Today's Foundations Devotionals: Co-operating with the Holy Spirit

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Memory verse:

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

(1 Corinthians 14:1)

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Yesterday we’ve seen that the Holy Spirit is not a dictator and He will not force us to do things against our own will.

Some believers make just this mistake when seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

They imagine that the Holy Spirit will move them so forcefully that they will be literally compelled to speak with other tongues,

without any act of their own will. However, this will never happen.

Consider the experience of the first disciples on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2:4.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and [they] began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The disciples first began to speak themselves, and then the Holy Spirit gave them utterance.

If the disciples had never voluntarily begun to speak, the Holy Spirit would never have given them utterance.

He would never have forced utterance upon them without their own voluntary co-operation. In this matter of speaking

with other tongues, there must be co-operation on the part of the believer with the Holy Spirit.

Someone has summed up this two-way relationship between the Holy Spirit and the believer as follows:

The believer cannot do it without the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit will not do it without the believer.

This co-operation with the Holy Spirit continues to be just as necessary even after receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Here again some believers make a great mistake in supposing that, after they have received the initial infilling of the Holy Spirit,

with the evidence of speaking with tongues, thereafter the Holy Spirit will automatically exercise full control of their whole being

without any further response or co-operation on their part. But this is far from being true.

We have already quoted Paul as saying, “The Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17).

The Holy Spirit is indeed Lord – just as fully as God the Father and God the Son. But He, like the Father and the Son, waits for the believer to acknowledge His lordship.

In order to make the lordship of the Spirit an effective reality in his daily life, the believer must continually yield to the Spirit’s

control every area of his personality and every department of his life. Someone has very truly said that it requires at least as much faith,

consecration and prayer to keep filled with the Spirit as it required to receive the initial infilling.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not the final goal of the Christian experience; it is an initial gateway leading into a new realm of Christian

living. After entering in through this gateway, each believer has a personal responsibility to press on with faith and determination and to

explore for himself all the wonderful potentialities of this new realm into which he has entered.

The believer who fails to realise and apply this truth will experience few, if any, of the benefits or blessings which God intended for him

through the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In all probability, such a believer will become a disappointment and a stumbling block, both to

himself and to other Christians.

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Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for allowing me to reach out to You every day to be

full of Your Holy Spirit, so that I can use all the wonderful gifts and

possibilities that You have for me and bless others with them. Amen.

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