In my previous letter I addressed you on the subject of the Holy Spirit. You’ll remember my warning against that devious character who seeks to limit and ration God’s Spirit, the infamous Narrow. He is first introduced through Experience, on occasions where Experience comes to us absent from Word and Context.
I am writing again so soon because I must not hesitate to warn you against another nefarious creature who lurks about in church buildings and fellowship halls, home groups and classrooms, dormitories and cafeterias. His name is Neglect. Like Narrow, he clouds our minds and confuses our judgment in regards to the Holy Spirit.
I once believed Narrow and Neglect were strangers. Since Narrow builds relationship with us through Experience, my mistake was to think that Neglect constantly eschewed Experience’s company, perhaps never even crossing paths with Narrow in his life. But I will admit that my former way of thinking contained grievous error. In recent days I have come to discover that Narrow and Neglect are not only acquainted, they are intimately familiar.
While Narrow tricks us into defining Holy Spirit through the limited viewpoint of our personal encounters with Experience, Neglect tries to trick us into thinking that Holy Spirit is mute. To Neglect, everything about Holy Spirit is in the past tense. His voice in your ear, sweet Christian, is that voice that whispers “Those encounters once were, those gifts once happened, Experience himself is dead.”
Neglect is a dangerous foe. You must not give in! You must realize Christian, that your very identity is determined by Holy Spirit. He is not a bygone breath who once breathed, now relegated to sainthood, memorialized through stories and encounters that once transformed us. We cannot neglect Him and worship Jesus. He is the very One who first awakened our souls to that Name. Christian, your very name is your name through Holy Spirit. He is within you, He is your guiding light, He is your constant counselor and permanent peace. You could not understand one utterance from your close companion Word without Holy Spirit’s translation. You and I would not be able to spell J-E-S-U-S without the alphabet Holy Spirit taught, and teaches, us. Please, I beg you, don’t ever give ear to Neglect.
Among these demonic brothers I don’t know who is worse, Neglect or Narrow. They both seek to redefine Holy Spirit in terms that bankrupt us in our ability to worship God over ourselves.
And that is my reason for these two letters, my dear beloved Christian. As I’ve encountered Narrow and Neglect and studied their personalities in recent days, I’ve made a startling discovery (Holy Spirit Himself doubtlessly played a role in this revelation). These two are not mere brothers. When it comes to lies about the Holy Spirit, Narrow and Neglect are far closer than brothers. In fact, I’ve come to realize that they are one and the same.