The Positive Nature of the Holy Spirit (continued)
If you have the Spirit - and of course I am addressing those who are supposed to have the Spirit - you should know that, if you are out of joint with another member of the Body of Christ, to which you belong, it is, as it is with a dislocation in the natural physical body: there is an ache, a perpetual ache. The Holy Spirit sets up this ache in the spiritual Body, where there is a dislocation. And you know what happens in the natural body if that is not attended to. Two things happen. One is that the longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes to put it right; and the other is that adhesions set in - something extra. Extra things begin to come in and complicate the whole situation, so that it is no longer a straight forward thing to put that joint back. The same thing is true in the spiritual. If you let it go on, it becomes very much more difficult and more complicated. All sorts of other things - accretions an adhesions - have bound themselves around that thing, to make it a very complicated thing now. The inflammation is there and the ache goes on.
By that inflammation and ache the Holy Spirit is giving a positive witness against this thing. But if you go on long enough, the Holy Spirit will withdraw and leave you to it, just because He is positive. He will not brook persistent negatives on these things; He just will not have it. He is going on and saying: 'All right, if you are determined to stay there, you can do so. I am going on.' And there arises a very, very serious situation. That is, of course, grim and terrible. But it all gathers around this truth that the Holy Spirit is positive on the matter of fellowship. The Spirit says: 'Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, but so much more ...' (Hebrews 10:25). That is not a legal thing - that you must, under legal obligation, attend all the meetings, and so on. That is your very life, that is a spiritual things, that is the way of the Holy Spirit. You are violating the very movement of the Spirit, if you detach yourself and live an independent kind of life. That which you call 'legal,' which you are seeking to throw off, is really spiritual. There is a liberty which is not the liberty of the Spirit - it is the licence of our own souls.
If the Spirit is inactive, quiescent, not doing anything, not moving; if there are marks and signs that the Spirit is not at work, that is an abnormal situation. It means that from the standpoint of the Spirit of God, there is something wrong, something is not right. If everything were right, the Spirit would be active; He would be doing, going; there would be movement.
The Spirit will always be positive if He has His own ground. And what is His ground? It is the Cross - it is the cup. The cup and the fire, the fire and the cup, go hand-in-hand. The mighty energy of the Spirit, that positive element in the Spirit that is like fire - you know it when it comes near, or when you touch it; it is alive - that positive element of the Spirit goes hand-in-hand with the cup, which rules you out and rules m out in nature. His ground is the Cross applied deeply to us. If the Spirit has that, then He goes on, then He moves. His ground is always the Cross.
We must challenge our hearts about this. The Holy Spirit, normally, is always positive - I could almost say aggressive. He is never negative, He is never neutral. If He has to pause, it means that He is waiting for something; for it is not His nature to do that - He would go on. May the Lord fill us with the mighty energy of His Spirit!
(continued with # 16 - (The Testing of the Fire)