How It May Be Strengthened
This blessing of Pentecost is entrusted to us as a talent which must be used, and only by use does it become strong. The Lord Jesus, after He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, was perfected by obedience and submission to the leading of the Spirit. Likewise, the Christian who has received the blessing of Pentecost must guard safely the deposit entrusted to him.
When we inquire how we can grow spiritually, Scripture points us to the fact that we can confidently entrust our spiritual life to the Lord. "He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him ... That good thing which was committed unto thee, guard through the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us" (2 Timothy 1:12, 14). Jude also, after saying, "Keep yourselves in the love of God," adds the doxology: "Unto him that is able to keep us be glory" (Jude 21, 24).
The main secret of success in the development of the blessing is the exercise of a humble dependence on the Lord who keeps us and on the Spirit by whom we ourselves are kept in close fellowship with Him. This blessing, as the manna that fell in the wilderness, must be renewed from heaven every day. The new heavenly life, as with the life we live on earth, must be drawn in every moment in sustaining fresh air from without and from above. Let us see how this ever-abiding, uninterrupted keeping takes place.
Jesus is the keeper of Israel. This is His name and His work. God not only created the world but also keeps and upholds it. Jesus is not content with merely giving the blessing of Pentecost. He will also maintain it every moment. The Holy Spirit is not a power that in any sense is subordinate to us, entrusted to us, or to be used by us. He is an energizing power that is over and above us, carrying forward His work from moment to moment. Our right place and our proper attitude must always be that of the deepest dependence in our own nothingness and impotence. Our chief concern is to let Jesus do His work within us.
As long as the soul does not discern this truth, there will always be a certain dread of receiving the full blessing. Such a one will be inclined to say: "I will not be able to dwell on such a lofty plane all of the time." But these thoughts only show what a feeble grasp one has of the great reality. When Jesus comes by the Spirit to dwell in my heart and to live in me, He will actually work out the maintenance of the blessing and regard my whole inner life as His special care.
The joy of the blessing of Pentecost, while it can never be relieved of the necessity of watchfulness, is a life that is freed from anxiety and ought to be characterized by continued gladness. The Lord has come into His holy temple. There He will abide and work out everything. He desires only that the soul will know and honor Him as its faithful Shepherd and Almighty Keeper.
(continued with # 28 - "Jesus Will Keep the Blessing")