We are in danger of getting into a negotiating mindset with God, of trying to haggle him into giving us the testimony of the Spirit before we’ve done what he tells us to do. “Why isn’t the Spirit testifying with my spirit?” you ask. “Why doesn’t God reveal himself to me?” The answer is that he won’t, not as long as you are in his way, refusing to abandon yourself to him. The instant you do abandon, God begins to testify to himself. He can’t testify to you—that is, to your human nature. Rather, he testifies to his own nature inside you, the nature you received when you were baptized by the Holy Spirit.

If you were to receive the testimony of the Spirit before the Spirit was a reality inside you, it would end in sentimental emotion. But the moment you stop debating and complete the spiritual transaction, the moment you ask for the Holy Spirit and receive him, God gives you the testimony. When you abandon intellectual reasoning and argument and hand yourself in faith to God, you will be amazed at your impertinence in having kept him waiting so long.

If you are debating the question of whether God can deliver you from sin, either let him do it or tell him he can’t. Don’t come at him with evidence, quoting this or that expert. Instead, try Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” Come, when you are burdened with doubt. Ask, if you know you are evil: “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).

The simplicity that characterizes commonsense decisions is easy to mistake for the testimony of the Spirit. But the Spirit testifies only to his own nature and to the work of redemption, never to our human reason. If we try to make him testify to our reason, it is no wonder we remain in darkness and perplexity. Fling your doubting and debating overboard, trust in God, and his Spirit will give the testimony.

Wisdom from Oswald

We begin our Christian life by believing what we are told to believe, then we have to go on to so assimilate our beliefs that they work out in a way that redounds to the glory of God. The danger is in multiplying the acceptation of beliefs we do not make our own. Conformed to His Image, 381 L