Friday, January 7, 2011
Some Exceedingly Difficult Letters to Answer
Of late I have had some exceedingly difficult letters to answer: among them one from a Sister who allowed her heart to run away with her head… She thought she was doing God's will, is now satisfied she was deceived by Satan, and wanting to know how the promptings of the Holy Spirit may be distinguished from those of the Evil One.
Another from a preacher of many years' experience: had a nervous breakdown; eventually went to a "Prayer Healer" (a servant of the Devil), since which the spirit of prayer has been stifled in his own soul, all assurance of salvation gone, so that he no longer dares to preach to others.
What saddens me so much is that there seem to be so very few today unto whom these poor souls can turn for helpful counsel. Many who can preach gospel, doctrinal and prophetic sermons appear to be quite incapable of entering into the experiences of the perplexed and distressed and giving them "a word in season" [Isa. 50:4]. Unless pastors are Divinely qualified to be doctors of souls they are "physicians of no value," as Job [13:4] had to say unto those who failed to diagnose his case and minister to him in his trouble. Such "qualification" cannot be acquired in any Seminary or Bible School.
The Life of Arthur W. Pink, Revised and Enlarged Edition, Iain H. Murray, Banner of Truth, 2004, p. 216.