spiritual callusesCallused hands on a man is a good thing. We build up calluses on our hands through hard work, which is also a good thing. Man was made to work. From the beginning of mankind, God has expected man to work. In Genesis 2 God puts Adam into the Garden of Eden to work. In Genesis 3 we find a life of hard work through sweat and toil is prescribed. A man who works will avoid many of the troubles this life brings:

    “But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.” (1 Thessalonians 4:10b-12)

There is one type of callus that the Christian should avoid at all cost. It is the spiritual callus. The Apostle Paul admonishes Christians to avoid spiritual calluses.

    “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

Why is the Holy Spirit’s work in the Christian’s life so important? He is the down payment promised to us for Jesus’ return. Paul tells us:

    “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

The word “guarantee” is translated as “earnest” in the King James Version. It is used as a noun, of which the Random House Dictionary defines as “a portion of something, given or done in advance as a pledge of the remainder.” Jesus promised He would send the Holy Spirit to us to show that He was not abandoning us and that He would return for His church:

    “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:7-8)

Verse 8 in John 16 is very important because it is the Holy Spirit’s job description. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and if we repent, we become righteous once again with our Lord Jesus Christ. However, The Holy Spirit, instead of acting as a strict taskmaster, is more of a gentle spirit who is grieved by our disobedience and rebellion. Our sin can remove the Holy Spirit from our conscience to where we try to live our lives the way we see fit, never satisfied and always failing. David understood this firsthand:

    “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:10-11)

It is also important to understand the limits of the Holy Spirit. We are not to worship the Holy Spirit, but we are to follow His guidance. He does not come to us on His own authority or as a separate deity for us to magnify. Jesus gave clear instructions:

    “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14)

Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to live the abundant life Jesus promised His followers. We need the learn from the Holy Spirit by reading and meditating on God’s Word so the Spirit can reveal heavenly wisdom to us. However, like the wayward child who will not respond to correction and counsel, the Christian can choose to ignore the Holy Spirit’s guidance and go astray. The wandering can be so severe that one day you find yourself in a place you never imagined possible.

I did this in my own life, believing because my military career was so successful that I was on the right track in life. I ignored the crumbling of my family, the separation of the Spirit from my life, to the point that only divorce could bring me to the point of repentance and restoration. Once I surrendered to Jesus totally, my life not only got back on track, but it also became blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

Is that you dear Christian? Have you found yourself in a place so far from where you were you can’t even remember how you started on the sinful sojourn? It’s time to return to your first love. Repent and confess your sins and ask God to forgive and restore you. However, be patient, it took you a long time to get off track and there is no spiritual teleporter to bring back to wholeness. It is a journey.

Perhaps you’ve read this and can’t seem to grasp what it is I’m writing about. That’s because you do not have the Indwelling Holy Spirit. That only comes with conversion when you give your life to Jesus Christ. Place your faith in the redeeming work of Christ and be born again today. He will soften your calloused heart and start you on a new journey towards holiness.

It is time to remove our spiritual calluses.

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers


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