16 July, 2013
Wholly Sanctified - What is a Sanctified Spirit? 2
A. B. Simpson
And as such we are to separate our spirit from all that is not of God; not only from sin but from the world and from self and our whole old natural life. All our spiritual instincts, senses and organs are to be separated from evil and intuitively to turn away from even the touch and approach of temptation. We are to refuse to hear with our inward ear the stranger's voice, to see with the spirit's eye the fascinating vision of temptation, to touch in spiritual contact any unclean thing, to taste even the forbidden joy, and by the quick sense of smell at once recognize and turn from the unwholesome atmosphere, and as evil of any kind is revealed to the spirit, it is to renounce it and to ask God to separate it from it and to put the gulf of His presence between the soul and the sin.
And it must be separated ever from the spirits of others, and, indeed, from any human spirit that could control it apart from the will of God. All the aspects of the spirit which we have already referred to must be separated. The higher consciousness that knows God must be separated from all other gods but Him. The moral senses that know right must separate from all wrong. The will must be separated from the choice or inclination of all but His will. The power of trust must be voluntarily separated from every thought of unbelief or distrust. The power to love must be wholly separated from forbidden love. The aim and motive must be separated from all that is not for His glory, the source of its pleasure must be purified and the spirit separated from all joy that is not in harmony with the joy of the Lord. Beloved, is your spirit thus separated, cleansed, and detached from everything that could defile or distract you from the will of God and life of holiness?
2. A sanctified spirit is a dedicated spirit.
Its powers of apprehension are dedicated to know God and to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus. His Word is the object of its deepest study and meditation, and His attributes and His glory the theme of its most delightful contemplation. To know God and to be filled with His Spirit and to be ever in His presence is its highest aim. Its will is dedicated to God.
It chooses Him deliberately as its portion and its sovereign Lord, and delights to abandon itself to His entire possession and to His perfect will. It is this element of a single heart and a supreme choice of God which constitutes what the Scriptures call a perfect heart, and which they affirm of many a Christian whose steps were not always perfect. Every moral sense in the sanctified spirit is dedicated to God. It chooses His standards of right and wrong and desires above all things to bear His image and be conformed to His nature.
Its power of trusting is dedicated. It is determined to trust God under any circumstances and in spite of all feelings, as an act of will that chooses to believe His Word notwithstanding every discouragement and temptation. A spirit that thus chooses God will be sustained by the very faith of God Himself imparted to it.
Its love is dedicated and its power of loving. It chooses to love God supremely and to love all as God would have us to love, regarding every human being in the light of God and His will, and adjusting itself to every relationship in such a manner as to please God. It is dedicated to the glory of God. It accepts this and not the applause of men nor its own pleasing as the true end and purpose of life and lays itself a living sacrifice on His altar.
And, further, it is dedicated to enjoy God. It chooses Him as its portion, its happiness, all and in all, and consents to find all its satisfaction in Him and Him alone, whether it be in the loss of every other channel of happiness or by His filling all the springs of life with Himself.
A dedicated spirit is thus wholly given to God, to know Him, to choose His will, to resemble His character, to trust His Word, to love Him supremely, to glorify Him only, to enjoy Him wholly and to belong to Him utterly, unreservedly, and forever. All its senses, susceptibilities and capacities are dedicated to Him. It yields itself to Him to be made by Him all that He would have it to be and to have His perfect will wrought out by it forever. It chooses to hear only what He would speak, to see only what He would have it behold, to touch only at His bidding and to use every power and capability in and for Him only.
It regards itself henceforth as His property, subject to His disposal and existing for His great purpose regarding it. It is consecrated not so much to the works, or the truth, or the cause, or the church., as to the Lord. And this is done gladly, freely, without fear or
reservation, but as a great privilege and honor to be permitted thus to belong to so great and good a Master, and have Him undertake so uncongenial a task as our sanctification and exaltation.
This dedication of our spirit can be made in the very first moment of consecration and before we have a single conscious experience or feeling answering to the dedication we make. As empty vessels, as bare possibilities with nothing in us yet but the entire consent of our will to be all that the Lord would have us, we yield ourselves to God according to His will.
This act of dedication should be made once for all, and then recognized as done and as including every subsequent act which we may ever renew as we receive more light in detail respecting His will concerning us.
It is possible for us, once for all and not knowing perhaps one thousandth part of all that it means, to give ourselves to God for all that He understands it to mean, and to know henceforth that we are utterly and eternally the Lord's as certainly as we will know that we are the Lord's after we have been a million years in glory.
And yet, after this one comprehensive act of dedication it is quite proper for us, as new light comes to us and we become conscious of new powers or possibilities we can lay at His feet, to say our glad “yes” to His claim as often as it is renewed. Yet this is only the working out in detail of the all-inclusive consecration that we made at first.
Beloved, have you thus dedicated yourself and your spirit to God, and will you henceforth dare to reckon yourself all the Lord's, and as each new chamber of your higher nature opens to your consciousness, will you gladly put the key of it in His gracious hand and recognize Him as its Owner and Guest?