We also must cease from the unholy activities of the memory as it dwells on the forbidden past and of the imagination as it builds its vain castles in the air or makes temptation vivid and real before the fascinated soul. We must learn to cease from these activities, to distrust them independently of the Spirit's guidance, and the Master's will, and to hold ourselves unto God for His complete direction and possession.
Are the faculties of the understanding dedicated? Is our attention dedicated to God? Can we say, My heart is fixed, my mind is stayed on Thee? Are our thoughts dedicated to God? Is our intelligence devoted to know His Word and will, and to "consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord?" (Phil. 3:8). Is our memory dedicated to be stored with His truth? Does our imagination dwell upon His Word until it makes the things of eternity more real and vivid than the objects of sense? Is our whole power of thought and reason and judgment and decision wholly yielded to Him, to know and do His will?
He is the Author of our intellect, has made it for Himself. It can find its loftiest employment and satisfaction only in God and His Word. He needs our minds as well as our spirits to use as the instruments and organs of His high and holy service.
Understanding and Intellect
Is our understanding and intellect filled with God? He must possess us Himself and put in us His thought and mind as well as His spirit and grace. The Christ who came to give Himself to us had not only a divine nature but also a reasonable soul. This He imparts to us in our union with His person. We have the mind of Christ. Into this weak and erring brain can come the very understanding of our blessed Master, so that, as John Kepler, we may say, "I am thinking God's thoughts after God."
The Holy Spirit is a quickening force to the consecrated intellect. Minds that have been dull and obscure before have risen beneath His touch to the highest intellectual attainments and the mightiest achievements of human genius. Every intelligent Christian knows the story of Augustine, the worn-out wreck, who emerged from a wasted youth to become, by the power of grace, the teacher to 12 centuries and the father of evangelical theology.
Another lost intellectual was Thomas Chalmers until kindled from above by the power of grace and a divine enthusiasm. From that hour he became the leader of the religious thought and life of the country and his age.
Such again, in the higher ranks of life, was Wilberforce. As a young aristocratic Englishman, his early years were frittered away in the frivolities of fashionable life and his mind seemed to have but little force and brilliancy. From the hour in which he gave himself to God, however, every power in his intellect seemed to be awakened and intensified until he became the champion of the greatest movement of modern philanthropy and the honored and successful leader of his country in one of the greatest social movements in English history.
Likewise many a humble name - Harry Moorhouse from the ranks of English pickpockets, Jerry McAuley from the wharf thieves of New York, Dwight Moody from the shoemaker apprentices of Boston - and a great multitude of the most gifted ministers, evangelists and Christian workers to today owe their mental force, and that combination of qualities which constitutes real genius, to the touch of God upon a mind which, without His grace and quickening life, would never have risen above obscurity. The Lord Jesus, being willing to possess the understanding and all faculties and so fill them with His Word and the power of presenting it effectually to others constitutes a new era in the work of God as wonderful as the healing of the body or the consecration of the spirit.
There is a distinct baptism of the Holy Spirit for the mind as well as for the spirit. The latter gives the qualities of earnestness, faith, love, courage, unction and heavenly fire; the former, soundness of judgment, clearness of expression, pungency of thought, power of utterance, attractiveness of style - all those qualities which can fit us to be meet vessels for the Master's use, prepared unto every good work.
~A. B. Simpson~
(continued with # 7)