At Times Square Church, we sing a hand-clapping song that goes this way:
Send him on down, Lord, send him on down.
Lord, Let the Holy Ghost come on down.
We need him, Lord, send him on down.
The truth is, the Holy Spirit is already here. He came down from heaven at Pentecost and he never left!
Jesus promised, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he many abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).
Consider a phrase Jesus uses here: “But you know him.” Recently, as I read those words, I could not shake them off. I realized I really don’t know much about the Holy Spirit.
The church talks a lot about the Holy Spirit. We talk about being filled with the Spirit, living and walking in the Spirit, having the gifts of the Spirit, receiving the comfort of the Spirit.
Yet it is possible to know all the doctrines of the Holy Spirit and still not know him. If I were to ask you, “Have you received the Holy Spirit?” how would you answer?
Some might say, “I received the Spirit when Jesus saved me. It was the Holy Spirit that brought me into Christ’s kingdom.” Others would answer, “Yes, I have received the Spirit, because I spoke with tongues when he came into my life. I pray in the Spirit, and tongues are an evidence that I have received him.”
However, to receive the Spirit is more than a one-time experience. The word “receive” means “lay hold of that which is given.” In short, receiving is to desire an expanding capacity for greater knowledge of who the Spirit is and what his ministry is about. In fact, the Holy Spirit is not received by someone until he is allowed to take full control of that person’s temple.
Paul asked the Galatians, “How did you receive the Spirit? Did you not receive him by faith?” He then declares, “You stated by faith that what you know of the Spirit you received by faith. So, has there been a continued ‘ministry of the Spirit’ to you by faith? Are you exercising faith to go deeper in the Spirit?”