Who is the Holy Spirit to you?

From my uncle Ross Paterson’s book ’The Antioch Factor’, I find this section very challenging:

Walter Lewis Wilson was an American doctor born towards the end of the nineteenth century. He was a faithful Christian who hosted visiting missionaries to his church. One visitor from France didn’t mince words, asking him, “Who is the Holy Spirit to you?” Wilson’s answer was doctrinally correct, “One of the Persons of the Godhead… Teacher, Guide, Third Person of the Trinity.” But it was an empty and rehearsed response. His friend pushed him harder, challenging him, “You haven’t answered my question.” Wilson opened up with real candour, “He’s nothing to me. I have no contact with him and could get along without him.” 

The following year, Wilson listened to a sermon at church from Romans 12 on the call to offer his body as a living sacrifice. The preacher called out from the pulpit, “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us to Whom we should give our bodies? It is not the Lord Jesus. He has his own body. It is not the Father. He remains on his throne. Another has come to earth without a body. God gives you the indescribable honour of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be his dwelling place on earth.”

Wilson was struck to the core and rushed home to seek the Lord. He fell on his face and pleaded with the Lord, “My Lord, I have treated you like a servant. When I wanted you, I called for you. Now I give you this body from my head to my feet. I give you my hands, my limbs, my eyes and lips, my brain. You may send this body to Africa, or lay it on a bed with cancer. It is your body from this moment on.”

The next morning, Wilson was working in his office when two ladies arrived, trying to sell him advertising. He immediately led them to Christ. The previous night’s surrender had enabled him to access new power from on high. From that day onwards, his life entered a new dimension of evangelistic fruitfulness. He went on to pioneer a church plant, a mission organisation, and a Bible College, as well as becoming a best-selling author.

Do you want to be entrusted with that same power from the Holy Spirit? Well, who is the Holy Spirit to you? Like the early Wilson, can you get along perfectly well without him? Or are you truly willing to offer him your body as a living sacrifice, without conditions or caveats? There’s so much more power that I want to plug into for God’s glory. But will I trust him for every aspect of my life? Will I “consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3v8)? These are big, big questions.

“With regard to my own experience with the Holy Spirit, the transformation in my life on January 14th 1914 was much greater than the change that took place when I was saved December 21st 1896.”

We might question those last words, but can’t deny the reality. As a surrendered vessel, Wilson had entered a new realm of effectiveness. Our relationship with God is a two-way thing. We give Him our bodies as a living sacrifice, and in return He releases a power and anointing and gifting.

How much do you want of God?
Nobody has less of God than they want.

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