4 Principles for Christians to Gain the Work of the Holy Spirit
Brothers and Sisters of Testify God:
I’m a Christian. Since I believed in the Lord, I have been enjoying the Lord’s grace and blessings, but recently I couldn’t feel the Lord’s presence. I didn’t feel enlightened when reading the Bible nor moved through prayer. When encountering things, I couldn’t act according to the Lord’s words. Losing my former faith and love, I felt confused and worried. What should I do to resolve my problem?
Brother Zhao Xun:
I understand how you feel. I had the same problem as you in the past. Later, through reading some spiritual books, I gained some light and enlightenment and understood some things. Your situation is the consequence of your losing the work of the Holy Spirit. If you want to recover the work of the Holy Spirit, you must establish a proper relationship with God. There are four ways for you to achieve that.
First, Practice quieting our heart before God.
The Lord Jesus said: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). From this verse, we know that if we want to establish a normal relationship with God, we should pray to God with a sincere heart, speaking words within the heart. When we honestly tell our actual condition and practical difficulties to God and reflect on ourselves before Him, we could be moved by the Holy Spirit and cause genuine remorse. In this way, we could quiet down before God. For example, you pray, “Oh God! I see many brothers and sisters sincerely expending themselves for You. But my stature is too small. I have so much baggage — my job, family, and future — that I cannot expend myself for You. I don’t know how to let go of my baggage. May You enlighten me and enable me to understand Your will and requirements. May You give me faith and strength so that I can obey Your orchestration and arrangement.” When you pray in this way, you are quiet before God. As God sees you pray honestly, the Holy Spirit would work in you, and then you will establish a normal relationship with God. But if we don’t open our heart to God when kneeling in prayer, but just say a few words carelessly and perfunctorily, even if we seem quite reverent from the outside, this is not being quiet before God and such prayer can’t be accepted by God. Besides, if we bring our demands and desires to make an exchange into prayers, saying unreasonable words, such prayers are not offered with a quiet heart before God and couldn’t be accepted by God.
Apart from quieting the heart before God when praying, we also need to be quiet before God and touch the Spirit of God with our heart when we read the Bible and contemplate God’s words. When we have true communion with God and live before God, we would be touched by the Holy Spirit and gain the work of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of what we are doing, whether we are praying, or working, or taking a walk, we should practice being quiet before God at any moment. As long as we constantly practice in this way, we could keep a normal relationship with God.
Second, recognize our true situation through God’s words, see our deficiencies, know the truth about our corruption, beseech God to save and cleanse us, and have a true burden for our life.
The Lord Jesus said: “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). From the Lord Jesus’ words, we know that the Lord required us to be an honest person who could speak the truth and do practical things instead of cheating and lying. Those who couldn’t conduct themselves according to the Lord’s requirements are evil-doers. In the past, I always told lies to seek fortune and fame. For example: to give pastors and elders a good impression, I always said words contrary to my convictions to flatter and fawn upon them; to make brothers and sisters look up upon me, I often said nice words when praying but didn’t put the truth into practice; once when I was on my way to the games arcade, I met someone and he asked me, “Where are you going?” At that time, I blurted out, “I’m going for a walk.” When I didn’t do my jobs properly or damaged something carelessly, I would use any excuse to avoid taking responsibility for my mistake. Gradually, lying became a constant in my life. Later, from a spiritual book, I knew that God likes honest people and detests deceitful ones; if we want to establish a normal relationship with God, we should abandon lies and practice being an honest person. In prayer, we should consciously practice speaking the truth within heart and truly communing with God; at meetings, we should cite God’s word in laying bare our corruption and accept the supervision of brothers and sisters; when associating with others, we should speak according to the facts; if there emerge incorrect motivations, we should turn ourselves back on them and accept God’s observation. When I acted in these ways, I felt at ease and lived freely and unrestrainedly. So, as long as we actually practice honesty and experience God’s work, our relationship with God would become more and more normal.
Third, give our heart to God and allow God to take over in all things, and obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements.
Giving our heart to God means to entrust our jobs, family, and life to God. No matter what happens to us, we should seek and pray to God, and then act according to His will and requirements. In addition, we should immerse ourselves in God’s work and spend ourselves for Him, acting according to His words in everything and obeying His orchestration and arrangement without our own choices. This is meant by giving the heart to God. Suppose we face the matter of children’s marriage. We pray, “Oh Lord! My child is given by You. Now, he has reached the married age. Rather than rely on myself to make plans for his marriage, I’m willing to entrust this matter to you and obey Your orchestration and arrangement. I believe what You arrange is the best.” After we make such a prayer, we should obey God’s orchestration instead of acting according to our own desire. If we say with mouth that we’re willing to submit to God’s orchestration and arrangement, but are full of complaints and even deny, judge, and blaspheme God when trials befall us, this isn’t giving our heart to God. As the Lord Jesus said: “This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8–9). From the Lord’s words, we can see that God doesn’t like us honors Him with our lips but wants us to give our heart entirely to Him and give Him sovereignty in everything. Just take the three friends of Daniel as an example. When facing the danger of being thrown into a blazing furnace, they would rather die than worship idols (See Daniel 3:17–18). They had no choices of their own but made God their sovereign and satisfied God wholeheartedly; this is truly giving the heart to God.
Fourth, learn to seek and practice the truth in all things.
No matter who has said something, even if the person is someone with low status or we most look down on, as long as what he says accords with the truth, we should submit and accept it. But if what he said doesn’t conform to the truth, we shouldn’t accept it no matter how high his position is or how great his influence is. When we find that the co-workers have jealous disputes with each other, steal offerings, or do something harmful to the profit of the church, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to these things, or act like it has nothing to do with ourselves, nor should we be ruled by status and power. Instead, we should stand resolutely on God’s side and safeguard the interests of the church. Only when we act in these ways, could we become those who are truly obedient to the truth. Now, in the church, there are many people worshiping knowledge and status, blindly listening to and obeying whatever the pastors and elders say. Their such behaviors just reminded me of the Israelites. At that time, the Israelites blindly adored the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees; deceived by them, they followed them in resisting the Lord Jesus, and nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross, suffering God’s punishment and curse. In contrast, people like Peter, John, Matthew and Philip saw the work and word of the Lord Jesus were full of authority and power and came from God, and thus followed Him without being bound by the Pharisees; they were those who truly obeyed God and gained God’s salvation. Just as the Bible says, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
I believe as long as you practice according to these four ways, you could establish a normal relationship with God, recover the work of the Holy Spirit, and receive the enlightenment and guidance of God when reading the Bible and contemplating God’s words.