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Living that Grieves the Spirit

By A.W. Tozer

      It is almost certain that sin is the cause of the rut, the circular grave in which so many people find themselves. Since only sin offends God, and sin is extremely deceitful, it can be present doing its deadly work while the people may not be aware of it at all until it is called to their attention. There are several kinds of sin that cause the rut. First is the sin of omission, an act left undone that should have been done. Next is the sin of commission, which is an act displeasing to God, to the Holy Spirit. There is also sin of the flesh. The world may approve of sin of the flesh, and even churches and pastors may permit it. It is astonishing what preachers will joke about with their congregations, laugh off and put up with. Maybe pastors permit it or laugh it off at least, and say, "Oh well, you can't be too holy, too angelic in this world." But the Holy Spirit is grieved by it. So the people move around their circular grave not hearing the voice much any more. They used to hear it, "Get up, get up. You've been in this place long enough. Get up! Move! There's the land before you--I've given it to you. It's all in the covenant; it is all in the purchase of the blood. It is all yours. Get up and move toward me. Move toward the holy place and the holy land and your possessions. Victory and deliverance and power in prayer--it is all yours. Rise up and take it." They once heard that signal coming strongly to them, but it is not coming so strongly any more. The Holy Spirit is grieved and does not talk so much. And the people move around in their circular grave.

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