 4, 2013 | 0 comments

"Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst." Neh. 9:20.

Notice the order. Here, the Spirit sustained Israel by instruction first, and by manna second. We would have looked for the opposite, miracle-manna first, and instruction after. But the Spirit knows better what is in man. He knows that no amount of manna will remove hunger as long as there is a hunger of the spirit. It is useless to give a place of rest if there is an unrest in the heart. It is useless to play beautiful music if there is discord in the soul. It is pointless to spread a banquet before a burdened mind. But if the heart is at rest, it will find peace everywhere, if the soul is tuned, it will find music everywhere, if the spirit is hungry, it will find a banquet everywhere. Israel's greatest blessing was not in her eating, but in her learning. First instruction, then feeding. That is the Spirit's order.

I need to be taught to say "Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth" before I say "show me a sign." Teach me to accept Thy Word as the foundation of my happiness, and all else as scaffolding. Teach my heart that the words "thy sins be forgiven thee" are far greater than "arise and walk." Convince me that it would not profit me to gain the whole world and lose my own soul. Impress on me the truth that nothing can give me joy if I am not already made glad. Reveal to me that the knowledge of “the issues of life” are not from without but from within. That, he that tasteth the earthly manna shall hunger again, but he that has received Thy bread of life shall live even in poverty. Before the manna, give me Thy instructing Spirit.

Your servant in Christ,