How It Is Obtained By Us
"Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18)
The command to be filled with the Holy Spirit is just as masterful as the prohibition not to be drunken with wine. As truly as we are not at liberty to be guilty of the vice are we bound not to be disobedient to the positive injunction. The same God who calls on us to live in sobriety urges us with equal earnestness to be filled with the Spirit. His command is tantamount to a promise. It is a sure pledge that He Himself will give what He desires us to possess.
With full confidence in this fact, let us ask in all simplicity for the way in which we should live in the will of God, as those who would be filled with the Spirit. I suggest to those who really long for this blessing some directions whereby they may obtain what is prepared for them.
The First Principle
There are many of God's children who do not believe that the fullness of the Holy Spirit is their inheritance. They imagine that the day of Pentecost was only the birthday feast of the Church and that it was a time of blessing and of power which was not destined to endure. They do not reflect on the command to be filled with the Spirit. The result is that they never seek to receive the full blessing. They remain content with the weak and defective life in which the Church of the day exists.
Is this the case with you? In order to carry on her work in the world, the Church requires the full blessing. To please your Lord and to live a life of holiness, joy, and power, you too have need of it. To manifest His presence, indwelling, and glory in you, Jesus counts it necessary that you should be filled with the Spirit. Believe firmly that the full blessing of Pentecost is a sacred reality. A child of God must have it.
Take time to contemplate it and to allow yourself to be fully possessed by the thought of its glorious significance and power. A firm confidence that the blessing is actually within our reach is the first step toward obtaining it and a powerful impulse in the pursuit.
A Second Step
Admitting you do not have this blessing is the second step toward it. You may perhaps put the question why it should be necessary to cherish this conviction. I will tell yo briefly the reason why I consider it of importance.
First, many Christians think they already have the fullness (the power) of the Holy Spirit and all that is required is to be more faithful in their endeavor to know and to obey Him. They think they are already standing in God's grace and that they only need to make a better use of the life they possess. They imagine that they have all that is necessary for continued growth.
On the contrary, it is my deep conviction that such souls are in an unhealthy state and that they have need of a healing. Accordingly, just as the first condition for my recovery from disease is the knowledge that I am sick, so it is absolutely necessary for them to acknowledge that they do not walk in the fullness of the Spirit which is indispensable for them if they are to please God in everything.
Once this first conviction is made thoroughly clear to them, they will be prepared for another consideration - namely, that they ought to acknowledge the guiltiness of their condition. They ought o see that if they have not yet rendered obedience to the command to "be filled with the Spirit", this defect is to be ascribed to sluggishness, self-satisfaction, and unbelief. When once the confession that they have not yet received the full blessing is deeply rooted in them, there will spring from it a stronger impulse to attain it.
(continued with # 24 - "Is This Blessing For You?")