Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Holy Spirit Essential

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

I came across a wonderful article by F. B Meyer on why the Holy Spirit is essential to effective, life-changing preaching. Here are few representative paragraphs. To read all of the article that was first published in 1900, go to the article page on path2prayer.com. You will find many helpful resources for pastors at the “Pastor Sermon, Prayer and Teaching Resources page at path2prayer.com

The Holy Spirit Essential

That the Holy Spirit is essential to effective Gospel preaching is attested by the fact that even our Lord did not essay to preach the Gospel to the poor, liberty to captives, the opening of the prison to them that were bound, or to announce the acceptable year of the Lord, until He had stood beneath the opened heaven and been anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power. It was only as He returned in the power of that Spirit from the scene of His temptation that He undertook the burden of ministry, saying: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, and he hath anointed me to preach.”

The utter dependence of the Gospel ministry on the Holy Spirit is still further attested by the arrest placed by our Lord on the proclamation of the Gospel until the apostles had been endued with the Holy Spirit. “Tarry,” He said, “in Jerusalem until ye be endued with the Spirit from on high.” …

Surely there is enough here to make us pause! If our Master awaited the special anointing of the Holy Spirit before He took up the work of His forerunner, and if He solemnly charged His Church to await a similar equipment, is there not a function of the Holy Spirit in the equipment and endowment of the preacher of the Gospel which is altogether additional to His work in regeneration and sanctification? As there are distinct offices in the Son, so that at different times in our experience we regard Him as Priest, Prophet, or King, are there not equally distinct offices in the Holy Spirit, as Regenerator, Sanctifier, and the Anointing Power for the holy office of ministering to men the good tidings of the Gospel?

Thus much to establish the contention that the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the preacher was expressly insisted on in the earliest days, and the most solemn inquiry is suggested as to how far the preachers of our time are admonished in this direction. Are our young ministers advised to postpone the opening of their heaven-given commission until they have obtained by faith and prayer their portion in the gift of the divine Savior, who gives the manifestation of His Spirit to each of His servants to profit withal, so that prophecy (i.e., the utterance of the divine message) is wrought in them by that one and self-same Spirit who divides to every man severally as He will?

Power in Proportion to Earnest Seeking

This Scriptural teaching is abundantly confirmed by the testimony of the ministers of Christ in every age of church history. In the case of some there have been distinct epochs, when they have become acquainted for the first time with the vast increase of spiritual power which was within their reach by the definite search after and appropriation of the anointing of the divine Spirit, and witness has been borne by those who knew them that there had come to them a new refinement of spirit, a brokenness of heart, a tenderness of appeal, a power in wielding the sword of the Spirit, and in producing the profoundest sense of conviction of sin. It is only necessary to read the diaries of a Jonathan Edwards, a Brainerd, a Baxter, a Christmas Evans, a Burns, or a McCheyne, to be convinced that it was in the proportion that such men of God sought and obtained the special anointing of the Spirit that they produced those effects on vast audiences of men, which are totally unlike anything resulting from the appeals of the mere thinker or orator, because they touch the life of the spirit, causing it to seek reconciliation with God, and to open to the reception of the divine nature. Probably the reason is not far to seek. The ultimate goal of Gospel preaching is not the emotional or the intellectual, but the spiritual; not the psychical, but the pneumatical; not the faculty by which we are conscious of ourselves and the universe around us, but that by which we may become conscious of God and the Unseen, and may receive the germ of the Eternal and the divine. If that be granted, it is certain that only spirit can effect spirit. Just as a light-reflector must be impinged by light, rather than by sound, or as the graphophone will register only the waves of sound and not of light, so the spiritual in man can be touched and influenced by the spiritual only. The spiritual may operate through the intellectual or through the emotional, through the imagination or the conscience, but it is always the final and only source of power over the spiritual nature of those whom the preacher is called on to address. …

It is when the spirit of the servant of God is infilled with the Spirit of the risen and exalted Savior that it becomes resistless. It is no longer he that speaks, but the Spirit of the Father, and the Son speaks in him. He is conscious of agonizing, according to the energy of another, which energizes in him mightily. We go back to the Book of Judges for an even more complete illustration of our meaning, where we learn that the Spirit of the Lord “clothed Himself with Gideon,” so that He became the motive and energy of his lifework. Oh, that each servant of God might be permitted to experience that interfusion of the divine Spirit with the human, through which his nature might be raised to its maximum of efficiency!—F. B. Meyer

Read the rest of this wonderful article by F. B. Meyer at path2prayer.com. This would be a good article to direct your pastor to.

I Have Ordained That You Bring Forth Fruit

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The title to this note is suggested by John 15:16, where Jesus assured the disciples that He had chosen and appointed them to bear fruit, and that the fruit borne would remain.

These words touch my heart. These words not only speak to what God is looking for by way of outcome, but also that He has specifically chosen me to be part of the fruit-bearing process, and that somehow the fruit will remain in spite of how unqualified I feel at times—frankly, on some days any fruit seems like a major achievement:)

Of course I need to make fruit-bearing the GREAT purpose of my life. I obviously have many things to do in life, but none of those other things should take the place of fruit-bearing.

What is the fruit? There is some confusion here, the suggestion sometimes being made that the fruit is the person that we have touched here and there, being the fruit. I don’t think that has that much warrant in Scripture. Rather, it points to the fruit of the Spirit—”love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against which there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22,23)

Somehow the fragrance of those otherworldly fruits attract other longing hearts to consider making Jesus part of their own experience.

I am especially pleased that directly after speaking of choosing and ordaining us to bear enduring fruit, Jesus added, “that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

Not only are we called to bear fruit, but we are also given the key to bearing the intended fruit: asking the Father in JESUS’ name for whatever is needed.

As I have been preparing for upcoming trips to Canada and the South Pacific, I’ve been reading much on the Holy Spirit. Oh what blessings have come my way. I’ve been losing sleep, but am more than happy to have lost sleep doing the readings.

Here is some of this morning’s portion…

“In these words (ordained to bear fruit) we have surely an indication of the deep, vital connection between true prayer and true fruit-bearing; such that the two things are as it were convertible terms. It is as if He said, “I have ordained you to produce real and lasting spiritual effects for Me; in other words, I have ordained you to be, in Me, prevailing petitioners with My Father that you may be bearers of such fruit.” The “things asked of the Father in Christ’s name” are that the disciple may be a vessel meet for the Master’s use, a branch pregnant with holy fruit; and there is therefore a deep and living correspondence between the bearing and the asking. Now here again is the operation of the Spirit, “the Spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zech. xii. 10). The prayer here meant is no mere devout performance of duty, the due utterance of an expression of reverence and dependence; it is “prayer in the Holy Ghost” (Jude 20), who “maketh intercession for us … according to (the will) of God’ (Rom. viii. 26,27). It is the prayer of a heart filled with Him, and therefore filled with the humble but intense desire that His will may be done, and in particular that His implement may be used for His glory. Results of life, word, and work in answer to such prayer are “fruit that remaineth.” And indeed it is “fruit of the Spirit.”—H. C. G. Moule, Veni Creator

Be blessed bearing fruit!

Preparing for the Holy Spirit

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the LORD,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.—Ps. 24:3-5

In my library are many books on preparing for the Holy Spirit. Some, like James McConkey’s Three-Fold Secret of the Holy Spirit, are wonderful. There is probably no subject more important and yet one which is so little understood in many ways.

God sent me something which clarifies the subject from my friend James Ash who is working for God as a mission pilot in Guyana. I hope you will read, ponder and pray, for his thoughts are right on target.

Here is an excerpt:

“Around midnight that night, while we were sleeping, without warning the sky opened up and dumped on us for about an hour solid, giving us almost 1000 gallons of fresh rain water. If you’ve ever heard the sound of heavy rain on zinc, you know that it is absolutely deafening. It was like music to my ears!

As we were lying in bed listening to rain drops thundering on zinc, the Lord spoke quietly to my mind about the Latter Rain.

Just before Jesus returns to this earth, God is going to send a spiritual rain shower to drench this earth (Joel 2:28,29). Only those who have been cleansed from sin, emptied of self, connected to the word, and standing upright, will be able to receive the Holy Spirit when it is poured out.”

Read the rest of his note at the Mission Guyana page at path2prayer.com.

There are also many quotes on the need and work of the Holy Spirit at path2prayer.com.

Thirsty No More…

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Hudson Taylor was greatly used of God to bring the gospel to China. Raised in a pastor’s home, he sought to have a relationship with God, but gave up during his teen years because it seemed too hard. Then, at a time when his mother was specifically praying for his salvation, he read a tract in his father’s study where he came across the words: “the finished work of Christ.” As a result of reading those words, he gave his heart to Jesus and God began doing a great work in His heart. He soon felt a call to serve God in China, and began preparing by studying to be a medical doctor and learning to live in complete dependence on God there in London. If you want to read more about this I recommend his book Retrospect which you can find as a pdf at my web site.

Taylor was a pioneer in more ways than one. Not only was he one of the first missionaries to go to China, he was also the first Western Missionary to adopt the Chinese style of dress. He was convinced that the best way to reach the Chinese people was to be as much like them as possible so long as one didn’t compromise and sin. There was a blessed response, and many Chinese were won to the Lord Jesus. Hudson Taylor began recruiting volunteers and they came by the hundreds.

In spite of all this work for God, Taylor was a struggling Christian, and bemoaned his constant seeming defeats. Then things changed, and he found that receiving Jesus brought a new victory and joy into his life. As a result his prayers took on a new life. He had a new joy in reading the Bible. He also experienced a new freedom from care and peace that he had not known previously. He began to live a life on the highest plane. It is out of that experience that His preaching took a new joyful and optimistic tone. The excerpt I share on receiving the Holy Spirit comes from a talk He gave in Detroit Michigan at a great missionary conference in 1894. I am sure you will be blessed in reading.

Hudson Taylor: Learning that “Shall” Means “Shall”!:

“A full equipment is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And how simply it is to be attained! You know where to go. That poor Samaritan woman did not know in whose presence she was. The Master said to her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of Him and He would have given thee living water.” And she did ask, very ignorantly indeed, not knowing what she asked. He knew, and He gave her that which she so ignorantly asked. He said to her, before He had fully blessed her, a word that is recorded for your instruction and mine, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” Oh, how true it is; all the waters of earth, how thirsty they leave us, or how soon we become thirsty again! “But,” continued our Master, there is something better, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” — shall never thirst!

“It may have been the end of 1868 or the beginning of 1869 when I discovered that “shall” means “ shall,” and that “never “ means “ never,” and that “thirst” means “ thirst.” I can’t tell you how delighted I was, for I was so thirsty [for spiritual power and fulfillment] at the time. And so hungry and thirsty was I as the Spirit of God threw his own Divine light on those words, that I saw that “shall” means “shall,” and “never” means “never,” and “thirst” means “ thirst.” I leaped from my seat; I could not sit still. How I did praise God that the thirsty days were all past! Well, you know, it is only a little over twenty years since then, and they haven’t come back since; and twenty thousand years hence, when you and I meet up there, I shall have the same story to tell you. He has promised it to me and I believe it.

“But don’t misread His Word. He does not say whosoever drank shall never thirst; but whosoever drinketh. It is in the present tense. We are not, with the appetite taken away, to stop drinking: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” Isn’t it glorious to feel that every one of you may just take that living water now and drink now and thirst no more; and to find you have got the well, and that you haven’t to go and seek it — so different from the old pumping I used to try, and that was so ineffective? You cannot give people that which you yourself don’t possess. What is the use of going over the beds with an empty watering-can? But when the Lord fills it and keeps it full and gives you delight to drink day by day, it just overflows! Go amongst your beautiful hills and see a waterfall, and put a great barrel under the waterfall, and it will soon be full and it will overflow, and as much water will overflow from that barrel as comes down from above. Take that great barrel away and put a little bucket there. The bucket will soon be just as full as the barrel, and when it overflows it will overflow just as much. I am the little bucket; it is easily filled and the flowing is so easy; there is no toil, there is no labor.”

Read more about Hudson Taylor at path2prayer.com