Nothing can compensate the church, or the individual Christian, for the lack of the Holy Spirit. What the full stream is to the mill wheel, the Holy Spirit is to the church. What the principle of life is to the body, the Holy Spirit is to the individual. We shall stand powerless and abashed in the presence of our difficulties and our foes until we learn what He can be, as a mighty tide of love and power in the hearts of His saints.
By analogies drawn from the Word of God, may we not reverently say that the ministry of our blessed Lord owed much of its marvelous power to that moment when, although filled with the Holy Spirit from His birth, He was afresh anointed at the waters of baptism? With marked emphasis it was said he was filled with the Spirit (Luke 4:1), and returned in the power of the Spirit unto Galilee (Luke 4:14), and stood up in the synagogue of His native town, claiming the ancient prophecy, and declaring that the Spirit of God was upon Him (Luke 4:18). His wondrous words and works are directly traced to the marvelous operation of the Holy Ghost upon His human life (Acts 10:38).
Do you lack assurance? You need a basis of settled peace, and it is only to be found—first, in a clear apprehension of what Jesus has done for you; second, in the sealing of the Holy Spirit. It is His sacred office to witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
Do you lack victory over sin? This is not to be wondered at, if you neglect the Holy Spirit. He is the blessed antidote to the risings and dominion of the flesh.
Do you lack the fruits of holiness? Some whom we know are so evidently filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are the praise of God, that we are instinctively drawn to them. We lack these graces. There is little in us to attract men to Christ; much to repel. And the reason is evident. We have not let the Holy Spirit have His way with our inner life.
“Be filled with the Spirit” is an injunction as wide reaching in its demands as “Husbands, love your wives,” which is found on the same page. It is a positive command, which we must obey at our peril, and all God’s commands are enablings. In other words, He is prepared to make us what He tells us to become. Moreover, on the day of Pentecost, in words that are the charter of our right to the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter told the listening crowds that the fullness, which had suddenly come on them from the ascended Lord as a direct fulfillment of the ancient prophecy, was not for them only, or for their children; but for as many as were afar off, even for them whom the Lord God shall call.
Are you one of His called ones? Then rejoice because that fullness is for you! Be not faithless, but believing! Lay claim at once to the covenanted portion, and thank God for having cast your lot in an age of such marvelous possibilities.
This article is adapted from a chapter in F.B. Meyer’s book “The Secret of Guidance” (Fleming H. Revell Co, 1896). Work is in the public domain.