by A.W. Tozer
No one whose senses have been exercised to know good and evil but must grieve over the sight of zealous souls seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit while they are yet living in a state of moral carelessness or borderline sin. Such a thing is a moral contradiction. Whoever would be filled and indwelt by the Spirit should first judge his life for any hidden iniquities; he should courageously expel from his heart everything that is out of accord with the character of God as revealed by the Holy Scriptures.
At the base of all true Christian experience must lie a sound and sane morality. No joys are valid, no delights legitimate where sin is allowed to live in life or conduct. No transgression of pure righteousness dare excuse itself on the ground of superior religious experience. To seek high emotional states while living in sin is to throw our whole life open to self-deception and the judgment of God.
“Be ye holy” is not a mere motto to be framed and hung on the wall. It is a serious commandment from the Lord of the whole earth.
“Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into heaviness” (James 4:8–9).
The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy. The holy heart alone can be the habitation of the Holy Spirit.
by A.W. Tozer