Fullness of Christ (continued)
Last summer at a conference in Switzerland a gray-haired man made a public confession at the close of one meeting that for twenty-seven years he had had nothing to do with his relatives. For years he had suffered from insomnia. That night, after his confession and cleansing, he slept like a baby. On the following Lord's Day he testified that for twenty-seven years he had not known peace of heart as he had during the last three days.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
It is utterly foolish and futile for any one of us to pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit if we hold even so much as a tiny spark of known resentment or hurt or unlove or any un-Christlike feeling toward another. We shall pray in vain. Are you willing to have all uncleanness, both of the flesh and of the spirit, carried out of your life?
The cleansing is not the infilling, but it rids us of what prevents the fullness and makes us ready for it.
The second subjective cause for the lack of fullness is an unyielded life, which means an uncrucified and uncontrolled self. Infilling demands the yielding of ourselves to the lordship of Christ. It permits no reservations; it allows no locked doors. We must part with everything of which Christ is not the source, and we must place everything under Christ's control. There must be the utter dethronement of self and the voluntary enthronement of Christ.
In the revival under Hezekiah we see, following the cleansing of the Temple, the consecration of themselves and of their sacrifices and thank offerings.
After the filthiness was carried out, the offerings were brought in.
This is the divine order in the cleansing and consecration of the Christian who is God's holy temple. The "perfecting of holiness" follows the cleansing from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. This comes by presenting the body to the Lord as a living sacrifice for His perfect possession, complete control, and exclusive use.
Yielding to Christ means opening every part of the life to Christ that He may fill it with Himself. Whatever we open the life to, that fills us. If I open my being in any measure to satan, to the world, and to the flesh, I am filled to that degree by them. But if I open every door to Christ, to the Spirit, and to the Word, then they fill my mind, my heart, and my spirit.
Yielding is not infilling, but it prepares for it. Emptying makes ready for infilling. Only the yielded life can be filled with the Holy Spirit. Have you yielded yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ?
(continued with # 19 - "How May the Fullness Be Obtained?")