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Steps To Be Filled With The Spirit

By Samuel Chadwick (1860 – 1932)

     It is God’s will that every believer should be filled with the Spirit, overflow in the power of the Spirit, and in all things prevail through the Spirit.  What hinders?  The blessing is for all, and for all now.  The conditions are simple, unalterable, and universal.  God waits to fill ordinary people with extraordinary power, and to turn a baffled faith into a rapturous conquest.  Now what are the steps of faith by which the blessing is appropriated?

    The first step is to repent.  “And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).  There is a repentance of believers as well as of sinners.  When men begin to pray for the blessing of Pentecost the answer begins in conviction of sin.  Things are not surrendered, indulgences retained against light, possessions held for selfish ends – these must all be surrendered to the supreme authority of Christ.  For until He is exalted, crowned, glorified, there can be no Pentecost.

    The second step is to ask.  “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).  There must be definite asking for the specific gift.  There must be desire that is focused into petition.  “Ye have not,” says James, “because ye ask not” (Jas. 4:2), and there are thousands of believers who have never definitely asked for the Blessing.  God waits to give, but He is a God of discretion, and waits to be asked.  “I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it...For this, moreover will I be inquired of by the house of Israel; to do it for them” (Ezek. 36:36-37).

    We must be careful not to ask amiss.  Nothing hinders faith so effectually as a wrong motive. “How can ye believe, which receive the glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from God ye seek not?” (John 5:44).  James traces the failure of prayer to the same source: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures” (Jas. 4:3).  The pleasures may be lawful and laudable enough, but God will not give the glory of His Son to another, but the mission of the Spirit is to glorify the Son.  If the power is sought for success in Christian service merely, it will not be given.  Christ must be supreme in affection and aim.

    The third step is to receive.  When the consecration is complete the act of faith is quite simple.  “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” is the all-inclusive command.  “Therefore I say unto you, all things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).  Take God at His Word.

    The fourth step is the continuous life of obedience.  Jesus Christ identifies faith with obedience, and in the Acts of the Apostles obedience is made the condition of receiving and retaining the Spirit.  “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him” (Acts 5:32).  Abiding fullness depends upon obedience to the everwidening circle of illumination.  The blessing of Pentecost may be lost, and it is always lost when obedience fails.  The Spirit-filled must be Spirit-ruled.  Those who are greatly used of God have no monopoly of the Holy Ghost; they are mighty through God because the Spirit has a monopoly of them.

    Again I say this extraordinary gift is for ordinary people.  All may be filled as full and as truly as the hundred and twenty on the day of Pentecost.  The conditions are the same for all.  Repent, Ask, Receive, Obey.

    – Adapted from The Way to Pentecost.

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