Andrew Murray on ‘The Spirit of Power’ #2.6
In chapters fourteen and fifteen of The Indwelling Spirit, Andrew Murray focuses on the Spirit who comes in the power of the glorified Jesus. He introduces this concept by quoting the following verses from Scripture:
Luke 24: 49
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.
Acts 1: 5
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost, the greatest of Christian feasts
At Pentecost, says Murray, the Holy Spirit was sent forth as a new power. In Israel, He appeared as a Spirit equipping certain men for their work. In the New Testament, the glorified Jesus received from the Father the right to send the Holy Spirit into His disciples so that their whole nature was filled to overflowing with the joy and power of heaven.
Murray goes on to say the Peter’s preaching was a most remarkable example of what all Holy Spirit preaching should be. Unfortunately, says Murray, the church has not risen to the height of her glorious privileges. Her witness is not in the faith of the Spirit of Pentecost and the possession of its mighty power.
The problem is that the Spirit of God cannot take possession of believers beyond their capacity to receive Him.
The promise is waiting; the Spirit is available in all His fullness. Our capacity needs to be enlarged.
Praying for the Spirit of Power
Murray says that the induement of power is sometimes spoken of as a special gift. Paul, for example, asked the Father that the Ephesians, who had been sealed with the Holy Spirit, should be given the ‘spirit of wisdom’ (Ephesians 1: 17), and be ‘strengthened with might through His (the Father’s) Spirit in the inner man’ (Ephesians 3:16).
Murray therefore argues that it cannot be wrong to pray for ‘the spirit of power, or the power of the Spirit.’
The mistake we must watch out for
Murray reminds us that God searches the heart and knows what the mind of the Spirit is and will give according to the Spirit-breathed desire of our hearts. Nevertheless, he warns that there is one mistake we must watch out for, namely, to want to feel the power when it works.
He goes on to say that Scripture links power with weakness. They therefore always exist together. For example, Paul said, ‘I came to you in weakness and fear. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power’ (1 Corinthians 2:3a, 4).
The above verses of Scripture demonstrate that the Holy Spirit hides himself in the weak things that God has chosen so that flesh may not glory in His presence. Our one need is faith that the Lord will work in our weakness. To be clothed with power is to know that we have our mighty Lord himself.
The mode in which the power of the Spirit comes
For the Spirit of Power to come:
• Christ must be preached from the Scriptures for the Spirit has come to continue the work of Christ on earth. He therefore always witnesses to Christ.
• We do well to remember that the power of the church is dependent upon the spiritual state of its individuals. As I submit and obey, His power will work through me.
Murray reminds us that God gives the Spirit to the obedient.
In Acts 5:32 it says:
We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.
Murray ends with this advice:
Let us be clear as to the object of this power. He (God) gives it for one purpose: to glorify His Son. Those who in their weakness are faithful to this one object, who in obedience and by their testimony prove to God that they are ready at any cost to glorify Him, they will receive power from on high.
Murray, Andrew, The Indwelling Spirit. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2006, chapters 14 & 15.
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