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Measure Your Life By God’s Spirit Within You

By Wesley L. Duewel (1916 – 2016)

     How difficult it is to measure your life as God measures it!  Indeed, how can we measure the Spirit’s presence within us, His filling us, and His using us?  Yet the Bible clearly indicates that God does just that.  Scripture testifies that certain people are filled with the Spirit, and we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).  We are promised the same depth of spiritual experience that was available to the apostles at Pentecost (Acts 2:38-39).  Dare you measure your life by how filled you are with God’s Spirit?

    You have probably known times when you were very conscious that God’s hand was upon you, when His power was evident in your life and ministry.  It was undeniable.  This is not surprising because this is the dispensation of the Holy Spirit.  He has come to be active on behalf of Christ, active in applying the redemption of Christ and the results of that redemption to us.

    All spiritual life comes to us through the life-giving Spirit.  To be born of God is to be born of the Spirit (John 3:3-8).  There is no spiritual life to be measured until then.  “…If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Rom. 8:9).  However, although everyone who truly belongs to Christ has the Holy Spirit within, some Christians are more marked by the Spirit’s presence than others.

    Jesus came that we might have spiritual life and have it to the full, or abundantly (John 10:10).  The Holy Spirit has been given to indwell us in all His fullness.  His holy, almighty personality longs to fill our finite personalities.

The Spirit’s Person and Work

    …He Himself is a holy, loving Person – the blessed third person of the Trinity.  He silently refreshes you like dew.  He springs up within you in blessings like a fountain or spring.  He flows from within you like a river of blessing.  He sets you apart by His anointing, as prophets were set apart in the Old Testament.  He cleanses you through and through with His holy fire (1 Thes. 5:23) and burns within you with a holy passion of love and zeal.  He does all this beautifully and thrillingly.

    But the greatest reality of all is that He is your holy indwelling Companion, Counselor, Guide, Helper, and Lord.  He applies all of Christ’s redeeming grace to your heart, equips you for holy living and service, and empowers you for holy living and dynamic service and for spiritual warfare for God.

    …When you as a believer yield your all in total consecration, the Spirit cleanses and sanctifies (John 17:17; Acts 15:8-9; 2 Thes. 2:13) and fills you (Acts 2:4, 39; Eph. 5:18).  The Spirit is now able to exercise His holy lordship within your whole being, making you victorious, and empowering and using you as you serve Christ (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).

    The Spirit is then at liberty to multiply in you in holy profusion that Christlikeness that is described as the beautiful Christly fruit of the Spirit (Rom. 8:23; Gal. 5:22-23).  He does this to make you more and more like Jesus.  Possessing your yielded self so fully, He does His divine work from within you.  He will guide you (Rom. 8:14; Isa. 58:11), for He is your Counselor (John 14:26).  He will guide and empower your prayer (Rom. 8:26-27).  He will be your mighty Helper (John 14:26 – “helper” is one of the meanings of the Greek word parakletos).  He will anoint you (2 Cor. 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20, 27).

    This is your great privilege as a child of God – to be indwelt, filled, and empowered by the Holy Spirit Himself.  Once having made the total surrender which enables Him to cleanse and fill you, you can be refilled again and again as you live under His lordship and serve Him.  Ask and you will receive (Luke 11:13).

Careful Evaluation

    Measure your life, evaluate your life.  How fully are you living up to your calling?  Jesus gives His Spirit to sanctify you through and through (1 Thes. 5:23-24).  How fully have you availed yourself of His cleansing?

    Many hymns have sought to express this blessed reality.  Charles Wesley wrote:

Oh, that in me the sacred fire
Might now begin to glow;
Burn up the dross of base desire,
And make the mountains flow.

Refining fire, go through my heart,
Illuminate my soul;
Scatter thy life, through every part
And sanctify the whole.

    Measure your life by the cleansing, burning fire of the Holy Spirit as He indwells you.  Have you made the total surrender that makes it possible for Him to fill and cleanse you?  Measure your life by the fullness of the Spirit within you.  Is there only a minimum of the Spirit’s presence and power manifest in your life?  Is it a true witness to say that He fills you and floods you with His holy presence?

    …Measure your life by the abundance of the fruit of the Spirit.  Are all aspects of that fruit constantly present in your spiritual life?  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) – are any of them embarrassingly absent in your personality?

    Paul explains in the next verse that this is another way of describing the crucified life:  “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (v. 24).  Only the crucified nature can produce uninhibited fruit of the Spirit.  Are you crucified?  Then Paul sums it up by adding, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (v. 25).  Yes, it is the Spirit who makes the crucified life real so that you can manifest the godly fruit of the Spirit and keep in step with Him.

    The fullness of the Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit’s expressing Himself within you, fully possessing you, and fully using you.  The fruit of the Spirit is the manifestation of the fullness of His holiness and life within and through you.  The Holy Spirit does not give you a quantity of joy like a special reservoir within your nature.  He is the Spirit of joy, and He rejoices within you and through you.  He does not give you a quantity of love, but He Himself is Love.  He loves within you and through you as He fills you.  He does not store within you a quantity of power.  He is the Almighty One, and He manifests His holy power within your being as He strengthens you in holy living and in effective service.  He does not give you a quantity of holiness.  He is the Holy One, and the only holiness you ever have is that which results from His living within you and expressing His holy nature through you.

    …Measure your life by your response to the tender but mighty Spirit of God.  Measure your life by your hunger for Him.  Blessed are the hungry hearted, for they will be filled (Matt. 5:6; Isa. 55:1-2).  The more you hunger the more He is able to fill you.  Measure your life by how deeply and how constantly you hunger for more of the Spirit’s presence and working, by how much you really thirst, yearn, and hunger for all of His will and all of His presence.  Measure your life by how deeply your heart pants for Him (Psa. 42:1), by how all consuming your desire for Him is.

    Measure your life by how fully you are yielded to the Spirit.  He possesses you as fully as you permit Him.  The more you yield, the more fully He can indwell you.  Measure your life by how fully you maintain a spirit of absolute surrender, by how total and how constant your whole-souled consecration is.  Measure your life by your joy in accepting all His will, by the depth of your hunger for His will rather than your own.  Measure your life by your utter self-abandonment to Him.

    Measure your life by the minuteness and constancy of your obedience to Him, by the instantaneousness of your obedience, by the joyfulness of your obedience.  The Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32), and the more you obey the more fully He indwells and works through you.  Measure your fullness of the Spirit by your obedience.

    Measure your life by the Spirit’s manifestation within and through you.  Measure it by how fully you share His humility.  Do you really feel your nothingness?  Or do you usually feel self-reliant?  Measure it by His holiness – do you really experience the absence of carnal desires and emotions?  Measure it by His love – do you really experience His love, or is it only nominal in you?  Measure your life by how constantly the Spirit rejoices through you, by how deeply His compassion longs through you, by how patiently He endures through you.

    Measure your life by how constantly He guides you – in your speech, in your prayer, in your witnessing and soul­winning, and in the large and small decisions of your daily living.  Measure your life by how constantly He anoints your service, by His power in your praying, by His freshness and unction on your speaking and writing, by His conviction on the lives of others through your witnessing and messages, by His blessing upon all your activities.

    Measure your life by the extent to which the Holy Spirit indwells you and manifests His life, His love, His purity, His radiance, and His power within you.  Measure your life by the frequency and extent of His powerful hand upon you and His power working through you.  Measure your life by the extent to which He fills and uses you.

    It is not how much you do in self-effort, but how much He does within you and through you.  This is the purpose for which you were created, for which you were redeemed, that God Himself might indwell you by His Spirit.  Measure your life not by any cheap and trifling earthly measures, but by the indwelling of the Spirit of God within you.

    – Quoted from the book Measure Your Life by Wesley L. Duewel. Copyright © 1992 by Wesley L. Duewel. Used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Dr. Duewel’s books may be purchased by calling (317) 881-6755, Ext. 361.