The Holy Spirit is Love. The same Holy Spirit that brought the love of Heaven into their hearts must fill us too.” writes Andrew Murray, Nothing less will do. Even as Christ did, one might preach love for three years with the tongue of an angel, but that would not teach any man to love unless the power of the Holy Spirit should come upon him to bring the love of Heaven into his heart.
As some old saint has said it very well; When God gives the Holy Spirit, His great object is the formation of a holy character. It is a gift of a holy mind and spiritual disposition, and what need above everything else, is to say: “I must have the Holy Spirit sanctifying my whole inner life if I am really to live for God’s glory.
You might say that when Christ promised the Spirit to the disciples, He did so that they might have power to be witnesses. True, but then they received the Holy Ghost in such heavenly power and reality that He took possession of their whole being at once and so fitted them as holy men for doing the work with power as they had to do it.
Christ spoke of power to the disciples, but it was the Spirit filling their whole being that worked the power. I know no fire like the fire of God, the fire of everlasting love that consumed the sacrifice on Calvary. The baptism of love is what the Church needs, and to get that we must begin at once to get down upon our faces before God in confession, and plead:
Lord, let love from Heaven flow down into my heart. I am giving up my life to pray and live as one who has given himself up for the everlasting love to dwell in and fill him, and Lord melt us together into one by the power of the Holy Spirit; let the Holy Spirit, who at Pentecost made them all of one heart and one soul, do His blessed work among us, and Lord help us to learn the importance of ministering in Your power alone. We can do all things through Jesus Christ, but without the Holy Spirit, we can accomplish nothing.
Therefore the greatest evidence of a Spirit filled life is not found in power and spiritual gifts but in the fruit of love. Paul wrote that: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22) A Spirit filled person is a person who can control his or her tongue. The release of the Spirit is not a onetime process. It is something that can happen several times in one’s life.
The reason is that we are leaky vessels. We can get filled with the Spirit and then get our eyes off the Lord and get involved in carnal pursuits again. The only way to remain filled with the Spirit is to keep drinking from the fountain of living water which is Jesus Himself. We must keep our eyes on Him. That is why Paul tells us not to be drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:18)
Surely if there is one prayer that should draw us to the Father’s throne and keep us there, it is for the Holy Spirit, whom we as children have received, to flow into us and out from us in greater fullness. In the variety of gifts that the Spirit has to dispense, He meets the believer’s every need. Think of the names He bears: He is the Spirit of grace to reveal and impart all the grace there is in Jesus. He is the Spirit of faith, teaching us to begin and go on and increase in believing. He is the Spirit of adoption and assurance, who witnesses that we are God’s children and inspires the confident address “Abba, Father!” He is the Spirit of truth to lead into all truth and make each word of God ours in deed and truth. He is the Spirit of prayer, through whom we speak to the Father in prayer that will be heard.
He is the Spirit of judgment and burning to search the heart and convict of sin. He is the Spirit of holiness, manifesting and communicating the Father’s holy presence within us. He is the Spirit of power, through whom we are strong to testify boldly and work effectively in the Father’s service. Lastly, He is the Spirit of glory, the pledge of our inheritance, the preparation and foretaste of the glory to come. Surely the child of God needs but one thing to be able to live as a child: to be filled with His Spirit.
As God’s children we have already received the Spirit, but we still need to pray for His special gifts and enabling as we require them. Not only this, but we also need His unceasing momentary guidance. Just as a branch, even though filled with the sap of the vine, ever cries for the continued and increasing flow of the sap to bring its fruit to perfection, so the believer rejoicing in the possession of the Spirit, ever thirsts and cries more.
Nothing less than God’s promise and God’s command should be the measure of our expectation and our prayer. We must be filled abundantly. When praying to be filled with the Spirit, do not look for the answer in how you feel. All spiritual blessings must be accepted or taken by faith. The Father gives the Holy Spirit to His praying child. Even as I pray, I should say in faith, “I have what I ask, the fullness of the Spirit is mine,” and then continue in steadfast faith.
On the strength of God’s Word we know that we have what we ask. So with thanksgiving that we have been heard, with thanksgiving for what we have received and taken and now hold as ours, let us continue in steadfast in believing prayer that the blessing, which has already and which we hold in faith, may break through and fill our whole being.
- Andrew Murray, The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer (Bethany House Publishers 1981, 2003, Edited by Nancy Renich, Originally published in 1897 under the title The Ministry of Intercession)
- Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender (Moody Press MLM Chicago 1963)
- Andrew Murray, Humility (Reprinted by Bridge-Logos Foundation Orlando Florida 2006)