How Your Blessing May Be Increased
"He that believeth on me shall never thirst" (John 6:35).
"He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38)
Can the full blessing of Pentecost be still further increased? Can anything that is full become still fuller? Yes, undoubtedly. It can become so full that it always overflows, especially this blessing of Pentecost.
The above words of our blessed Lord Jesus point us to a double blessing. First, Jesus says that he who believes in Him will never thirst. He will always have the satisfaction of having his needs met. Then, He speaks of something that is grander and more glorious. He that believeth in Him, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water to quench the thirst of others. It is the distinction between full and overflowing. A vessel may be full and yet have nothing left over for others. When it continues full and has something for others, there must be in it an over-brimming, ever-flowing supply. This is what our Lord promises to His believing disciples. At the outset, faith in Him gives them the blessing that they will never thirst. But as they advance and become stronger in the faith, it makes them a fountain of water out of which streams flow to others. The Spirit who at first only fills us will overflow out of us to souls around us.
The rivers of living water can be compared with many fountains on earth. When we begin to open them, the stream is weak. The more the water is used, and the more deeply the source is opened up, the stronger the water flows. In the realm of the spiritual life, let us discover what is necessary to secure the fullness of the Spirit constantly flowing from us. Several simple directions may help us in reaching this knowledge.
Hold Fast to What You Have
See to it that you do not misunderstand the blessing God has given you. Be sure that you do not form any wrong conceptions of what the full blessing is. Do not imagine that the joy and power of Pentecost must be felt and seen immediately. No, the Church at present is in a dead-and-alive condition, and restoration often comes slowly.
At first, one receives the full blessing only as a seed. The quickened soul has longed for it; he has surrendered himself unreservedly for it; he has believed in silence that God has accepted his consecration and fulfilled His promise. In that faith he goes on his way, silent and happy, saying to himself: "The blessing of the fullness of the Spirit is for me."
But the actual experiences of the blessing did not come as he had anticipated. The result was that he began to fear that his surrender was not a reality, only a transient emotion. He feared the real blessing was something greater and more powerful than he had yet received. The result is that very soon the blessing becomes less instead of greater. Through discouragement, he moves farther back rather than forward.
The cause of this condition is simply lack of faith. We are bent on judging God and His work in us by sight and feeling. We forget that the whole process is the work of faith. Even in its highest revelations in Christians that have made the greatest progress, faith rests not on what is to be seen of the work of God or on the experiences of it, but on the work of God as spiritual, invisible, deeply hidden, and inconceivable.
(continued with # 32)