He Will Work It In You
When one prays for this blessing of being filled with the Spirit, the thought will spring up uninvited of what one's life as a Christian has already been. The believer thinks of all the workings of divine grace in his heart and of the incessant striving of the Spirit. He thinks of all his efforts and prayers, of his past attempts at entire surrender, and of the appropriation of faith. He then looks on what he is at the moment, on his unfaithfulness and sin and helplessness, and he becomes dispirited. In the lapse of many years, little progress has been made. The past testifies only of failure and unfaithfulness.
If all his praying and believing of earlier days has been of so little avail, why should he now dare to hope that everything is to be transformed at once? He presents to himself the life of a man full of the Holy Spirit, and alongside it he sets his own life as he has learned to know it. It becomes impossible for him to imagine that he will ever be able to live as a man full of the Spirit. For such a task he is unfit and feels no courage to make the attempt.
Christian, when such thoughts as these throng in on you there is but one counsel to follow, and that is: "only believe." Cast yourself into the arms of your Father who gives His children the Holy Spirit much more readily than an earthly father gives bread. Only believe and count on the love of God. All your self-dedication and surrender, all your faith and integrity is not a work by which you have to move God or make Him willing to bless you. Far from it.
God desires to bless you and will Himself work everything in you. God loves you as a father and sees that, to be able to live in perfect health and happiness as His child, you have need of nothing but this one thing - to be full of His Spirit. Jesus has by His blood opened up the way to the full enjoyment of this love.
Enter into this love, abide in this love, and by faith acknowledge that it shines on and surrounds you, even as the light of the sun illumines and animates your body. Begin to trust this love. I do not say trust in its willingness, but in its unspeakable longing to fill you entirely with itself. Your Father's love waits to make you full of His Spirit. He Himself will do it for you.
And what does He crave at your hands? Simply this, that you yield yourself to Him in utter unworthiness, nothingness, and impotence to let Him do this work in you. Taking charge of all the preparatory work, God will help you by His Spirit. He will strengthen you with might in the inner man, silently and hiddenly, to abandon everything that has to be given up to receive this treasure. He will help you in the faith of appropriation to rest in His Word and to wait for Him. He will hold Himself responsible for all the future. He will make provision that you will be able to walk in the fullness of this blessing.
You have perhaps already formed a very high idea of what a man must be that is filled with the Spirit of God, and you see no chance of your being able to live in such a fashion. Or it may be that you have not been able to form any idea of it whatever and are, on that account, afraid to strive for a life which is so unknown to you. Abandon all such thoughts. The Spirit alone, when He is once in you, will Himself teach you what that life is, for He will work it in you. God will take upon Himself the responsibility of making you full of the Spirit, not as a treasure which you must carry and keep, but as a power which is to carry and keep you. Therefore, only believe. Count on the love of your Father.
In His promise of the blessing and the power of the Spirit, the Lord Jesus always pointed to God the Father. He called it "the promise of the Father" (Luke 24:49). He directed us to the faithfulness of God. "He is faithful that promised" (Hebrews 10:23). He directed us to the power of God. The Spirit was, as power from on high, to come from God Himself. He directed us to the love of God. It is as a Father that God is to give this gift to His children.
Let every thought of this blessing and every desire for it only lead us to God. Here is something that He must do, that He must give, that He, He alone, must work. Let us in silent adoration set our heart on God. Let us joyfully trust in Him. He is able to do abundantly above all praying and thinking.
His love will willingly bestow a full blessing on us. God will make you full of the Spirit. Say humbly, "Behold the servant of the Lord. Let Him do to me what is good in His sight. Be it unto me according to Your Word." Faithful is He that calls you who also will do it.
(continued with # 43 - "Finding the Blessing")