Fullness of Christ
How May the Fullness by Obtained?
The way is so simple but man sometimes makes it so complex. Some think it requires long fastings, praying all night, seeking with agonizing, constantly praying for the infilling but never receiving it, earnestly seeking but never finding it. In one institution where the message of the Spirit-filled life was given at a meeting of Christian workers, we were told afterward that every week for a whole year they had prayed for the fullness of the Spirit but had not yet received this blessing. A missionary told me she had prayed every day for this fullness but had no answer. Then is God not willing or not able or ready to bestow the fullness upon His children? Yet He commands them to be filled. In what an unreasonable, unkind position this places God.
What is God's way? It is so simple and so clearly stated. Listen to His words:
"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him" (John 4:14).
It is the active appropriation of a gift.
"Jesus ... cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink" (John 7:37).
Could anything be more simple? One does not have to get down a big lexicon or commentary to understand the meaning of one of these words. They are part of your everyday vocabulary. We miss the way because it is so simple.
"Any man." There are no favorites with God. When God says "any man" it is as though He wrote in your own name there. Only it is far, far better just as it is. A few years ago I received a letter from a young girl who signed herself "Ruth Paxson." So if it read, "If Ruth Paxson thirsts" how would I know that it did not mean her instead of me? But when God says, "If any man" then it means the one who meets the conditions stated. And what are they?
"Thirst." This is not mere desire for something I vaguely feel I ought to have which I do not possess, or a longing born of jealousy or envy, possibly, for a power which is seen in some Spirit-filled life. Thirst is an intense desire for holiness for Christ' sake that must be satisfied. It is an intense craving for power to witness for Him and to win souls to Him that must be quenched. Even more than this is enfolded in that word "thirst". It is an insatiable longing for God Himself. It is that inward heart cry of the psalmist of old.
"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1-2).
It was expressed in a letter received just yesterday. "I am unquenchably athirst for Him and His holiness." Do you have this kind of thirst? It is the first condition for obtaining the fullness. Then what?
"Come." Where and to whom? To a "tarrying meeting"? To a conference? To some human leader? "Come unto me" - the only One who can bestow this gift, the Giver of this living water in all its fullness. Have you come to Him? Perhaps you have come and asked for the gift. But that is not His condition. He states it clearly The asking is bound up with the thirsting. But aspiration, even expressed in asking, is not enough. There is something more for us to do.
(continued with # 20)