God’s Word points to certain conditions needed for the Spirit to abide in us. We will look at some important ones during the next two days.
Read Acts 2:37-38. What is the first condition for receiving the Holy Spirit?
One condition for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is repentance. Hearing the Word of God arouses our conscience and can lead us to an awareness of our true sinfulness and lost condition. True repentance is more than just feeling sorry for the dire consequences of our sin. It is a thorough change of heart and mind so that we see sin for what it really is: an ugly evil and rebellion against God. The only way that we can experience true repentance is to be touched by the love of God: “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4, NASB).
Jesus has promised to send the Spirit as His representative. In faith we receive the promised gift. But if we doubt God’s promise and do not trust His Word, we are like a double-minded person and cannot expect to receive anything from God. Faith is more than intellectual assent. It is putting our lives on the line, trusting that God will keep His Word and not let us down, regardless of what happens.
God is not reluctant to give us the Spirit. God is good and benevolent, more than we can be even to our own children. Our persistent intercession does not change His mind. Our prayer changes us and brings us into God’s presence. Prayer doesn’t bring God down to us but brings us up to Him. Our prayers simply reveal our determination and they prepare us for the gift.
|How can we learn to be more fervent, diligent, and self-surrendering in our own prayer life? Why is it important that we do learn these things?|