Obey The Holy Spirit
by Catherine Booth
"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation" Isaiah 25:9
Resolve to obey the call of God and the command of Jesus, and He will fill you with His Spirit. Do it. Never mind thinking He might ask you to do something that chokes you. Declare, "I will die in obedience rather than live in disobedience." Don't say, "I don't think I would like saying or doing that, I don't know the consequences." Resolve to obey Him and never mind the consequences. Do what He tells you. If the disciples had not obeyed and waited and longed to serve their Savior, they would not have been filled with the Spirit.
Never mind the consequences of an obedient faith. God will stand between you and the consequences. If He allows you to suffer, never mind,
suffer, but obey the voice of the Spirit. Thousands of souls would have been saved if all those who had the urging of the Holy Spirit obeyed Him. I ask you, from where do benevolent urgings spring? Do they come from your own evil heart? If so, you are better than the apostles. If you are separated from the Holy Spirit, disunited from Christ, you are selfish, devilish. Do benevolent urgings come from the devil? If so, Satan would be divided against himself.
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the living God, you will be urged to go out and seek to save the lost. Will you obey these urgings? Will you give up your rationalizing? Will you give up your likes and dislikes and obey God? If you will, then He will come to you frequently. He will fill you more and more, till, like David, you will feel the interests of His Kingdom to be more important to you than meat or drink, than silver or gold. You will become like Jesus who said, "The zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up."
We are the only people who can save the unconverted. Jesus Christ has no one else to represent Him here but Christians. No one except His real people will work for Him. Only Christians can show the way of mercy to the poor people of the world, who are lost in darkness and ignorance. If we do not go to them in loving earnestness and determination to rescue them from the grasp of the enemy, if we do not by the power of the Holy Spirit bind the strong man and take his goods, who will do it? God calls on us. This is an alarming and awful consideration.
After the Holy Spirit fills you, you will utter a burst of praise for your deliverance from bondage to sin and death. And then you will pray for some other person still in darkness. This is the legitimate fruit of the Holy Spirit. Is not this what we should expect?
After you are truly saved, your soul will go out after the deliverance of someone else,
father, mother, child, brother, sister, friend. Like some, you may not go to sleep until you have written a distant relative and poured out your soul in anxious longing for their salvation. The Holy Spirit will urge you to seek for souls. Frequently, the last cry of the Spirit, before the believer's soul leaves the body, is a prayer for some prodigal soul outside the Kingdom of God. He has no thought of self, money or circumstances. When the light of eternity comes streaming upon the soul, it neither hears nor sees anything else. It goes out of time into eternity praying as the Redeemer did, for the souls it is leaving behind. This is the first and last utterance of the Spirit in the believer's soul on earth. If Christians were only true to the prompting of the blessed Spirit, it would be the prevailing impulse, the first desire and effort all the way through life. It is not God's fault that it is not so.
Backsliders in heart frequently confess and bemoan their unfaithfulness to the admonitions of the Holy Spirit with respect to souls. In fact, backsliding begins here in thousands of instances. Satan gets people to yield to considerations of ease, propriety, being out of season, being injudicious, and so on. So, they lose opportunities of dealing with souls, and the Spirit is grieved. Oh! What numbers of people have confessed this to me.
An elderly gentleman said, "When I was a young man, and in my first love, the zeal of the Lord's house so consumed me that I used to neglect my daily business, and could scarcely sleep at night. But alas! That was many years ago." I asked, "Was it not better with you then than now?" The tears came welling up into his eyes. "Oh, Yes!" The Lord says of him, "I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals, when you went after me in the wilderness in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the first-fruits of His increase."
There are many such today. They have it all to do over. If they are to go into the Kingdom on high, they must repent, do their first-works and come back to be forgiven, washed, and saved. Because they have lacked systematic and resolute obedience to the urging of the Holy Spirit toward their fellow men, all this must be done again.
If people would only be obedient to the urging of the Spirit, they would never lose these urgings.
Dear Holy Spirit, forgive me for all the times I have refused to obey you, to spend time with you, to get to know you, to be able to distinguish your admonitions and urgings from the evil spirits of this world and my own selfish desires. Help me to open myself up to you for cleansing, filling and empowerment. As I read the Scriptures and prepare to give unbelievers reasons for the hope we have in Jesus Christ, please bring me together with those who need saving faith, and bring the truths I share home to their hearts. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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Expect To Receive The Holy Spirit
by Catherine Booth
"I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope" Psalm 130:5
Faith is inseparable from expectation. Where there is real faith there is always expectation. I often hear people pray for the Holy Spirit from their throats instead of their hearts. When I see how they talk the minute they get off their knees, how they live, and with whom they associate, I say, "You may pray till your dying day, and if you do not change, you will never be filled with the Holy Spirit." If they expected anything, they would wait for it. Common sense tells us that.
In the upper room, the disciples waited. For how long? The Bible says they waited ten days, until the Day of Pentecost had fully come. I have no doubt they prayed far into the night, so far as they could keep their natural powers awake. They waited. They did not set the Lord a time limit. They were wiser than that. They did not say, "Now we will go and have a couple of days praying. That will be a long time. We will just shut out all else and wait on the Lord for a couple of days. If He does not come by that time, it will be outrageous to wait beyond that. Whoever heard of a prayer-meeting two days and two nights long?" They did not set they Lord a time limit! They obeyed. The disciples went and waited until the Holy Spirit came.
You may say, "I have not been filled with the Spirit." No. Because you did not wait until He came. You got hungry, or fell asleep, or hugged your idol. You did not wait until HE CAME!
Suppose the disciples had given up on the fifth day and said, "There must be some mistake. He knows we are here, all ready, and the world is perishing for our message. There must be some mistake. We should begin without Him." But no, they waited on and on and on, until He came.
Can you imagine what sort of prayer went up from the upper room? Do you think they were the lazy, lackadaisical, prayers that we hear now and then for the Holy Spirit?
Oh! Think how Peter agonized and wrestled. Think how Thomas pled. Imagine how Mary would have wept, beseeched, and entreated. Consider how they were all of one heart and one accord. They wanted one thing. They were there to receive the Holy Spirit. The disciples cared for nothing else but Him. They cried for Him as hungry children cry for milk. They wanted Him and His indwelling. Did the Lord ever disappoint anyone who waited like that? Can anyone say so? Did you ever hear of such a case? Never. HE CAME!
Nowadays, some people set God time limits in everything. They think a good deal more about their dinners than about Him. People think a great deal more about conversations with their friends and doing the polite thing with them, than they do about the precious waiting Holy Spirit of God. They think a great deal more about their businesses than the business of God. "Oh!" they say, "It is business, and business must be attended to." But what about the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God? Must not your soul be saved? Must you not become a temple of the indwelling Spirit of God? Put a MUST in there! Your soul is much more important than your body. I have given you the most common-sense, simple, exhibits and illustrations of these truths that I possibly can. Was it not so? Did they not wait for Him as I have described, and did not the Holy Spirit come?
On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled both the men and the women. They began to speak as the Holy Spirit gave them words. The Holy Spirit still comes. Sometimes, my bodily senses are aware of His coming. When He comes, we only know that something so influences our bodies that we cannot describe it. When the Holy Spirit comes into a human soul, He opens his eyes, quickens his perceptions, enlarges his capacity and swells him with glory. His body will feel His power and sometimes be prostrated. What did the Apostle Paul say? "I have been into the third heaven and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful to utter." Do you think God intended such experiences and visions only for Paul and the Apostles?
Since Paul's day, many people have had such experiences. And many more might have them if they are willing to be wrapped in His arms and pressed to His bosom to know Him in the Scriptural sense. You must be willing to be given up and consumed by the Holy Spirit. Your heart and flesh must cry out after the living God, as David's did. You must pant after Him as the deer after the water-brooks. If you seek the Spirit's filling, long to come and appear before God. If you will so long for God that you cannot live without Him, God will come and reveal himself to you. Will you thus wait in obedient faith?
I want you to come up higher and not slide back and become cold and indifferent to these things. Here is the hope of the world, if there is any hope for it,
people getting filled with the Holy Spirit. People must wake up to God and His glory and the interests of His Kingdom.
The world needs people filled with the Spirit. People with eyes to see spiritual sights others do not see, with ears to hear the crying of multitudes dying for lack of knowledge, with hearts to feel so they could go and weep over them, with hands to break the bread of life, with zeal to die for them if need be.
Dear Father, for too long I have set limits on what I wanted you to do for me and on what I would do for you. I have not waited where and when I should have, and I have missed the blessings you have offered and promised me in your word. Forgive me for telling you how I wanted to be filled and for setting limits on my obedience. Help me repent of every sin and resolve to obey you in every matter. Fill me with your Spirit and holy power so I can be a faithful, effective witness for you in Jesus' name. Amen.