Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken. It comes to you in the language you know best, not through your ears but through your circumstances.

When we have gone astray, when we have grown too sure of ourselves, God has to come in and set us right. He has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions. In these moments, his voice is overwhelming. He speaks to us as he spoke to Isaiah, with a “strong hand,” revealing to us the depths of our ignorance (Isaiah 8:11). He tells us that we’ve been serving Jesus in a spirit that is not his, pushing his message in the spirit of the devil. The words we’ve been speaking might have sounded right, but our spirit was that of the enemy: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).

There is no escape when our Lord speaks. I must take his rebuke to heart: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of” (Luke 9:55 kjv). Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve him in my own way? To do God’s work in the Spirit of Jesus is to have the humble and gentle Spirit kindled inside me. If instead I am filled with self-satisfaction or a grim sense of having “done my duty,” I know that in fact I have not done it. We imagine that anything unpleasant is our duty! Is that at all like the Spirit of the Lord? “I delight to do thy will, O my God” (Psalm 40:8 kjv).

Wisdom from Oswald

If a man cannot prove his religion in the valley, it is not worth anything.  Shade of His Hand, 1200 L