Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians, that they be kept blameless in their whole spirit, soul, and body, is a prayer that can only be answered through the great mystical work of the Holy Spirit.

Far beneath the surface of our personality lies a shadowy region we ourselves can’t get at. This is where our deepest fears and motivations are found, those unconscious forces we haven’t chosen and can’t control. If we are to be made blameless here, we need the Spirit to seek us out: “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me,” writes David in Psalm 139:1. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (v. 7).

The psalm is a testimony to God’s omnipresence and eternity, his everywhereness and alwaysness. David is saying, “You are the God of the early mornings and the late-at-nights, the God of the mountain peaks and of the sea. But, my God, my soul has further horizons than the early mornings, deeper darknesses than the night, higher peaks than any mountain, greater depths than any sea. You who are God of all these things, be my God. There are motives I cannot understand, dreams I cannot grasp. Please, Lord, search them out.”

Do we believe that God can garrison our imagination far beyond where we can go? As the ancient Romans sent garrisons of soldiers beyond the reaches of their empire, so God sends the Spirit to the outer limits of our soul. It is only when we are garrisoned by God in this way that we are made blameless. Blameless does not mean perfection but preserved in unspotted integrity, undeserving of censure in God’s sight, until Jesus comes.

Wisdom from Oswald

We are apt to think that everything that happens to us is to be turned into useful teaching; it is to be turned into something better than teaching, viz. into character. We shall find that the spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something but to make us something. The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 664 L