Monday, June 9, 2014

The All-Comprehensive Gift of God's Good Spirit

Chapter 7 of Andrew Murray's spiritual classic With Christ in the School of Prayer is delicious and delightful to the soul that longs for more, more, more of God.  The chapter is titled "The All-Comprehensive Gift" and instructs on God's good gift of the Holy Spirit to those who ask for him (Lk. 11:13).

Murray says this of this inestimable gift held out simply for the asking (and, as an aside, don't miss the implications for eduction of our children):
We can easily understand the unspeakable worth of this gift. Jesus spoke of the Spirit as "the promise of the Father," the one promise in which God's fatherhood revealed itself. The best gift a good and wise earthly father can bestow on a child is his own spirit. This is the great object of a father in education—to reproduce in his child his own disposition and character. If the child is to know and understand his father, if he is to enter into all his will and plans, if he is to have this highest joy in the father and the father in him, he must be of one mind and spirit with him. It is impossible to conceive of God bestowing any higher gift on his child than his own Spirit. God is what he is through his Spirit; the Spirit is the very life of God. Just think what it means for God to give his own Spirit to his child on earth (53–54).
Given the value, then, of the gift, what naturally flows from recognizing this?
This truth naturally suggests that this first and chief gift of God must be the first and chief object of all prayer. The one necessary element in the spiritual life is the Holy Spirit. All the fullness is in Jesus. His is the fullness of grace and truth from which we receive grace for grace. The Holy Spirit is the appointed intermediary whose special work is to convey Jesus and everything there is in him to us. He is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (55).
To entice one still more, and to urge one to ask the Father as directed by the Lord Jesus, Murray tells us who this Spirit is:
He is the Spirit of grace, who reveals and imparts all of the grace there is in Jesus; of faith, who teaches us to begin, go on, and increase in believing; of adoption and assurance, who witnesses that we are God's children, and inspires our confiding in him and our confident, "Abba, Father!"; of truth, who leads us to accept each word of God in truth; of prayer, through whom we speak with the Father so that we may be heard; of judgment, who searches our hearts and convicts us of sin; of holiness, who manifests and communicates the Father's holy presence within us; of power, who makes us testify boldly and work effectively in the Father's service; of glory, who is the pledge of our inheritance and prepares us for the glory to come (56). 
—Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer (Springdale, PA: Whitaker, 1981), 53–59.

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