And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:16-26)
Opportunities for the Church
The disciples thought that if this young man who had kept the commandments from his youth up couldn’t be saved, who could? So Jesus spoke some words that I’d like for us to consider: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” In this very time in which we’re living, we, as the church, are challenged as well as confronted with opportunities that we’ve never known before.
Certainly, the world’s in bad shape, and many people are bound with all kinds of evil habits and vices; but if we’ll look at these circumstances as God wants us to, we’ll see them as opportunities. The darker the world gets, the greater the opportunities, more precious the light is, and the more positive the light is. The enemy works to make us feel that things have gotten beyond help and we can’t do anything. However, Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.”
Looking at the dark side a little further, we can see that communism is taking over half of the world, there’s a terrible clash among nations, and over on hundred wars are going on, some hot and some cold. Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars. When we boil it all down, we discover that man is trying to find a new way to live together.
Too many people have been sold, or brainwashed, on the thought of peaceful coexistence, making them feel that everyone ought to put up with evil and compromise with evil to a certain degree, and thereby have an existence that’s peaceful. Well, if will study the Bible, we’ll find that this doesn’t line up with God’s Word. Right and good won’t mix with evil. Whenever people, either on a national level or an individual level, are made to feel that they can put up with some things that are definitely wrong and evil, and still have peace and get along with God, they’re “a million miles” away from what God’s Word teaches us.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” How can good and evil mix together? The message still is, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty”. (verses 17-18)
We’re living in a time when many have a fear of humanity destroying itself. Some may ask, “Don’t you think they could do something one of these days and destroy us all?” No, because the Bible let’s us know that there’ll still be some who’ll be alive when Jesus comes again. I don’t believe that man can handle world destruction. Why? Because that’s in God’s hands. I’m not saying that man can’t do many things, but God has placed the destruction of the world in His power, and it will be according to His Word and His will when it comes about.
In the midst of all this confusion, religious forces are becoming conscious of the sin of division, and even though they’re unable to do anything, they’re trying to bring about a man-made unity by trying to bring all religions together. While all this is going on, there’s religious indifference among those who claim to be the people of God: people are desiring to go their own way and live by their own laws, without God and His eternal Word.
A Work Too Great for Human Capabilities
One of the greatest temptations the church has always had is to try to finish in the flesh what God started in the Spirit. The Church can’t be built up nor the work carried on by human efforts or human talents. She’s an instrument of the Spirit: it took the Spirit of God to bring her into being, and it takes the working of the Holy Spirit to keep us as the people of God and make us able to work the works that God has ordained.
Many who claim to be the church are in a weakened position. The devil has worked a work and caused people to lose the true vision of the church and its power, and because of it, they’re not expecting to see too much or do much. The morning-time church surged with power. She had more power to spare than many supposed church members are using. I’m not meaning to down anyone; however, I am speaking against people who claim to be the church but deny the power. Let’s not go along with those fellows who say, “I got a vision of the church, a white chapel high on a mountain.” That’s not a vision of the church! The church is the people.
When Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” He was saying, “I am going to save people, and I am going to give them such a salvation that nothing the devil can do will overthrow them. They’ll live victoriously and work right on until they’ve finished the work that I’ve given them to do.”
When Jesus was crucified, He had a sum total of one hundred twenty true followers. There were no men of wealth, influence, or power, and only a very small percentage of them had any intellectual eminence. They were poor, undistinguished, simple people. (I say that because people use too many excuses today, such as, “I’m not educated,” “I can’t speak well,” or I’m timid.” We need to see that it doesn’t make any difference to God whether or not we’re timid or whether or not we have high degree of intelligence.)
That small company of disciples was given an incredible task. Jesus wanted them to be witnesses unto Him from Jerusalem to the uttermost part of the earth. They were told to go teach (or go disciple) all nations. They were to bring a message to the whole world, a world that was anti-Semitic. There was more division over races existing back then than there is today in the world. They were going out to a divided world, and it was as violent as any time in history. They were going to be sent out to preach purity in a world that was steeped in immorality.
People say, “Oh immorality is so great today.” All we have to do is study the Bible to know that corruption was greater in religion in the days of the early church than is today. Today there are very few places where you can find a church that has prostitutes; but in those days, if a man wanted a woman, he just went up to the temple, and they furnished him a prostitute. Corruption was great in religion at that time. In fact, the world than didn’t even regard chastity as a virtue to be desired. Not too many people wanted to be clean.
I could gather information together that would prove that on the surface their task looked completely impossible. It was far beyond human capabilities, but Jesus told them when He gathered them together that after the Holy Spirit came upon them, they’d receive power to be witnesses. In other words, Jesus was telling them, “I know you can’t do this; that’s why I told you to tarry until you’re endued with power. Don’t try to do it on your own, because it can’t be done.” Witnessing for Jesus and reaching the world with the Gospel can’t be done by our human elegance, power, or strength. We must wait, or tarry, until we’re sure that we’re endued with power from on high.
The Power of the Holy Spirit
When the Holy Spirit came, the task that seemed impossible all at once became possible, and within thirty years, the Gospel had reached Rome and far beyond. In fact, the Bible lets us know that it had reached the whole then-known world through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Into the world came a new life and a new purity that even the gainsayer and the most hostile could not deny. Oh, how we need this today!
There’s too much denial being raised up against the cause of Christ. The Word of God tells us that the gainsayer couldn’t stand against this power. The New Testament leaves a clear witness, without a shadow of doubt, that the power behind this miraculous work was the power of the Holy Spirit. See, this is the same power that we, as the church, must have today to confront the challenges and the opportunities that God has given us. Let’s pray that God will stir our hearts so that we can see there’s something we can do. There’s a work that can be done and help that can be given. Let’s realize that we have power to turn the world “right-side” up…yet today, if we’ll lay hold of the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible hasn’t changed. “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Paul was trusting the Holy Spirit when he said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Why could he say that? It was by faith that all things were possible. This was the same man who told how bound he was in the seventh chapter of Romans before he was converted. He said, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do…O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (verses 19-25a) Then he could say, “K can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” We need to pray in a greater way for the impossible. When we pray for the impossible, we’re getting out where only God can do it, and when it’s done, God gets all the glory.
When the church wanted to set up a retirement program for me, they said I would have to let a doctor examine me for the insurance program. (I told them I hadn’t been to a doctor, other than to get my teeth fixed or a broken shoulder set, and God healed my shoulder after the doctor set it. How do I know that? Well, I went back, and the doctor told me it would be six months before I could put my hand over my head, and I said, “Look, Doc,” and raised my hand over my head. He said, “You got some help from somewhere else.”)
I went along with their request and went to the doctor, and a nurse hooked me up to an electrocardiograph. She started it up, and the minute the hand started moving, I knew it was not good. She ran out and got the doctor, and he came back in and said, “Reverend, there’s no need to give you the rest of the examination. You have a bad heart. I’m going to call a heart specialist.” Before I could say anything he had dialed the telephone. Then he said, “He can’t see you for three weeks.”
I said, “I could be dead lots of times in three weeks, couldn’t I.”
“Well,” he said, “you can handle this if you’ll quit the church work, go to Florida, do a lot of walking, and ride a bicycle. In about six months, you can bring this back.”
I thanked him and told him not to make an appointment with the specialist.
Praying for the Impossible
As I was studying and getting ready to preach the Wednesday evening service, God said, “Why don’t you pray for the impossible. The doctor said it was possible to get better in six months if you rest and ride a bicycle. That may work in six months, but I can do it for you in a moment of time. So He gave me a message, and that night I preached on praying for the impossible, and right while I was preaching, God healed me. The church knew it, because when I got touched, they got touched. Later someone said, “Brother Wilson, you took us out too far. I have never prayer for the impossible.”
I said, “Are you saved?
I said, “Then you prayed for the impossible, because salvation is impossible with men.”
We need to start praying for the impossible. All things are possible with God. Let’s pray that God will pull the blinders back, so to speak, so that we can see. There are so many things that are impossible with men. For example, with men it’s impossible to live holy, or to live free from sin. Many people who used to be holiness people have stopped living free from sin, and today they make room for sin of one kind or another. With men it’s impossible to withstand temptation. No one can withstand all temptation in his own strength. That’s why every one of us has sinned.
Paul said in Romans 5:6, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” That includes every one of us. When a child comes to the age of accountability, even though he knows right from wrong, he’s going to go into sin. Why? Because he doesn’t have the strength to stand against temptation. But thank God, when we were without strength, Christ died for us, and He perfected salvation and brought divine strength.
When Paul preyed and sought the Lord to have his thorn in the flesh removed, Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can take the worst that the enemy can put toward us, and through the strength of God, we can withstand temptation and live for God. Without God it’s impossible to be a living witness. Getting down closer, with men it is impossible to be the Church; this calls for a higher power.
The Certainty of the Message
Without the Holy Spirit, the church doesn’t have and cannot preach the message. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:12 that we “have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.” Without the Holy Ghost opening up a door of utterance, we may as well go to a graveyard and start preaching to those who are dead in the graves. We’d get through to them just as fast as we’d get through to living people.
Too many people go away from church services and are never moved or convicted, let alone saved. Why? Too many preachers are relying on self. There’s not enough lying on faces before God to get the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Bible still says that people cannot get faith without hearing the word, they cannot hear the Word without a preacher, and a man cannot preach unless he is sent of the Holy Spirit and anointed.
Needless to say, there’s not enough effort or influence attributed to the working of the Holy Spirit. When we lose the Holy Spirit, our preaching, teaching and witnessing will become merely an airing of our own opinions. The real certainty of the message will be lost, and when that’s lost, people will get in a bad shape. Too many today voice their own opinions and prejudices.
Humanism has captured the minds of many: they’ve become skeptics and agnostics rather then being committed and certain about the message. Some are so moved by humanism that when they preach or speak, they say, “I trust so,” “I hope so,” or “It could be that this means this.” Others say, “You have your opinion and I have mine.” One time after a man had listened to preaching such as that, he said to the preacher, as he shook his hand and went out the door, “Preacher, please tell me certainties. I have enough doubts of my own.”
It’s the Holy Spirit who makes the message certain. It’s only the Holy Spirit who can make us able to truly say, “Thus saith the Lord.” When can we say that? When we’ve been led to a definite Scripture that God has told us to preach on, when God has given us the message, and when we don’t get it through commentators. We need to get back to this. Repeating, the Holy Spirit puts the certainty in the message.
Certainty Comes by Divine Revelation
My, what a Book! How many millions of messages are in that Book! But there’s only one message for the hour. We can’t truly say, “Thus saith the Lord,” unless the Lord has given us the word to speak and the text to preach. In too many cases, preachers have fallen to the place of just “filling in”. They have the idea that if they preach out of the Bible, it’s true, but God said to get the Word at His mouth. If we’ll do that, it will enable us to bring the message that God would have us preach for the hour.
Without the Holy Spirit, the church can’t have an assent of certainty. Due to a lack of the Holy Spirit and Holy Spirit-filled ministries over the land, religion has become a failure. In too many cases, there’s no God there to be lifted up, and the preachers have fallen to the same level of living as the people. Don’t take me wrong, I don’t believe God has one standard for the preacher and another for the people; however, I am saying that the preacher is to be an example to the flock.
As ordained Elders, whenever we get to the place where the people feel that we’re so much a part of them that they fail to respect the leadership, something’s been lost. There’s a God ordained respect that comes with the calling. Yes, many are afraid of man rule, but the minister and spouse ought to be an example.
Honest hearts are looking for light. What is light? It’s certain, positive, and convincing; but it can’t be shed abroad in the hearts of men and women without the Holy Spirit. There’s no way to obtain this essential certainty other than by the Holy Spirit. When we have this, what we say, will be certain!
We can read in Matthew, the sixteenth chapter, when Jesus asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Some of his disciples told Jesus what the varied opinions of men were. However, Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter had heard from God. Jesus said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven.” In essence, Jesus was saying, “You didn’t get that revelation from a book or from your father or mother, by my Father revealed it to you.” Jesus then went on to say, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The Church is built on certainty, and she’s kept by certainty. We need to get rid of the fogginess and the shadows. There are too many professing Christians living in the shadow. As long as we live in the shadows, people around us won’t see the light. We have to come out of the shadows to certainty, where we know what truth is, understand truth, and stand for truth in a certain way; then we’ll start shedding some light abroad to the men and women around us.
Without the Holy Spirit, the church can’t have real growth or development in its belief. Part of the tragedy today is, orthodoxy is conceived in static terms. By that I mean, it’s received or conceived as something that can’t change in any way, not even in expression, and anyone who changes even an expression of that truth is marked as a heretic. We should study what a heretic is. First of all, a heretic is never one who is in darkness. To become a heretic, one has to know what the truth is, but has no desire to go with the truth, and since on has no desire to go with the truth, he makes up his own doctrine to please himself.
Selfishness Brings Destruction
The worst problem that has ever worked against the church is selfishness, or holding our for one’s own way. Jesus didn’t mention a list of thing that we have to quit or lay aside. He just laid down one law for everybody: “If you’re going to follow Me, you must deny yourself and get rid of selfishness. Selfishness can’t be a part of you if you’re going to follow Me.”
In 2 Timothy, the third chapter, Paul said that in the last days perilous times would come. Some people say that Paul was talking about a perilous time in his day, and that I has already happened and it’s over. We need to read the Bible as it is. Verse 1 states, “In the last days [from the Day of Pentecost through to the end of time] perilous times [many different times throughout this Gospel Day] shall come.” Why were perilous times going to come upon the church? Verse 2 tells us, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves.” That’s the bulk factor. That’s the reason there are children who are disobedient to their parents. If we start living before our children a live of loving our own selves, to the place that we refute the Word, rise up against it, talk about the minister/preacher, and say, “I have a right to my own opinion,” our children will see that, and they’ll turn right around and rise up in disobedience against us. They’re going to feel that they have a right to their own opinions too.
Men who once loved God, men who once denied themselves, have fallen to the love of loving themselves. Selfishness is doing more destruction to the work of God than anything. The attitude that exists among many people today is, “Well, I’m going to have a little bit to say here, preacher.” Jesus made it very plain in Luke’s Gospel that if we try to save our life for ourselves (He wasn’t talking about saving our soul), instead of giving up completely to God, we’ll lose it. I we’re ready to give up our life completely for Christ’s sake, we’ll find it anew, and we’ll be able to enjoy it.
Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible becomes a dead letter. The Holy Spirit is what gives it life. The New Testament is in the Spirit; the Spirit gives life. When we lose the Holy Spirit, even the Bible becomes a dead letter. It’s only when faith and belief are poured, not on a creed, but on the living Spirit of a living God that eh church can grow and develop.
Without the Holy Spirit, there can be no real fellowship in the church. Real fellowship is spiritual fellowship. There are a lot of fellowships going on today, but much of it’s not spiritual.
Division is a characteristic of the natural man. In 1 Corinthians, the third chapter, they had received the Holy Spirit but were still walking as men. Natural men were working division among them. Just as division is a characteristic of a natural, or carnal, man, unity is a characteristic of the true Christian. In John 13:35 Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” In John, Chapter 17, in so many words, He prayed, “Father, I pray that they all may be one. I want them to have the same oneness that You and I have, as You are in Me and I am in You.” That is the oneness that Jesus prayed for.
In John 14:20 Jesus said, “At that day [when the Holy Ghost is given] ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” This oneness is a work of the Holy Spirit when He comes into our hearts and lives. We know that Jesus is in the Father, the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in us through the Holy Spirit, and we are one. When we live in that oneness, we’ll not make derogatory remarks about one another; we’ll love one another.
Hebrews 12:15 lets us know that bitterness never appears until one fails of the grace of God: a man fails of the grace of God, and then bitterness springs up. We can expect more and more of what is going on today, especially among preachers, when they put systems, forms history, traditions, and different governments and administrations before the presence of the Holy Spirit. When we walk together in the atmosphere of the Spirit, true fellowship comes and is enjoyed. There’s no need to pray for fellowship and, at the same time, shut out the Holy Spirit from our life.
No Conversion Without the Holy Spirit
Without the Holy Spirit, there can be no real experience of conversion. There’s a danger that comes from confessing a half truth instead of the whole truth. Today mass evangelism is increasing the danger. They’re crying to people to decide for Jesus, and thereby find rest, peace, and joy; but there’s more to it than that. It’s very true that when we’re really converted, a brand new relationship begins. When we take the cup of salvation as it is, within that cup, surely there’s joy and blessedness, but there’s also sorrow, heartache, and misery. If we ever make it to Heaven, we’ll make it by calling on the Lord daily, and even hourly.
Jesus drank most of that cup, but there’s plenty for us to drink, and we must have a definite connection with the Lord to be able to call on Him to receive the help we need day by day, if we continue drinking the cup of salvation. We need to realize that unless the individual definitely lays hold of the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit lives more and more in him each day, his experience wil end in disappointment, delusion and frustration. Too many who start for Christ end up this way. We need the Holy Spirit.
Not only must men be told about Christ who died on the Cross, but they also need to be told about the risen Christ, how His life through the Holy Spirit can come into their lives and give them strength. Romans 8:13 tells us that it’s through the Holy Spirit that we mortify the deed of the body. Paul told us in Romans 5:10 that if we received salvation by the death of Christ, much more we are saved by His life. Thank God for the Cross, but the blood of Jesus Christ only remits, ore takes away, the sins of the past; it’s the power of the Holy Spirit coming into our heart and life that brings new life and enables us to live. The only thing that gives us power over death is life, and when we get that life, we’ll have power over the old life. As a sinner, we used to live in a dead condition, but now, through the power of the Holy Spirit, He enables us to keep under our body. We can mortify the deed of the body through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit plays a great part in conversion. Again, what does the blood do? It remits, or cancels our, and cleanses from the sins of the past, but there will be no power to live differently until the Holy Ghost brings power into our life and makes us able to stand in the trials and stand against the temptations. The disciples, before Pentecost, were certainly saved people in the light of that day; they were in a transformation age. However, Jesus talked in terms of when we get converted, we can strengthen our brother. There’s no real conversion power without the Holy Spirit; He’s the One who brings new life. The fact that Christ died for men is a glorious truth; but the fact that Christ lives in men is a more glorious truth.
Christ has brought us out of darkness, not into light, but into His marvelous light. We can’t get any of this marvelous light in Babylon (false religion). If we don’t get in the Church, we won’t get it. Let’s get a vision of the Church. She’s the only one of her mother, and she doesn’t have any sister churches. There’s not anything near her. She’s on the top of the mountain, above all the hills of Babylon.
“Do All to the Glory of God”
Without the Holy Spirit, there can be no unification of life. Today people make a great mistake. They divide their lives: they have a part of their lives that’s sacred and a part that’s secular; one part is supposedly given completely to God, and the other part they give to business. Now, just as no man can breathe and live without air, we can’t get out of the direction and power of the Holy Spirit and live. When we’re a true Christian, every part of our life is sacred.
In John 4:23 Jesus told the woman at the well that the hour is come when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. He did away with worshiping the Lord in only one geographical location. He was teaching that we worship God all the time we’re awake, not just when we go to a church building. We worship God on the job and in the streets; every bit of our life is sacred.
If we get the kind of religion wherein every part of our life is sacred, we’ll not be engaged in any evil thing and having to “throw it out” when we come in the church door, because we’ll be worshiping God on the way. If we get this kind of religion, we and our spouse won’t be fussing all the way to the church parking lot, and then come in smiling and say, “Praise the Lord, Brother! Thank God, isn’t this a beautiful day in Zion.” My, what hypocrisy! Truth is, we’re no better sitting in the church seats than we are at home. That’s why God said to amen our ways and our doings. See, we have to come to the place where every bit of our lives is sacred.
David Livingston, the great missionary, once wrote, “Whether I am writing, whether I am preaching, whether I am teaching, or whether I am shooting a buffalo, I am serving Christ and worshiping God.” This is real salvation. Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink [whether we drive a car, whether we go shopping, or whether we go on vacation], or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
More Than a Conqueror
Without the Holy Spirit, it’s not possible for man to fully cope with life. That’s the reason there’s so much suicide, and statistics show that the suicide rate is constantly going up, especially amon the youth. The suicide rate is also climbing fast among the elderly people. What’s the real problem? Without the comforting power of the Holy Spirit, people can’t cope with life. Even though some people claim to be Christians, life has become too great a problem for them to handle, and they’re miserable and wretched. They’re as those who are described in Revelation 3:17.
God never intended us to cope with life without the Holy Spirit. Well, these are days when we need courage as never before. I suppose we can say that we’re in a time when the future was never so frightening and apostasy was never so specious. The courage needed cannot be obtained from man’s inner resources. We need help from on high. We may be able to put up with life, and we may exist, but we’ll never conquer life.
Romans 8:37 tells us that through Jesus Christ we’re more than conquerors, and on of the things we can conquer is life. Paul then went on to say in verses 38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
If we’re to face this life in victorious living, we must have the strength of the Holy Spirit. The only way to be certain that God is in you and working in your life is to have the Holy Spirit’s guidance, first of all. Life concentrates upon man at the crossroads. There’s no map for our individual life. Oh, the Bible is the road map, in its broadest sense, but it takes the Holy Ghost to bring the Word down to us, individually.
Paul had a course to follow, and no one else was required to follow that course. Likewise, you and I have a course to follow and finish. How can we find our course without the Holy Spirit? He must set us in the way He want us to go and he’ll empower us and bless us with the gifts that He wants us to have. He’ll lay out our course before us, and He’ll say, “If you’ll be true to Me, you’ll finish this course with joy.”
It takes the Holy Spirit to individualize God’s will to us. The broad commission is to go into all the world to make disciples. But where will we go first? Where will we go next? We can’t go into all the world at one, and not one of us can go into all the world. The Holy Spirit must choose the course that we’re to follow. It’s only through Him that we can receive the guidance we need. Then after we find out what He wants us to do, it’s only through Him that we can obtain power to carry out what He show you to do. Oh, how we need the Holy Spirit to work! We need His guidance and His power. The Bible tells us that it’s not in the ways of man to direct his own steps.
The man who discovered the principle of the lever found that he could lift great loads by a lever, and when he was speaking to people one day, he said, “If you give me a lever long enough and a place to stand outside this world, I can raise the world with a lever.” I believe he was carried away, but he spoke a truth. We must have help outside this world, and that’s exactly why God visited this world. He brought us heavenly help through the power of His Spirit. He brings us the strength of God and the grace of God so that we can live in goodness and righteousness and enjoy that which He has ordained for us to enjoy.
Are we ready for spiritual power? We have to get ready for it before we can receive it. Are we fit to be used of God? Are we ready to be used? Are we willing to be misused? We have to count the cost. Everything isn’t going to be lovely when the Holy Spirit takes hold of our life. Are we willing to be nothing so that Christ may be all? See, Christ can’t be all until we come to the place where we’re nothing.
The position of power brings a great responsibility. Self-will and self-concern must be laid aside. Today too many people want to get possession of the power and use it for selfish purposes. The reason may people aren’t filled with the Holy Spirit is, they have never become empty. God doesn’t half fill or three-fourths fill a vessel. Some people try to change the doctrine to suit themselves. Too many people want half self and half Holy Spirit. Well, we’ll never be filled until we become empty. Well never be filled with the Spirit until we empty ourselves; then, thank God. He’ll come with His fullness into your emptiness and make us what He wants us to be. Each one of us needs to lean on Him
Being in One Accord
There are conditions to be met in order to have a divine outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1 tells us that His disciples were in on e accord. Some people say that if people get baptized with the Holy Spirit, they’ll be in one accord. Well, those people were in one accord before the Holy Spirit ever came. They were many in number, but their being in one accord meant that they were drawn to one common motive. What was it? The Gospel had to be preached to all the world, and they realized the fact that they couldn’t preach it until they had received the Holy Spirit. They were in one accord about that.
Today people feel that they’re not in one accord if they can’t agree on every doctrine. Well, doctrine wasn’t even brought up back then. They were in one accord before the first message was ever preached, and if we’ll follow them through the Book of Acts, we’ll find that there were some differences of understanding. However, the Bible lets us know that they stayed in one accord. When differences arose, they got down and prayer. No doubt, their prayer was, “Lord, we’re not here to fight out differences of doctrine. We’re here to reach a world that’s lost. People will never be saved unless we an get this Gospel to them, and we can’t get the Gospel to them without the Holy Ghost.” That was the one accord which they held.
I don’t believe that God ever looked down upon a large group of people and could say that every on of the believe the doctrine exactly alike. He never will see it. We still will be working for the unity of the faith when Jesus comes, but we can be in one accord, with our lives yielded to God. That one accord should be shining so that any differences will not be a hindrance. We ought to have on thing in mind: we ought to be striving for the faith of the Gospel. We want the Gospel to go out to the world so that men and women can be saved. When we come to that one accord, God will bless us, fill us, and use us. That first Pentecostal outpouring came as an answer to united prayer.
Acts 5:32 tells us that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. The Spirit a man possesses is measured by the kind of man he is. The Holy Spirit isn’t poured out on all kinds of people in all kinds of conditions. God gives the Holy Spirit only to those who obey Him. The measure of the Holy Spirit we have in our life will be governed by how obedient we are to God.