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Andrew Murray.

The Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church online

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your soul still, silent unto God, and give the Holy
Spirit time to quicken and deepen in you the assur-
ance that God will grant Him to work mightily.
We are a * holy priesthood to offer up spiritual
sacrifice.' The slaying of the sacrifice was an
essential part of the service. In each sacrifice
you bring there must be the slaying, the surrender
and sacrifice of self and its power to the death.
As you wait before God in holy silence, He sees
in it the confession that you have nothing, — no
wisdom to pray aright, no strength to work aright.
Waiting isth e^ expre ssion of need, of emptiness.
All along through the Christian life these go
together, the sense of poverty and weakness, and
the joy of all-sufficient riches and strength. It is
in waiting before God that the soul sinks down
into its own nothingness, and is lifted up into the
Divine assurance that God has accepted its sacrifice
and will fulfil its desires.

When thus the soul has waited upon God, it has
to go forward to the daily walk or the special duty
that waits it, in the faith that He will watch over



132 THE SnillT OF CHRIST.

the fulfilment of His Promise and His child's ex-
pectation. If it is to prayer you give yourself,
after thus waiting for the Spirit, or to the reading
of the word, do it in the trust that the Holy
Spirit within guides your prayer and your thoughts.
If your experience appears to prove that it is not
so, be sure this is simply to lead you onwards to a
simpler faith and a more entire surrender. You
have become so accustomed to the worship in the
power of the understanding and the carnal mind,
that truly spiritual worship does not come at once.
But wait on : ' He charged them to wait.' Keep
up tlie waiting disposition in daily life and duty.
' On Thee do I wait all the day : ' it is to the
Three-One God I thus speak ; the Holy Spirit
brings nigh and unites to Him. Eenew each day,
and, as you are able to do it, also extend, your
exercise of waiting upon God. The multitude of
words and the fervency of feelings in prayer have
often been more hindrance than help. God's work
in you must become deeper, more spiritual, more
directly wrought of God Himself. Wait for the
promise in all its fulness. Count not the time lost
you thus give to this blessed expression of ignorance
and emptine:rs, of faith and expectation, of full and
real surrender to the dominion of the Spirit.
Pentecost is meant to be for all times the proof of
what the exalted Jesus does for His Church from
His Throne. The ten days' waiting is meant to be
for all time the posture before the Throne, which
secures in continuity the Pentecostal blessing.



WAITING FOR THE SPIRIT. 133

Brother ! the Promise of the Father is sure. It is
Jesus from whom you have it. The Spirit is
Himself already working in you. His full indwell-
ing and guidance is your child's portion. Oh, keep
the charge of your Lord ! Wait on God : wait for
the Spirit. ' Wait, I say, on the Lord.' ' Blessed
are all they that wait for Him.'

Blessed Father ! from Thy Beloved Son we have
heard Thy Promise. In a streaming forth that is
Divine and never-ceasing, the river of the water of
life flows from under the Throne of God and the
Lamb ; Thy Spirit flows dow^n to quicken our
tliirsty souls. ' For we have not heard, neither
hath the eye seen, God, beside Thee, what He
hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.'

And we have heard His charge to wait for the
Promise. We thank Thee for what has already
been fulfilled to us of it. But our souls long for
the full possession, t he fulness of the blessing of
Christ. Blessed Father! teach us to wait on Thee,
daily watching at the posts of Thy doors.

Teach us each day, as we draw near to Thee, to
wait for Him. In the sacrifice of our own wisdom
and our will, in the holy fear of the workings of
our own nature, may we learn to lie very low before
Thee, that Thy Spirit may work with power. Oh,
teach us that as the life of self is laid before Thee
day by day, the Holy Life, that flows from under
the Throne, will rise in power, and our worship be
in Spirit and in Truth. Amen.



134 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.



/. The disciples were not to proceed to do their worf< in the faith of the
promise that the Spirit would be given : they were to wait until they could
joyfully testify and prove that Christ in heaven had given His Spirit within
them. * Tarry, until .'

2. ' We are not to took back for our Pentecost. The Pentecost of the Acts is
simply given to make the Church of Christ acquainted with the privileges
belonging to this dispensation. The Spirit of God comes as the rain, that must
still come and come again ; as the wind, that must still blow and blow again.'
— Bow EN,

3. Waiting ! the all-comprehensive word to indicate the posture of disciples
towards the Promise of the Father. Waiting ! It includes the denial of self,
its wisdom or strength ; separation from all else ; surrender and preparedness
for all the Spirit would claim ; Joyful faith in what Christ is, and confident
expectation of what He is going to do. Wai t I Tarry ! the one final condition
imposed by the ascending Lord for the fulfilment of~the Promise.

4. Wait ! Let this be the deep undertone of his daily life in relation to the
Spirit, for each one who knows that the Spirit is in him, and longs to be
mightily strengthened with Him from above. Wait ! Let this be the attitude
of the Church as she expects her Lord, in answer to her prayer, mightily to
manifest His power in the world. ' He charged them to wait. ' ' Tarry, until
ye be clothed witf^^ower^i^m^onji^^

5. 'As Christ was the fulfiller of the taw, and the end of the law, so
the Spirit is the complement, the fulfiller and maker good of all the Gospel.
Otherwise all that Christ did would have profited us nothing, if the Holy
Ghost did not come into our hearts, and bring it all home to ua.' — Goodwin.



THE SPIRIT OF POWER. 135



Fourteenth Day.



THE SPIEIT OF CHEIST.

E\}t Spirit of iPob^n:.

*Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days
hence. Ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come
upon you, and ye shall be my witnesses.' — Acts 1. 5, 8*

' Tarry ye in the city, till ye be clothed with power from
on high.' — Luke xxiv. 49.

THE disciples had heard from John of the
Baptism of the Spirit. Jesus had spoken
to them of the Father's giving of the Spirit to
them that ask Him, and of the Spirit of their
Father speaking in them. And on the last night
he had spoken of the Spirit dwelling in them,
witnessing with them, having come to them to
convince the world. All these thoughts of what
this coming of the Holy Spirit would be was
connected in their mind with the work they would
have to do and the power for it. When our Lord
gathered up all His teaching in the promise, ' Ye
shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming
upon you, and shall be my witnesses,' it must have
been to them the simple summing up of what thej^



136 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

looked for : a new Divine power for the new Divine
work of being the witnesses of a Crucified and Risen
Jesus.

This was in perfect harmony with all they had
seen in Holy Scripture of the Spirit's work. In the
days before the flood He had been striving with
men. In the ministry of Moses He fitted him, and
the seventy who received of His Spirit, for the work
of ruling and guiding Israel, and given wisdom to
those who built God's house. In the days of the
Judges He gave the power to fight and conquer the
enemies. In the times of Kings and Prophets He
gave boldness to testify against sin, and power to
proclaim a coming redemption. Every mention of
the Spirit in the Old Testament is connected with
the honour and Kingdom of God, and the fitting for
service in it. In the great prophecy of the Messiah,
with which the Son of God opened His ministry at
Nazareth, His being anointed with the Spirit had
the one object of bringing deliverance to the
captives and gladness to the mourners. To the
mind of the disciples, as students of the Old
Testament and followers of Christ Jesus, tlie
promise of the Spirit could have but one meaning —
fitness for the great work they had to do for their
Lord when He ascended the Throne. All that the
Spirit would be to them personally in His work of
comforting and teaching, sanctifying the soul and
glorifying Jesus, were but as a means to an end — •

ftheir induement with power for the service of theil

(departed Lord.



THE SPIRIT OF rOWER. 137

Would Gud that the Church of Christ understood
this iu our days ! All prayer for the guiding and
gladdening inlluence of the Holy Spirit in the
children of God ought to have this as their aim :

jdlness to witness for Christ and do effective service

Lin conquering the world for Him. Waste of power
is always cause of regret to those who witness it.
ITiie economy of power is one of the great moving

(springs in all organization and industry. The
Spirit is the great power of God ; the Holy Spirit
the great power of God's Kedemptiou, as it comes
down from the Throne of Him to whom all power
has been given. And can we imagine that God
would waste this power on those who seek it only
for their own sake, with the desire of being beauti-
fully holy, or wise, or good ? Truly no. The Holy

' Spirit is the power from on high for carrying on
the work for which Jesus sacrificed His Throne and
His Life. The essential condition for receiving
that power is that we be found ready and fit for
doing the work the Spirit has come to accomplish.

' My Witnesses : ' these two words do indeed
contain, in Divine and inexhaustible wealth of
meaning, the most perfect description of the Spirit's
work and our w^ork ; the work for which nothing
less than His Divine power is needed, the work for
which our weakness is just fitted. There is nothing
so effective as an honest witness^ The learned
eloquence of an advocate must give way to it.
There is nothing so simple : just telling what we
have seen and heard, or, perhaps in silence, witness-



138 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

ing to what has been done in us. It was the great
work of Jesus Himself : ' To this end have I been
Ijorn, and to this end am I come into the world,
that I should bear witness unto the Truth.' And yet,
simple and easy as it appears, to make us witnesses
of Jesus is what the Almighty power of the Spirit
is needed for, and what He was sent to work. If
we are, in the power of the eternal life, the power
of the world to come, in heavenly power to witness
of Jesus as He reigns in heaven, we need nothing
less than the Divine power of the heavenly life to
animate the testimony of our lips and life.

The Holy Spirit makes us witnesses because He
Himself is a witness. * He shall witness of me,'
Jesus said. When Peter, on the day of Pentecost,
preached that Christ, when He had ascended into
heaven, had received from the Father the Holy
Ghost, and had poured Him forth, he spake of
what he knew : the Holy Ghost witnessed to him,
and in him, of the glory of his exalted Lord. It
was this witness of the Spirit to the reality of
Christ's power and presence that made him so bold
and strong to speak before the council : * God did
exalt Him to be a Prince and a Saviour ; and we
are witnesses of these things ; and so is the Holy
Ghost.' It is as the Holy Spirit becomes to us, in
a Divine life and power, the witness to what Jesus
■ is at the present moment in His glory, that our
witness will be in His power. We may know all
that the Gospels record and all that Scripture
further teaches af the person and work of Jesus ;



THE SPIRIT OF POWER. 139

we may even speak from past experience of what
we once knew of the power of Jesus. This is not
the witness of power that is promised here, and that
will have effect in the world. It is the Presence of
fthe Spirit at the present moment, witnessing to the
i Presence of the personal Jesus, that gives our witness
that breath of life from heaven that makes it mighty
through God to the casting down of strongholds.
/You can truly witness to just as much of Jesus as
Jthe Holy Spirit is witnessing to you in life and truth.
The baptism of power, the induement of power,
is sometimes spoken of and sought after as a special
gift. If Paul asked very distinctly for the Ephe-
sians, who had been sealed with the Holy Spirit,
that the Father would still give them ' the Spirit
of wisdom ' (Eph. i. 17), we cannot be far wrong in
praying as definitely for ' the Spirit of power.* He
who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of
the Spirit, and will give not according to the correct-
ness of our words, but the Spirit-breathed desire of
our hearts. Or let us take that other prayer of
Paul (Eph. iii. 16), and plead that ' He would grant
us to be mightily strengthened by His Spirit.*
However we formulate our prayer, one thing is
certain : it is in unceasing prayer, it is in bowing our
knees, it is in waiting on God, that from Himself
will come what we ask, be it the Spirit of Power or
the Power of the Spirit. The Spirit is never any-
thing separate from God ; in all His going out and
working He still ever is the inmost self of God ; it
is God Himself who, according to the riches of Hia



140 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

glory, is mighty to do above what we ask or think,
who will in Christ give us to be clothed with the
power of the Spirit.

In seeking for this Power of the Spirit, let us
note the mode of His working. There is one
mistake we must specially beware of. It is that
of expecting always to feel the power when it
works. Scripture links power and weakness in a
wonderful way, not as succeeding each other, but as
existing together. ' I was with you in ivcahicss ;
my preaching was in power' 'When I am weak,
then am I strong! (See 1 Cor. ii. 3-5 ; 2 Cor. iv.
7, 16, vi. 10, xii. 10, xiii. 3, 4.) The power is
the power of God, given to faith ; and faith grows
strong in the dark. The Holy Spirit hides Himself
in the weak things that God hath chosen, that flesh
may not glory in His presence. Spiritual power can
only be known by the Spirit of faith. The more
distinctly we feel and confess our weakness and
believe in the power dwelling within us, ready to
work as need arises, the more confidently may we
expect its Divine operation even when nothing is
felt. Christians lose much not only by not waiting
for the power, but by waiting in the wrong way.
Seek to combine the faithful and ready obedience
to every call of duty, however little thy power
appears to be, with a deep, dependent waiting and
expectation of Power from on high. Let thy inter-
vals of repose and communion be tlie exercise of
prayer and faith in the Power of God dwelling in
thee, and waiting to work through thee ; thy time



THE SPIRIT OF POWER. 141

of exertion and effort will bring the proof that by
faith out of weakness we are made stiong.

Let us also see and make no mistake about the
condition of the workinc^ of this Divine Power. He
that would command nature must first, and most
absolutely, obey her. It does not need much grace
to long and ask for power, even the power of the
Spirit. Who would not be glad to have power Vj
Many pray earnestly for power in or with their
work, and receive it not, because they do not
accept the only posture in which the Power can
work. We want to get possession of the Power
and use it. God wants the Power to get possessioJi
of us, and use us. If we give up ourselves to the
Power to rule in us, the Power will give itself to
us, to rule throusjh us. Unconditional submission
and obedience to the Power in our inner life is the
one condition of our beincj clothed with it."^ God
gives the Spirit to tlie obedient. ' Power belongetli
unto God,' and remains His for ever. If thou
wouldst have His power work in thee, bow very
low in reverence before the Holy Presence that
dwelleth in thee, that asks thy surrender to His
guidance even in the least things. Walk very
humbly in holy fear, lest in anything thou shouldest
fail in knowing or doing His holy will. Live as
one given up to a Power that has the entire
mastery over thee, that has complete possession of
thy inmost being. Let the Spirit and His Power
have possession of thee : thou shalt know that Hia
Power worketh in thee.



142 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

Let us be clear, too, as to the object of this power,
the work it is to do. Men are very careful to
economize power, and to gather it there where it
can do its work most effectually. God does not
give this power for our own enjoyment, — as little
to save us from trouble and effort. He gives it for
one purpose, to glorify His Son. Those who in
their weakness are faithful to this one object, who
in obedience and testimony prove to God that they
are ready at any cost to glorify God, — they will
receive the power from on high. God seeks for
men and women whom He can thus clothe with
power. The Church is looking round for them on
every side, wondering at the feebleness of so much
of its ministry and worship. The world waits for
it, to be convinced that God is indeed in the midst
of His people. The perishing millions are crying
for deliverance, and the Power of God is waiting to
work it. Let us not be content with the prayer
for God to visit and to bless them, or with the
effort to do the best we can for them. Let us give
up ourselves, each individual believer, wholly and
undividedly, to live as witnesses for Jesus. Let us
plead with God to show His people what it means
that they are Christ's representatives just as He was
the Father's. Let us live in the faitli that the Spirit
of power is within us, and that the Father will, as
we wait on Him, fill us with the power of the Spirit*

Most Blessed Father ! we thank Thee for the
» See Kote I.



THE SPIKIT OF POWER. 143

wonderful provision Tliou hast made for Thy chil-
dren, — that out of weakness they should be made
strong, and that just in their feebleness Thy Mighty
Power should be glorified. We thank Tliee for the
Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of Power, coming down
to make Jesus, to whom all Power is given, present
with His Church, and to make His disciples the
witnesses of that Presence.

I ask Thee, my Father, to teach me that I have
the power, as I have the Living Jesus. May I not
look for it to come with observation. May I con-
sent that it shall ever be a Divine strength iu
human weakness, so that the glory may be Thinu
alone. May I learn to receive it in a faith that
allows the Mighty Lord Jesus to hold the poweL*
and do the work in the midst of weakness. And
may, by the Holy Spirit, He be so present with me,
that my witness may be of Him alone.

my Father ! I desire to submit my whole
being to this Holy Power. I would bow before its
rule every day and all the day. I would be its
servant, and humble myself to do its meanest com-
mand. Father ! let the Power rule in me, that I
may be made meet for it to use. And may my one
object in life be that Thy Blessed Son may receive
the honour and the glory. Amen.



7. There is a Presence in the Church of Christ as Omnipotent and Divine
as was Christ Himself when on earth ; yea, rather, as He is now on the
Throne of Power. As the Church wal



Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 9 of 27)