God has two great rivers that are flowing and they both stream out of the Spirit's presence: the river of His Word and the river of experience with Christ. And these flow together.
The Spirit causes us to understand God's Word. We see this illustrated in the story of Saint Augustine's conversion, a man who changed the shape of the church.
No one can doubt that Augustine had a genuine experience with Jesus Christ. He had dabbled in occult religions and had lived very immorally. His godly mother, Monica, had prayed for him all his life. Then one day, as a man in his mid-thirties and burdened down with sin, he heard the voice of a child saying to him, "Take and read!" He rushed to a nook in his garden where he found a Bible lying open to Romans 13:12–14:
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Augustine read it and lived it, because the Spirit took the Word of God and made it alive.
If you're a Christian, you're a Christian because God drove His Word deep into your life. If you're growing as a Christian, it's because the Holy Spirit is faithfully applying the Word. That's His work.
George O. Wood is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.
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