Unlikely Leaders


God Has Not Restricted His Gift

The passing of time has made no change in Christ’s promise to send the Holy Spirit. If we do not see the fulfillment, it is because we do not appreciate the promise as we should. Wherever Christians think little of the Holy Spirit, there we will find spiritual drought, spiritual darkness, and spiritual death. When minor matters occupy the attention, the divine power necessary for the church’s growth and prosperity is missing. ULe 20.1

Why don’t we hunger and thirst for the Spirit? The Lord is more willing to give the Spirit than parents are to give good gifts to their children. Every worker should be asking God for the daily baptism of the Spirit. The presence of the Spirit with God’s workers will give a power to our sharing of truth that not all the glory of the world could give. ULe 20.2

The words Jesus spoke to the disciples are also spoken to us. The Comforter is ours as well as theirs. The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains struggling Christians in every emergency, amid the hatred of the world and the awareness of their own failures. When the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, the Holy Spirit brings comfort to the heart. ULe 20.3

Holiness is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It is trusting God in darkness as well as in the light, walking by faith and not by sight. ULe 20.4

The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. People may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but accepting fanciful ideas will not strengthen the church. Regarding mysteries that are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden. ULe 20.5

The Holy Spirit convicts of sin (see John 16:8). The sinner who responds will be brought to repentance and awakened to the importance of obeying God’s requirements. To the repentant sinner, the Holy Spirit reveals the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Christ said, “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). ULe 20.6

The Spirit is given as a regenerating agency, to make real in our lives the salvation our Redeemer’s death won for us. The Spirit is constantly working to draw attention to the cross of Calvary, to unfold the love of God, and to open to the convicted heart the precious things of the Scriptures. After He brings conviction of sin, the Holy Spirit withdraws the affections from the things of this earth and fills the soul with a desire for holiness. “He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Spirit will take the things of God and stamp them on the heart. ULe 20.7

From the beginning, God has been working by His Holy Spirit through human beings. In the days of the apostles He worked powerfully for His church through the Holy Spirit. The same power that sustained the patriarchs, that gave Caleb and Joshua faith and courage, and that made the work of the church in the apostles’ time effective has strengthened God’s faithful children in every age since. Through the Holy Spirit during the Dark Ages the Waldensian Christians helped prepare the way for the Reformation. The same power gave success to the efforts of noble men and women who pioneered the way for modern missions and for the translation of the Bible into the languages of all nations. ULe 20.8

And today those who proclaim the cross are going from land to land, preparing the way for the second advent of Christ. They are exalting God’s law. The Spirit is moving on hearts, and those who respond become witnesses for God’s truth. Consecrated men and women communicate the light that clearly shows the way of salvation through Christ. And as they continue to let their light shine, they receive still more of the Spirit’s power. In this way the earth is to be lighted with the glory of God. ULe 21.1

On the other hand, some Christians are idly waiting for some spiritual refreshing to greatly increase their ability to enlighten others. They allow their light to burn dim while they look to a time when they will be transformed and fitted for service without any effort on their part. ULe 21.2