Derek Prince adds the final layer to this enlightening and empowering series—it’s the icing on the cake. Listen and discover how to receive the Holy Spirit in fullness and walk in the all the blessings we’ve discussed over the last two weeks.
It’s good to be with you again as we draw near to the close of another week. Today I’m going to continue and complete my series on “The Holy Spirit in You.”
We’ve been studying together various ways in which the Holy Spirit gives us supernatural help to lead the Christian life. Yesterday I spoke about the greatest and most wonderful of all blessings the Holy Spirit offers us: the outpouring of God’s divine love in our hearts.
Today I’m going to explain just how we can open up to the Holy Spirit and receive Him in His fullness and, through Him, all the blessings I’ve been speaking about.
We’ll look, in quick succession, at a number of Scriptures which state the conditions we need to fulfill in order to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. There are a number of specific conditions which God requires us to fulfill. We’ll look, first of all, in Acts 2:37-38. This is the end of Peter’s talk on the day of Pentecost and it gives the response of the people.
“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ [That was a specific question and God’s Word gives a specific answer. What shall we do?] Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
There we have the promise “you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” We also have two conditions clearly stated: repent and be baptized. To repent means to turn sincerely from all sinfulness and rebellion and submit ourselves without reservation to God and to His requirements; and to be baptized is to go through an ordinance or a sacrament by which each of us is personally and visibly identified with Jesus Christ to the world in His death, burial and resurrection. So there are two basic primary requirements for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit: we have to repent; we have to be baptized.
Then I’ll turn to Luke 11:9-13, where Jesus is speaking and He says:
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
There’s a very simple condition but a very important one. Jesus says the Father will give the Holy Spirit to His children if we ask Him for the Holy Spirit. I’ve heard Christians say, “I don’t need to ask for the Holy Spirit.” I have to tell you that’s not Scriptural. Because, Jesus was speaking to His disciples and He said, “Your Father will give you the Holy Spirit if you ask for it.” Elsewhere it records that Jesus said He would go to the Father and ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples. My feeling is that if Jesus had to ask the Father, it doesn’t do us any harm to ask as well. So, that’s the third condition: to ask.
Then in John 7:37-39, we have three more simple conditions stated:
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit [capital ‘s,’ the Holy Spirit], whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
The author of the gospel makes it very clear that in that passage Jesus was talking about believers receiving the Holy Spirit. So, with that in mind, let us look at what Jesus said. “If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” So there are three simple but very practical requirements.
The first is we have to be thirsty—God does not force His blessings on people who feel they don’t need them. A lot of people never receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit because they’re not really thirsty. If you think you have all you need already, why should God bother you with more? It’s very probable you’re not making the best use of what you already have. So you’d be under greater condemnation if God gave you more.
You see, that’s a very simple but very essential condition—to be thirsty. To be thirsty means you’ve recognized you need more than you already have. As a matter of fact, thirst is one of the strongest desires in the human body. When a person is really thirsty they don’t care about eating or anything else. All they want is a drink. I spent three years in deserts in North Africa; I have a pretty good picture of what it is to be thirsty. And when a man is thirsty, he doesn’t bargain, he doesn’t talk, he doesn’t discuss, he just goes where the water is and that’s what Jesus said, you have to be thirsty.
Then, if you’re thirsty, he said, “Come to me.” So the next condition is come to Jesus. Jesus is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. If you want the baptism, you have to come to the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. There’s no human being who baptizes in the Holy Spirit, only Jesus.
And then he said you have to drink. Now that’s so simple some people leave it out. But drinking is receiving something within you by a decision of your will and a physical response. And that is also part of receiving the Holy Spirit. Thirsting, coming to Jesus, and drinking. Just being totally passive and saying, “Well, if God wants to do it, let Him do it” is not drinking. Drinking is actively receiving within you.
Now I want to point out two more relevant facts concerning our physical bodies which I’ve touched on in earlier talks. First of all, our bodies are destined by God to be the temples of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
Secondly, we are required to offer or to yield to God the parts of our body as instruments for His service. This is our responsibility. Romans 6:13:
“Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him [that’s God] as instruments of righteousness.”
So, we have a responsibility straight from the Scripture to offer, to yield, to dedicate the various members of our physical body to God for His service.
Now, there’s one member that particularly needs God’s control and I’m sure you can guess the one I have in mind—it’s the tongue. James says, very simply in his epistle, chapter 3, verse 8:
“But no man can tame [or control] the tongue.”
We need help from God to control all the members of our body but there’s one member we need special help with and that’s the tongue. And so, when the Holy Spirit comes in in His fullness, the first member that He affects, that He takes control of, that He utilizes for God’s glory is the tongue. You will find, if you care to check, that every time the New Testament speaks of people being filled with the Holy Spirit or full of the Holy Spirit, the first immediate result is some utterance that comes out of their mouths. They speak, they prophesy, they praise, they sing, they speak in tongues. But always it’s out of the mouth. So you see, when you come to Jesus and drink, the final result will be an overflow and it will be out of your mouth.
This principle is stated by Jesus very clearly in Matthew 12:34:
“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
When your heart is filled to overflowing, the overflow will take place through your mouth in speech and God wants you not just to have enough, He wants you to have an overflow. Remember, He said out of his inner being will flow rivers of living water. That’s the ultimate purpose of God.
In closing this talk I’m going to sum up briefly the conditions for receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit that I’ve outlined already. There are seven. I’ll just list them.
2. Be baptized.
3. Ask God.
4. Be thirsty.
5. Come to Jesus, He’s the baptizer.
6. Drink, receive within yourself.
7. Present your body as a temple for the Holy Spirit and your members as instruments of righteousness.
Perhaps you’re left wondering, “Well, how can I do what he’s talking about?” So just at the close of my message I want to help you. I want to pray out for you a pattern prayer that includes the things that I’ve been explaining to you—very short, very simple. I want you to listen and then, if it’s your prayer, say “Amen.” This is the prayer that I’d like you to listen to:
“Lord Jesus, I’m thirsty for the fullness of your Holy Spirit. I present my body to you as a temple and my members as instruments of righteousness, especially my tongue, the member I cannot tame. Fill me, I pray, and let your Holy Spirit flow through my lips in rivers of praise and worship. Amen.”
Could you say “Amen” to that? I trust you could and if you said “Amen,” sincerely believe me, that’s been heard—the results are on the way. You may be quite surprised at the fullness of what you’ll receive.
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again next week at this same time, Monday through Friday. Next week I’ll be sharing with you on another helpful theme from God’s Word.
My special offer this week is my book the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It’s particularly suited to our theme this week, “The Holy Spirit in You.” It shows you in a simple, practical way how to open yourself up more fully to the Holy Spirit and so enter into the exciting kind of life on the supernatural plane that I’ve been talking about. So stay tuned for details.