Today's Foundations Devotional: From above and from within

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Memory verse:

I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

(Mark 1:8)

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No human language can fully describe a mighty, supernatural experience such as this, but it may perhaps be illuminating to borrow a picture from the Old Testament.

In the days of Noah the whole world was submerged beneath the flood. In bringing about this flood, God used two distinct but complementary processes.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened (Gen. 7:11).

This account reveals that the waters of the flood came from two sources: from within (“the fountains of the great deep were broken up”) and from above (“the windows of heaven were opened”), and the rain was poured down.

We must, of course, observe that the flood of Noah’s day was a flood of divine wrath and judgement; the flood which immerses the New Testament believer is one of divine mercy and glory and blessing. However, with this qualification, the New Testament believer who receives the fullness of the Holy Spirit exhibits the same two aspects as in the account of Noah’s flood: From within, the fountains of the great deep within the believer’s own personality are broken up, and there gushes out a mighty flood of blessing and power from his inmost being; from above, the windows of God’s mercy are opened upon the believer, and there is poured upon him such a deluge of glory and blessing that his whole personality is immersed in its outpourings.

It must be emphasised that we are not speaking of two separate experiences, but rather of two distinct yet complementary aspects which together make up the fullness of one single experience.

Someone may object that it is difficult to understand how the believer can at one and the same time be filled with the Holy Spirit from within and immersed in the Holy Spirit from without. However, such an objection in reality serves only to illustrate the limitations of human speech and understanding. A similar type of objection might be brought against such statements as those made by Christ Himself, that He is in the Father, and the Father in Him; or again, that Christ is in the believer, and the believer in Christ.

In the last resort, if men persist in cavilling at a supernatural experience of this kind on the basis of human limitations of expression or understanding, the best and shortest answer is found in the words of the Scottish preacher who said, “It’s better felt than telt!”

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Prayer:

Thank You Lord that You also want to give me that personal, special

experience of the windows of heaven that open because your Holy Spirit

floods me and gives me Your strength. I surrender completely to You, to be

a witness for You through the change in my life! Amen.

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