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Yesterday we chatted about the gloriousness of a God who came near when we pulled further away, and the glorious gift that is the Holy Spirit — the Helper sent by God to enable us to stay in communication with Him, live out His heart and abide in His presence.

The Holy Spirit is a gift indeed — one that many never take out of the box.

A.W. Tozer gives this exacting description of the purpose of the Holy Spirit in a fantastic published sermon series called I Talk Back to the Devil!:

I am convinced that in New Testament Christianity, the object of the Holy Spirit is twofold. First, He wants to convince Christians that it is actually possible for us to know the beauty and perfection of Jesus Christ in our daily lives. Second, it is His desire to lead us forward into victory and blessing even as Joshua once led Israel into the promised land.

If these are the gifts available to us — deeply knowing Jesus as an integral part of our daily lives, and walking in victory throughout the days we’re given on Earth, what is the barrier between that idea and its reality?

He goes on to say, “We know our lack, but we are very slow in allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us into deeper Christian life and experience, that place where the intent of our heart is so cleansed that we may perfectly love God and worthily praise Him.”

One piece of the problem lies in our remaining content with having “a persuaded mind and even a well-intentioned heart” that are still very far from the faithful practice of walking in step with the spirit. Unfortunately, speculation about the possibility of the existence of a place of walking in the promises of God is not the same thing is actually walking in them.

It is good and well to believe that there’s a Promised Land — but you won’t get there without crossing the Jordan.


When I first began to take being a following of Jesus seriously, there was one area of my life (I’m sure among many, but this was quite an obvious one) where I was unwilling to yield to God’s leading: romantic relationships. Instead, I began dating a Christian guy, which I felt “redeemed” the “issue.”

I felt the constant need to have a boyfriend — and, whichever fellow he was, he generally tended to take up a lot of my thoughts and attention and focus, and I generally made about as many decisions with my boyfriend in mind as the Lord.

I believe I was trying to fill a hole in my heart that only the Lord could fill, and perhaps dealing with issues related to my Dad (which by the Lord’s goodness, were later resolved).

Eventually, while away on a retreat one weekend, the Lord whispered to my heart that it was time to let go — and the voice that I’d avoided hearing was this time unmistakably clear.

I went home and let go.

The letting go was a dark night for my soul.

In the months that followed, still struggling to see the point, I tried to find another replacement. What I didn’t see, however, was that I could not be launched into my destiny until I let go — I would never have left home and headed to Scotland if I’d had to leave a beloved boyfriend behind. It was in Scotland that I met the man the Lord intended to be my husband all along.

Sometimes receiving an amazing gift means letting go something else first.

Tozer says, “I think the more we learn of God and His ways and man and his nature we are bound to reach the conclusion that we are all just about as holy as we want to be. We are all just about as full of the Spirit as we want to be.”

Our Declaration of Un-Independence is often a decision to stop to clinging to something (even something God-given) instead of God Himself. And it is often a decision to stop hiding something from God in order to let Him have complete authority over our lives entirely.

The cross comes before all things are made new — for Jesus and for us.

In Hebrews we’re encouraged to run the race, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” {Heb. 12:2}

Jesus endured the cross because there was something better waiting on the other side: Forgiveness and Redemption, when He paid the price for the sin of the world, and so much more.

The cross always precedes the Resurrection.

If “He who says He abides in Him ought to walk in the way Jesus walked.” {1 John 2:6}, then it is likely that we will have our own cross to bear. We don’t pay for our own salvation by any means, but there is often a letting go of one thing in order to choose the better thing that God has in mind for you or me.

In His Glorious Goodness, God sees it fit to help us let go — and though the things we’re letting go of seem absolutely huge at the time, we afterwards realize, like Paul:

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ… {Phil. 3:8}

What we gain in Christ far surpasses anything we could ever give up to receive Him. And this is another unexpected gift of God: we come to the end of ourselves and find, we give up so little to receive SO much.

Is there something you aren’t letting go of? Are you afraid of what people would think if you were to decide to dive head-first into God’s goodness and become wholly His? Are you afraid you might lose respect or social status or friends (which I would tend to conclude weren’t friends anyway…) if you make the decision to Declare your own Un-independence and choose to depend on God completely?

Have you perhaps been walking with the Lord for a long time, but there is just some area where you aren’t experiencing the victory you’ve been hoping for? Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Ask Him to show you what it is that needs letting go of, what needs to be brought into the light.

Don’t settle for mediocrity when deep and wide and ravishing treasures await those who choose the narrow path to holiness.

It’s in His glorious goodness, and Tozer explains it so well, that “In spite of our hesitation and delay and holding back God does not give up, because the Holy Spirit is faithful and kind and patient and ever seeks to lead us forward into the life of the special kind of Christian.”

You are invited to live that life. Dive in, and it will be glorious.