“Come ,Holy Spirit!”
What does this mean?
When I pray, “Come, Holy Spirit” I offer no erroneous assertion. I recognize He is already present – I could never go somewhere where He isn’t. Nor am I capable of summoning the Sovereign of the Cosmos.
For me to pray, “Come, Holy Spirit” is to ask that He manifest His presence and influence in my life – in my person and circumstances. There is little question that there is a difference between the acquiescent (omnipresent) presence of the Spirit and the dynamic, manifest presence. Even if that difference is often (or mostly) only realized by faith (and not necessarily the senses), it is in fact faith that I exercise with the words, “come, Holy Spirit.” By faith I embrace and make myself aware of His presence. Often this results in some form of sensory awareness, ranging from a mild, personal, subjective sensation to a shared, powerful experience with others.
For me to say, “Come, Holy Spirit” is an expression of my own submission to Him. I consciously yield my cognitions, my affections and my actions to His immediate influence and infilling. With gratitude I patiently reflect on my circumstances, surroundings, and concerns and visualize all things surrendered to Him.
For me to say, “Come, Holy Spirit” is to honor Him, to reverence Him, and to welcome Him. I am expressing a sacred awareness of the Presence of the Holy One in my heart and life. I am deeply humbled and pristinely happy to host His Presence.
For me to say, “Come, Holy Spirit” is to value Him above the pressing matters and urgent concerns of the moment. It is to give my attention to Him first and most. It is to magnify Him in my perspective so that He eclipses all other things. Only in this light do I see clearly.
So I quite often, throughout the day, quiet myself and focus with joy uttering the phrase, “Come, Holy Spirit.” And to my immense awe and wonder, He always does; He always “is.”
Blessed Holy Spirit, Come!
*Come, O Creator Spirit, blest, and in our souls take up Thy rest;
Come, with Thy grace and heavenly aid, to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Great Paraclete, to Thee we cry: O highest gift of God Most High; O Fount of life! O Fire of love!
The sweet Anointing from above!
The sacred sevenfold grace is Thine, Dread Finger of the hand Divine: The promise of the Father Thou, Who dost the tongue with power endow.
Our senses touch with light and fire; our hearts with charity inspire; And with endurance from on high the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far back our enemy repel, and let Thy peace within us dwell; so may we, having Thee for Guide, Turn from each hurtful thing aside.
O may Thy grace on us bestow The Father and the Son to know, and ever more to hold confessed Thyself of each the Spirit blest.
*The Hymnal: Published by the authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear thought earth gives way, through the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling (Psalm 46:1-3).
A sturdy truth: God is present, very present.
Response: Therefore we will not fear. Never.
Even if: the earth gives way, the mountains crumble into the sea, the sea itself roars and foams and cause the earth to shake. Still, we will not fear. We will not fear.
Trouble can, does and will happen. It can go from bad to worse. But because God is a very present help, the singular resolve of my heart is this: I will not fear. Not even if cataclysmic events cascade around me (or even if a bunch of little things pile up and cast a shadow of threat).
I will not fear. I may lose everything, but I cannot lose if I will not fear.
The Lord is transcendent, greater than and existing over every and all temporal concern.
There is nothing to fear – but Him – and He’s here to help.
The human heart is quick to fear, a result (I suppose) of the fall.
Fear is the condition of the heart when it has lost consciousness of God.
It is why Jesus never was afraid. Except perhaps for that one instant, “Eloi, eloi lama sabachthani” – when for a moment of eternity He took upon Himself the abandoned, fearful heart of an orphaned people. Jesus bore our fear.
It is why “fear not” or its likeness is one of the most often repeated imperatives in scripture.
The prescription for fear is a deep awareness of God, that He is a very present Help.
The nearness of God, the conscious awareness that He is very, fully present leads my heart to this resolve: I will not fear.
Fear not, and thanks for reading,
The next few weeks (from now until we observe Pentecost) invite a fresh focus upon the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps I could better phrase this as a season of strengthening or deepening what should be a consistent focus.
My goal is more. I know that doctrinally we do not necessarily receive more or less of the Holy Spirit – the only measure scripture uses with regard to the Spirit is “poured out” and “full of.” But I can grow in my experience, awareness, and expression of the Spirit. I can grow more yielded, more sensitive, more quickly obedient, more consistently and more deeply loving, joyful, and peaceful. I can be more moved with compassion, more quickened with boldness, and more thankful. “More” is more about how I change. More is more about how much more intensely and sweetly and easily His presence and power fills me and flows through my words and actions. I can be full, and yet be-being filled. My goal is more.
My goal is change. Change in me. I want to be different than I am now. I know that faith is the catalyst for real change, meaning that I change when (arguably – only when) how I believe changes. Not necessarily what I believe, but how. As in: how deeply I believe, or how I express and practice what I believe. It is not enough to enjoy an encounter or feel a sensation or appreciate a revelation. Those things must affect how I believe in order for real change to happen.
Revelation and experience must transfer to believing differently. If I have a revelation (or illumination, if that sits better with you, as I don’t mean brand-new information from heaven; I mean fresh color, light, and brilliance on timeless truth, or even perceiving truth formerly obfuscated by my own ignorance) or experience to which I yield not and therefore preclude from becoming a change in my believing, I change not. Instead, I will seek only to return to sentiment. Sentiment will not change me. Faith will. However, faith is very much informed and affected by fresh revelation and enlarged experience.
And so, with a fresh commitment to focus on the Holy Spirit, I also commit to meditation (for revelation), to submission (for experience), to exercise (for expression), and to overflowing gratitude for “more.”
Thanks for reading; I hope to reflect often in writing during these days of focus.
Please let me say “thank you” to those who have taken time to read any posts on this blog. I genuinely hope that you’ve found encouragement here. It is my deepest hope to stir and encourage readers, and I would thoroughly enjoy connecting with new ones.
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Grace to you,