365 Devotionals
by Andrew Murray

Devotionals for each day of the year

Previous Devotional: Truth To Live By

The Teachable Spirit

August 15, 2020

When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak.
—John 16:13

The mark of this Spirit of Truth is a divine teachableness. In the mystery of the Holy Trinity, there is nothing more beautiful than this. With a divine equality on the part of the Son and the Spirit, there is also a perfect subordination.

The Son could demand that men honor Him even as they honored the Father (see John 5:23), and yet He said, “The Son can do nothing of himself” (verse 19). We would think He would surely speak His own thoughts, but He speaks only what He hears. He does only what He sees the Father do. “For what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (verse 19). In the same way, the Holy Spirit never speaks from Himself. The Spirit who fears to speak His own words, and only speaks when God speaks, is the Spirit of Truth.

This is the kind of attitude He creates and the life He breathes in those who truly receive Him. It is that gentle teachableness that marks the poor in spirit, the broken in heart, who have become conscious that their wisdom is as worthless as their righteousness. Thus they need Christ and the Spirit within them to be the Spirit of Truth. He shows us how lacking we are in that waiting, submissive spirit to which alone spiritual meaning can be revealed.

The Spirit opens our eyes to the reason why so much Bible reading, Bible knowledge, and Bible preaching has little fruit unto true holiness. It is because the Bible is studied with a wisdom that is not from above. God was not waited upon nor was wisdom asked for. The Spirit of Truth is silent. He does not speak unless and until He hears from God in heaven.

These thoughts suggest to us the great danger of the Christian life—seeking to know the truth of God in His Word without the distinct waiting on the Spirit of Truth in the heart. Satan still moves among men. Knowledge is still his great temptation. There are many Christians who would confess that their knowledge of divine truth does little for them. It leaves them powerless against the world and sin.

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