I once wrote of the need of the inner witness and pointed out that the lack of it is producing a strain of feeble Christians, weak, half-hearted and pitifully unsure of themselves. A reader wrote to say in effect that she agreed with me fully and wanted very much to experience the inner witness but did not know how to proceed. She ended her letter with the request that I write something that would make the whole thing clear to her and others.
Much as I should like to comply with this request I am, of course, unable to do so. Indeed the very notion that the things of God can be reduced to a formula is back of many of our spiritual failures. Christian workers, in their eager desire to get the seeker ?through,? will, it seems, stop at nothing. They try to induce faith by baiting the seeker with Bible texts, all the while smiling and ?helping? by voice and gesture. The whole performance, while undoubtedly well-intentioned, acts as a powerful suggestion to raise expectation and predispose the seeker?s mind to accept whatever the worker desires that it should. Then follows a series of questions and answers, the questions carefully put in such a way as to suggest the answers, ending usually with the familiar ?Well, if He doesn?t cast you out, what does He do?? Of course there is only one answer to that question and the bewildered seeker gives it, ?Why, He takes me in.? This brings on a burst of Amens, along with a great deal of backslapping and handshaking, and another convert has been made. That such a convert lacks inward assurance is not surprising.