Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. —1 Timothy 1:5-7
Another thing that greatly hinders God’s people is a hardness of heart caused by hearing men without the Spirit constantly preaching about the Spirit. There is no doctrine so chilling as the doctrine of the Spirit when held in cold passivity and personal unbelief. The hearers will turn away in dull apathy from an exhortation to be filled with the Spirit unless the Spirit Himself is giving the
exhortation through the speaker. It is possible to learn this truth and preach it faithfully, and still be totally devoid of power. The hearers sense the lack and go away with numbed hearts. Theirs is not opposition to the truth, but an unconscious reaction from unreality. Yet scarcely one of the hearers can tell another what the trouble is; it is as if they had been hearing an echo and not the voice, or seeing a reflection and not the light itself.
Lord, that’s a challenging thought. Deliver us from the error of preaching and teaching in our own strength, without the filling and the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.