Am I set on my own way for God? We are never free from this snare until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. Obstinacy and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Jesus. Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically vex and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus Whom we have been persecuting all the time, it is the most crushing revelation there could be.
Such a discussion seems almost frivolous:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." 9John 14:6)
Talk of any other way is doomed to loss and confusion. We must seize upon the truth that every believer is one with Him -- there is no going away from Him:
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)
"Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways." (Psalm 139:3)
"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
"If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
"Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." (Psalm 139-7-10)
Even when we try to run from God, He is actually leading us and leading the way.
Well did the writer of Hebrews declare:
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Hebrews 13: 5-6)
He will never leave us nor forsake us! His grace is sufficient to us, even in all our weakness, when His grace works even greater in us! (cf 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)
Oswald Chambers makes a great "to do" about what we want to do, as if our willing to do something would endanger us by placing us outside of the will of God. These indictments can be very confusing for the believer. Are we then to sit and do nothing, waiting for an overt prompting from the Holy Spirit? Such reticence is unnecessary and unbiblical:
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2: 12-13)
He is at work in us, around us, and through us:
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
"(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" (John 7:38)
As no believer can say "Jesus is Lord" without the Holy Spirit, it therefore follows that everyone of us has the Holy Spirit flowing out of us, nourishing all. The problems occur when we try to do things ourselves, acting as if God is not with us at all doing anything:
"For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 5: 3-4)
We cannot do the law. Let the Spirit flow in you:
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." (Galatians 5: 16-18)
The Holy Spirit working in us does not lead us astray! Instead of fretting about whether what we are doing is pleasing to the Lord, forcing ourselves to be good and holy, let us walk in faith, receiving evermore the gift of righteousness ( cf Romans 5:17), which in turn produces fruit of obedience (cf Galatians 5: 22-23)