A guest post, from Nic Pezzato:
Some of the final words of John Finlay have really pressed in on my thoughts for the past week. The Scottish Covenanters were a group of believers in the 1600s who endured severe persecution for nearly 50 years, an era that is simply called “the Killing Time”. The king had decided that he wasn’t just sovereign over the land but could also exercise his authority over the Church, including its practices and beliefs – essentially putting himself in the place of Christ. A group of believers got together and signed their names to a covenant which denied the king’s jurisdiction in the church, essentially signing their own death warrants. Some were arrested and executed after a trial, while many were killed in fields and highways, which was approved of by the king.
“I have peace in my lovely Lord; He has made my prison become a palace unto me, and He has made me many a time to bless Him for my lot, for which my soul shall praise Him through all eternity. Therefore, my dear friends, let none of you think it strange, concerning the fiery trial, as though some strange thing had happened unto me, for it is in His holy wisdom He hath made my lot sweet: for He has made out His sweet promises unto me, one of which is of more worth than all the world, giving me the witness of the Spirit, bearing witness with my spirit that I have a right to them all. Farewell all Christian friends! Welcome heaven.”
This got me thinking about my understanding of the Truth. In all the things that I do as I disciple of Christ – attend Church services, listen to Bible studies, sing worship songs, times of personal study in the Word, times of devotion and prayer – am I listening for the testimony of the Holy Spirit validating those truths to me? Or am I attempting to understand with my own intellect, my own self-will, my own habits to grasp the great and wonderful promises of Scripture? Not that thinking through Scripture to gain understanding is bad, but what blessings do I regularly forfeit because I fail to seek the instruction and assurance of the Spirit in my thinking!?!