Is This Blessing for You?
I have spoken of those who support that the full blessing of Pentecost was only for the first Christian community. Others are willing to acknowledge that it was intended also for the Church of later times but still think that all are not entitled to expect it. They might quite reasonably say: "My unfavorable circumstances, my unfortunate disposition, my lack of real ability, and similar difficulties make it impossible for me to realize this ideal. God will not expect this at my hands. He has not destined me to obtain it."
Do not permit yourself to be deceived by such shallow views. All the members of a body, even to the very least, must be healthy before the body as a whole can be healthy. The indwelling, the fullness of the Spirit is the health of the entire body of Christ. Even if you are the most insignificant member of it, the blessing is for you. In this respect the Father makes no exceptions.
A great distinction prevails in point of gifts, calling, and circumstances. But there can be no distinction in the love of the Father and His desire to see every one of His children in full health and in the full enjoyment of the Spirit of adoption.
Learn, then, to express and to repeat over again the conviction: "This blessing is for me, my Father desires to to have me filled with His Spirit." The blessing lies before me, to be taken with my full consent. I will no longer refuse by unbelief what falls to me as my birthright. With my whole heart, I will say: "This blessing is for me."
Obtaining the Blessing
When a Christian begins to strive for this blessing, he generally makes a variety of efforts to search for the faith, obedience, humility, and submission which are the conditions of obtaining it. When he does not succeed, he is tempted to blame himself. If he does not become utterly discouraged, he rouses himself to still stronger effort and greater zeal.
All this struggling is not without its value and its use, however. It does the very work that the law does. It brings us to the knowledge of our entire impotence. It leads us to that despair of ourselves where we become willing to give God the place that belongs to Him. This lesson is entirely indispensable. "I can neither bestow this blessing on myself nor take it. It is God alone who must work it in me."
The blessing of Pentecost is a supernatural gift, a wonderful act of God in the soul. The life of God in every soul is as truly a work of God as when that life was first manifested in Jesus Christ. A Christian can do as little to bring the full life of the Spirit to fruition in his soul as the virgin Mary did to conceive her supernatural child Luke 1:38). Like her, he can only receive it as the gift of God.
The impartation of this heavenly blessing is as entirely an act of God as the resurrection of Christ from the dead was Is divine work. Christ Jesus had to go down to death and lay aside the life He had in order to receive a new life from God. The believer must abandon all power and hope of his own to receive this full blessing as a free gift of divine omnipotence. This acknowledgment of our utter impotence, this descent into true self-despair, is indispensable if we would enjoy this supreme blessing.
(continued with # 25 - "The Pearl of Great Price")