But How? (Part 2)

…This brings us to the second great truth of God’s Word which you must lay hold of and act upon, and a glorious truth it is–truly “good news” to a troubled Christian such as you.


If it is true that in yourself you have no power to produce any one thing that God requires of you, it is equally true that in the Holy Spirit you have power to produce all that God requires of you. And the Holy Spirit dwells within you. He is there for the purpose of “working in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). But, though He is there for that purpose, He cannot do His work while you are trying to do it for Him. He has entered (so to speak) the door of your life, but up to now you have kept Him on the threshold, looking on while you try to straighten up the house yourself. Your very efforts to please God and do His work are hindering His working. He cannot do His work while you are in the way. But when you “cease from form your works,” [Heb. 4:10] when you recognize at last that all you best efforts must end in failure, that in you dwells “no good thing”; when you “let go,” then the way is prepared for Him to come and do His work in you.

Lay hold of these great facts:

Just as God gave the Lord Jesus Christ to die for you that there might be pardon enough for all your sins; so He gave the Holy Spirit to dwell in you that there might be power enough to meet all your needs [Phil. 4:19].

Just as the blood of Christ covers all your sins, and you do not go looking anywhere else to get rid of any one of them, so the power of the Holy Spirit covers all your needs, and you must not look anywhere else in order that any one of them may be met [Gal. 5:16].

Just as, in your salvation, God did all–and you took no part in it, but to accept what He had done–so in your sanctification and service God must do all, and you will take no part in it but to accept what He will do for you [Rom. 1:17].

When God gave you the Holy Spirit at your conversion, He gave you all you need for your Christian life and service. God requires nothing of you which the Holy Spirit cannot work in younothing which He will not work in you, if you will let Him. Not one good thing can you produce yourself. It is useless for you to try. The attempt will drive you more and more to despair. When He gets to work He will produce all good things [Gal. 5:22,23].

What is your need?

Is it holiness? You will not find even the beginnings of it in yourself. He is the Holy Spirit. Where He is allowed to work, increasing holiness must be the result.

Is it love to God and to others? You can never work it up. He is the Spirit of love, and where He is allowed to work in a human heart (however cold before) He sheds abroad the live of God in that heart (Rom. 5:5).

Is it assurance? It will never come by reasoning or argument. He is the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:15), and His work is to witness with your spirit that you are indeed a child of God, enabling you to call God “Father” with full assurance.

Is it power over sin and for service? He is the spirit of power (2 Tim.1:7). He is “the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead” (Rom. 8:11). If He is allowed to work in you, all the power of His resurrection will be put forth in you to conquer sin and to perform God’s will though you.

Is it an understanding of God’s Word? Alone you cannot understand it. You may fill your head with its teachings, but a heart knowledge of its truths, and the assimilation of them into your life, are beyond your reach. He is the Spirit of truth; His work is to lead you into all truth (John 16:13). If He is allowed to do His work, God’s Word will begin to live to you as never before, and to exercise a power in your life which you had not thought possible, till you say with one of old, “O how love I Thy law!” [Psalm 119:97].

Is it that you want Christ to become real to you? It is the Holy Spirit’s work to make Him real. He alone can take of the things of Christ and reveal them to you (John 16:14), until the Savior becomes to you not One far off whom you know by the hearing of the ear alone, but “a living bright reality, more dear, more intimately nigh, than even the sweetest earthly tie.”

So we could go on. But there is no need. The great and glorious fact is this: in giving the Holy Spirit, God gave you all you need for all your Christian life and service. It matters not what you are, or what you are not; it matters not what you can do or what you cannot do–you have all in having Him. He has not been given to help you when you do your best; He has been given to do all, because over the very best that you can produce God has written “no good thing” [in your independent self-Rom. 7:18].

The one condition that must be fulfilled on your part, before He will do the work which He has come to do, is FAITH. You receive His power and working, and continue to receive them every day, in exactly the same way that you received God’s pardon for your sins–through faith (Gal. 3:14).

Just as there was always pardon for your sins because Christ died, but it did not become yours in experience until your faith made it yours; so there is power for you in experience until your faith makes it yours.

Faith is getting out of the way and letting Him work. Faith is “letting go and letting God.” Faith does not persuade Him to do anything; it makes way for Him to do what He longs to do. He longs to get to work in your life, doing for you, in His own wonderful way, what you have so sadly failed to do for yourself. Faith says, “Lord I am not going to try any more. Come, and do Your work.” He does not ask you for any gift before He will come and bring you blessing. You have “no good thing” to offer Him if He did. The only “surrender” that He asks of you is the surrender that consents to stop working and lets Him do all. Do not try to find any reason in yourself why He should work His blessings in you. The only reason is in His great heart of love, which found its full expression on Calvary, when every barrier that could keep your soul from blessing was broken down. That is why He is going to bless you. Not because of anything in you.

And the turning point in your life of failure will come when, refusing to listen to any reasons that Satan or your own heart can give why He should not bless you, you ask the Holy Spirit to fill you, and to do in and though you from henceforth what you have been vainly struggling to do up till now. And having asked Him to fill you, believe that He has done it, and reckon on His Power, expecting evidence of His working. If you do not get the evidences at once, if you do not get them for some considerable time, do not let that trouble you. Hold on to your attitude of faith toward God; tell Him that, as He has promised the Holy Spirit to them that ask (Luke 11:13), and as He has commanded you to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), you believe that He has filled you in response to your request and, whether He pleases to show you the evidences of that filling sooner or later, that you are counting on it even now as a fact, and expecting His working in and through you. Remember that once you have asked for and claimed the filling of the Holy Spirit, taking Him at His word concerning His willingness to give you this blessing; once you have done that (let me say it reverently) the responsibility is on Him, and “He abideth faithful” [2 Tim. 2:13]. “I take–He undertakes.”

I take the promised Holy Spirit,
I take the power Pentecost
To fill me to the uttermost,
I take–He undertakes.

And in His own time and way He will make it abundantly clear to you that He has indeed granted your request.

When the result of His working begins to become apparent to you, it is likely that the first thing to become very clear to you will be what is spoken of by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 2:12. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” You will begin to see, as you have never seen before, that God’s way is always to give freely, and that our part is–not to try to win His blessings by our feeble, futile efforts–but only to receive His gifts. It will become clear to you, in a way that that only the Holy Spirit can make it clear, what it means to be “under grace” –that all God’s dealings with you, at the beginning of your Christian life, and all the way along, are on the principle of free and utterly unmerited grace. And when you look for the ground of this free giving of God, you will find it always and only in the fact that Jesus has died, that He has “offered one sacrifice for sins forever” [Heb. 10:12]. On the ground of that perfect work upon the Cross, God can give freely and forever every blessing that you need.

Part 2 of 3. bracketed content added by JBW. This booklet was first published through South Africa General Mission, Brooklyn, N.Y.; later by Moody Press, Chicago.

Jesus Film app is a great tool to share the Jesus film as an outreach tool. From any device just go to app.jesusfilmmedia.org or www.jesusfilmmedia.org

Posted in