Anglican Orthodox Church
OUR CONSTANT COMPANION: a Devotion for 28 January 2017 in the Year of our Lord
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Prov 18:24 (KJV)
I have many friends whom I love and consider very close; however, my good and faithful friend who came to me this morning at the dawning of the day is the very best and most cherished friend that I have ever chanced to claim. He is with me as I write this devotion, and with you as you read with understanding. His presence is warm and cordial, and He never leaves the object of His affection. He is the Holy Ghost who brings to our remembrance all that is spoken of Christ in the Holy Scriptures. He is a Spirit who can be present at all times and all places, and His teaching always points to the Lord Jesus Christ. “26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26 (KJV)
All who believe are recipients of the blessings of the Holy Ghost; but there is a qualifier, a priori, that must be met. That qualifier is LOVE. It was a requisite laid down by our Lord Jesus Christ: “15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 (KJV) Many scholars read this verse with emphasis only on the first phrase – “If ye love me.” They forebear to attach a significance to the evidentiary clause: “keep my commandments. ” It is easy to speak the term ‘LOVE’ but altogether more challenging to prove that love by our obedience to God and His Commandments. If we are called and chosen by God, we can meet this evidence of love for, although we may fail in obedience due to our fleshly weakness, we may perfectly obey in the intentions of a heart ruled by that Spirit. If we do so meet that standard, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17 (KJV)
This devotion is not intended to be a comprehensive theological study of the Holy Ghost, but rather a reminder of His love and presence with the believer. The working’s of the Holy Ghost are mysterious and shrouded in the soft membranes and sinews of the heart. It is a Light of Guidance that is eclipsed by the faded pleasures and rusting metals of the world. He cannot be comprehended by darkened hearts – there must be a Great Light focused on Him to reveal His Voice – that Light is Jesus Christ of whom the Holy Ghost witnesses and testifies. The Holy Ghost casts the bright beams of inspiring Light on the minds and hearts of great Musicians, Artists, Scientists, and scholars, and draws the curtain over the minds of the wicked.
We are often intrigued at the inability of the world to understand the deep seas of God’s Word. They are unable to fathom those depths for their plummet lines cannot reach. True science itself is the product of the knowledge of the Natural Laws of God. The great sciences of the world were conceived by men of faith. It was not until our modern day that men began to question God and to foment theories that, when considered apart from the confusing language in which they are ensconced, are purely foolishness and reveals the wickedness that prevails in the imaginations of men’s minds. The staggering advances in the biological sciences has revealed a pattern for each human being born into the world which determines every trait and characteristic of their being (DNA). The genetic chain is a perfect pattern for who we are. It was a pattern created by our Maker before our very conception. The enormity of inter-stellar space that defines the Universe is further evidence of a great MIND that has planned, programmed and created every heavenly body and set it on its course. But the world would rather attach their faith and fortune on empty fantasies of impossible chance rather than the Word of God.
Furthermore, with the aid of the Hubble Telescope, from the vantage of space beyond the haze of our atmosphere, has determined the red-light shift observed from stars to suggest that they are moving at a far greater velocity away from the common center than previously believed only a few years ago. This would indicate that they have not been traveling for an extended period of millions of years, but rather numbered in thousands.
But man has always preferred a lie to the truth of God. That preference has only accelerated in our time. If man accepts the reality of God, it means that there is a great power to which the world and Universe must
conform. That necessitates, as well, the conformance of the will of man to that great Will and Law of God. So the term ‘atheist’ came into vogue to define those who secretly know that there is a God, but refuse to admit it. They will go to any extremes to muzzle the voice that proclaims the Word and Reality of God.
The Holy Ghost is that small, still Voice that speaks in the ears keen to hear His Voice. We read of that Voice which spoke to Elijah at Mount Horeb (the Mountain of God). Like many of us have often felt in our zeal for the Lord, it may have seemed that we stood alone against the wickedness of the world, yet God was with us all along. Let us examine the ordeal of Elijah: “9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:9-18 (KJV)
Wherever we hear the Voice of the Holy Ghost, it is the Voice of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though they are distinctly Three Persons, they are One in Purpose and Will. If we heed continually the Voice of the Holy Ghost, we, too, shall become One with the Father, and with the Son, and with the Holy Ghost. Read some of the Words of our Lord in His petition to the Father offered in Gethsemane:
“11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:11-26 (KJV)
Remember: this prayer was for you, and for me, and for the legions of believers past, yet living, and yet to come. It bears the force of the Sovereign of Sovereigns and Lord of Lords.