Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March 20

“On the day that the tabernacle was finished the Lord entered in.  This coming of the Lord’s presence, to fill the place prepared for him by his people, is to me a blessed foreshadowing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, promised by the Lord Jesus to every believer, given first on the day of Pentecost to the waiting disciples whose hearts were prepared for his coming.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Daily Secrets, 3/20

When I first became involved with churches more than 20 years ago I discovered there was a dispute between the mainline churches and the Pentecostal churches concerning this baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The Pentecostal churches believed it was something that took place after your initial trusting Christ for your salvation.  I stayed away from the fray because the Pentecostal insisted that the evidence of this baptism was the ability to speak in tongues.  If they had not insisted on this I may have come to agreement with them much sooner than I have.  For now I agree that there is a separate filling of the Holy Spirit that comes only after you’ve been prepared.  Christ’s death on the cross and our identifying with that act is what prepares us, but it may take awhile for it to get from our heads to our hearts where the Holy Spirit will reside.  Once we believe, God sets about preparing our hearts to ask Him to live in us.  For me, this has meant being brought to the end of my self-sufficiency, coming to the understanding that I am a new creature, and gaining understanding of the power of sin. 

“And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.......the  heavenly Father [will] give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Luke 11:9, 13b

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