“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me’ (John 15:26).
“It is not right for us to devote time, brain, bone, and muscle to gathering in the things of earth and drop eternity out of our reckoning, but we should gather sheaves from the Master’s garner. … The Lord wants us to expand, to grow like the seed introduced into the soil—first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. …
“Some have asked, What shall I do to receive the Holy Ghost? Ask God to search your hearts as with a lighted candle. Do nothing for selfish gratification. Suppose that Christ’s professed followers were representatives of Christ in our earth; would not worldlings see this and take knowledge of such that they had learned of Jesus? Will not such be a power? We want the religion of Christ. This will bring forth the fruits of love, joy, and peace. The desire of the Master is not for a scanty supply, but to bear it in abundance.” Christ Triumphant (1999), 300.
We are told: “The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who serve Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children.” The Acts of the Apostles, 50. So why is it that the Spirit appears to be so lacking in the Christian church today?
Here are twelve reasons why we do not have the Holy Spirit that we desire.
- Lack of unity. We are not seeking for unity with our brethren. Before the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, the Bible says, “… they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1.
- Lack of faith. Because we do not see God move in miraculous ways every time we ask, we have trouble believing His promises are real. (See Signs of the Times, September 29, 1898, paragraph 3.)
- Lack of love for one another. We have to love each other as well as love the Lord. “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God Whom he has not seen?” I John 4:20.
- Unbelief. The Bible and Ellen White have much to say on the subject of unbelief. If you have access to a concordance or CD ROM you will find tons of information on that subject. (See The Review and Herald, July 9, 1895, paragraph 6.)
- Lack of confidence in one another. You cannot work together with people in whom you lack confidence. If you have absolutely no confidence in your family, how can you do anything together? Only with confidence and trust can you successfully accomplish something together. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 26.)
- Content with mere theory of the truth. There are many people who know what is right and wrong theologically who do not apply the principles of truth to their life. Many people have listened to television programs or done Bible studies and would tell you that the seventh-day is the Sabbath, and can even prove it from the Bible, but they don’t keep it. They have a theory of the truth, but do not live according to what they know. (See Selected Messages, Book 2, 56.)
- Not following Jesus in self-denial. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24.Self denial, which is a huge subject, is His first requirement. No one will enter the kingdom of heaven that has not learned that lesson.
- Not following Jesus in stability. A synonym for stability is consistency. A Christian sets his goal for eternity and does not waver from that goal. He is consistent in his search for truth not letting go of the gift of salvation. If he stumbles, he immediately gets up and continues his journey holding the hand of One Who never lets go. But how often people let go and become tired of carrying His cross! (See Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 54, 55.)
- Minor matters occupy the attention. One of the devil’s most successful tricks is to get the Christian sidetracked so that they spend much time concentrating on things that are not the most important. They allow minor matters to occupy their attention. (See The Review and Herald, May 19, 1904, paragraph 10.)
- Lack of sympathy and compassionate love. Many people are so busy with their own lives that they do not take the time to be interested in others’ needs. The world today is confused about true love. Most think that love is all about passion. That is only one aspect of love. (See The Review and Herald, December 23, 1890, paragraph 9.)
- Refusing Christ’s messengers. Often the messenger God sends is not recognized as such, maybe because they do not have the same social standing, or as much money as I have. Maybe they don’t have as much education or they are younger and have not had as much experience as I have. We may have many reasons why we think they are not qualified to give us any counsel or advice. That is what happened in 1888 in Minneapolis when A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner delivered a message to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists on righteousness by faith; it was rejected because of the messengers. There are millions of people in the world that if God sent them a message through a woman, they would not accept it. There are many people that refuse to accept the Adventist message because of the messages of Ellen White—a woman. However, God does not ask our advice when He decides to send us a message. He chooses whom He sees the best, even if it is a little child. (See Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 97.)
- Refusing Christ’s message. It is a dangerous thing to refuse the Saviour’s invitation of salvation. There are many who have heard the truth as it is in the life of Jesus who are too busy or too comfortable in this life to take note and follow. All who refuse this last message of mercy will be lost. (See Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 134.)
It is not too late to recognize your true spiritual condition, fall on your knees and ask for help to be delivered from sin. Remember, Jesus is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who love Him than are parents to give good gifts to their children.