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A Prayer for God’s Spirit

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A Prayer for God’s Spirit

8 minuten leestijd

“And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11b).

David was a man after God’s own heart. Not that he had anything of himself, but the Lord had sought him and found him. The Lord had crowned him with rich blessings, and the Spirit of God was poured out in his heart. The Spirit of God had taught and instructed him.

Oh, it is a blessed people indeed who by God’s free and sovereign grace may be savingly wrought upon by the Holy Spirit! We may receive much of the common work of the Spirit and may be possessors of that in many ways, but yet miss the saving work of the Spirit. This was not so with David. The Spirit of God had opened his eyes, and then he saw a deep abyss between God and his soul. There he learned what it is to be without a God for his soul and without a surety for his debt.

However, that same Spirit, who wrought a deep and sincere sorrowing after God in his heart, also opened his eyes for a new and living way. This way lies outside of man and is opened in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. David knew of a time when God in Christ brought him upon this way. He knew of a time when he was given to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ upon this way.

He also knew of a time when he thought he had lost the way. But through all the strife, the Lord strengthened him. When he was despondent, the Spirit of the Lord encouraged him. When he was in sorrow, there was a Comforter to comfort him. David might learn how necessary the Spirit of God was in his life. He knew that without the Spirit of God we are nothing and can do nothing. As the body cannot live without the soul, so God’s children cannot live without the Spirit of the Lord.

Is it not true that in every spiritual exercise the Spirit must always be first? He is first in coming to the sinner who lies dead in sins and trespasses. There He comes to one who has no need for God, one whose entire heart is inclined to the world. There He opens the eyes to see the breach between God and the soul. There He lays in the heart the first sorrows which may climb up to heaven. He directs those supplications towards heaven.

This dear Spirit always works through Christ. Outside of Christ the Spirit has nothing to give. All that was obtained by Jesus Christ is for God’s chosen people. But without the Spirit, they can never be made recipients of that precious salvation which flows from the cross of Christ.

What a wonder this becomes for those lost sinners when their eyes are opened and they may see a way opened outside of man. When faith may see and know that way as my way, then, with each step upon that most wonderful way, it is the Spirit who makes place for this in the heart of the sinner. It is always the Spirit who again must give the next spiritual exercise in the heart.

David knew this in his life. That is why he prayed, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.” That was David’s prayer. It is a prayer which came out of a troubled heart. When he bowed his knees, then before his eyes he saw his sin. This prayer then became a confession of guilt. He confessed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah the Hittite. In this psalm he confessed what he was before God, saying, “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.”

Then this prayer for the Spirit, the Spirit of Pentecost, is similar to a confession of guilt. David confessed that it would be righteous should the Lord cast him away and never have anything to do with him again. He was saying, “Lord, it would be righteous if Thou would take away Thy Spirit from me.” Thus here is heard the prayer of a man who, by the light of the Spirit, may have seen how deeply he has fallen and how great his sins are. Here we hear the prayer of a man who, by the operation of the Spirit, may bow in the dust and may confess his sins. Here is seen a man who, by the light of the Spirit, may say that the Lord would not be unjust if He would cast him away and would remove His Spirit from him, which meant life to him. My dear reader, this prayer is by an uncovered sinner upon his knees in the dust before God. It is a supplication for God’s mercy.

Pentecost is a remembrance day for the church of God. On that day the church remembers how it was almost twenty centuries before, when in Jerusalem there came a sound of a mighty, rushing wind. In that wind the Person of the Holy Spirit came upon this earth from heaven. That Spirit was obtained by Christ upon the cross, and He came to live with the church of God. Since that time He, the Holy Spirit, has never left her.

As we once again commemorate His coming, then the prayer of David, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from us,” also needs to live in our hearts. As a denomination may we be given to know something of this coming upon our knees, confessing that we have so many times compromised with the world. Our prayer must be that the Lord bring us back to our former values, when it was a better time than now. May we pray, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from us,” that the Spirit may continue to teach us the doctrines of truth and to work among us, calling forth those lying in darkness and bringing them to His light.

In commemorating Pentecost, we do this as a backsliding people. May the Lord give us to truly supplicate, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from us.” This needs to be the constant prayer of God’s church here below. If God would take His dear Spirit from His church here upon the earth, His church would fall prey to the devil and the world. Then God’s children would be scattered, and His work would come to nought.

Does God’s church know this prayer, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from us”? They do so only when they may know the same bowing and confessing of David in Psalm 51. For as it was with David, so it is with the church. We have committed adultery with the world, and God’s Zion has made herself worthy that the Lord would depart and never again return. This is not only for God’s church in general, but also for each of God’s people individually. When “thou art the man” may come with power, then each individual child of God lies under God’s righteous complaint.

How much world conformity there is in the life of God’s children! How much forsaking of the Lord there is, how much maintaining of self, how much being self-satisfied and missing so much a growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ! Then we can cover ourselves with so many garments of self, and we miss the need and desire for that only garment woven by Christ upon the cross. Seeing all this, must we not say, “Lord, why holdest Thou Thy hand so still in the life of Thy people? Oh, take not Thy Holy Spirit from us.”

Possibly you may ask, “Did David have the freedom to ask this?” On the one hand, he had to acknowledge that it would be right if God would turn away from him; on the other hand, he prayed that the Lord would not take His Spirit away. This was because it was a prayer of faith. He knew that God in His free and sovereign grace had looked upon him, not because he was worthy, but because of the eternal covenant of grace. Therefore he could continue to pray for the Spirit of God in his heart.

Also the church of God needs that eye of faith to see and to believe that it was God’s beginning. It is always true that we ruin everything, but He will never forsake that which is His work in our spiritual life. May it then be our prayer, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me, but give that the Spirit of God may lead us in all the ways of salvation, where He, the eternal God, may receive all the honor and His people may learn that they are saved by grace.”

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van woensdag 1 mei 1996

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

A Prayer for God’s Spirit

Bekijk de hele uitgave van woensdag 1 mei 1996

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken