The Power of the Spirit
by John G. Lake
The life of a Christian without the indwelling power of the Spirit in the heart is weariness to the flesh. It is an obedience to commandments and an endeavor to walk according to a pattern that you have no power [of your own] to follow. But bless God, the Christian life that is lived by the impulse of the Spirit of Christ within your soul becomes a joy and a power and a glory. Blessed be God.
The power in the Spirit of Christ only becomes applicable in our life according to the vision and the application of our thought to our own need. The air is filled with electricity. It is in the skies; it is under the water. There is nowhere you can go to escape from it. Consequently, it is usable everywhere, if you take possession of it. So it is with the Spirit of Christ. The mode or means or manner by which the soul of man takes possession of the power of God is through the attitude of the soul and mind of man toward it.
I may live all the days of my life in a quiescent, dreamy state, never becoming conscious of the power of God in my life. On the other hand, I can lend my soul and mind to God in active force until the Spirit of the living God so impregnates my life and flashes from my being that, like the Lord Jesus, the evidences and manifestations of that divine life is given to other men.
One evening in my own tabernacle, a young girl by the name of Hilda Daniels, about sixteen or eighteen, suddenly became overpowered by the Spirit of God. She arose and stood on the platform beside me. I recognized at once that the Lord had given her the message. So I simply stopped preaching and waited while the Spirit of God came upon her. She began to chant in some language I did not know and make gestures like a Mohammedan priest would make when chanting prayers.
Away down in the back of the house, I observed a young East Indian, whom I knew. He became enraptured and commenced to walk gradually up the aisle. No one disturbed him, and he proceeded up the aisle until he got to the front and stood looking into the girl’s face with intense amazement.
When her message had ceased, I said to him, “What is it?”
He said, “Oh, she speaks my language.”
I said, “What does she say?” And he came up on the platform and stood beside me and gave a gist of her message.
“She tells me that salvation comes from God; that in order to save men, Jesus Christ, who was God, became man; that one man cannot save another; that Mohammed was a man like other men and had no power to save a man from his sins. But Jesus was God, and He had power to impart His Spirit to me and make me like God.”
One day, I stood at the railway station in Logansport, Indiana, waiting for my train. I observed a group of Italian men, apparently laborers, sitting on a bench. They were going out somewhere to work. As I walked up and down the platform, I said, “Oh God, how much I would like to be able to talk to these men about the living Christ and His power to save.”
The Spirit said, “You can.”
I stepped over to them, and as I approached them, I observed myself commencing to speak in some foreign language. I addressed one of the group, and he instantly answered me in Italian. I asked where he was from, and he replied, “Naples.” For fifteen minutes, God let me tell of the truth of Christ and the power of God to that group of Italian laborers, in Italian, a language I had no knowledge of.
Again and again at intervals, God has permitted such things to occur in my life. But, beloved, that is not the real “gift of tongues” yet. It is a little flash, a gleam, but one day there will come from heaven God’s blessed shower that will so anoint the souls of men that they will speak in every language man speaks in, by the power of God. The message of the Christ will be given through these anointed hearts to the nations of the world. Said Jesus, “This gospel of the kingdom must first be preached to all nations,” etc. (See Matthew 24:14.)
May I refer you once more to history? The Moravian missionaries went to Japan about a hundred years ago. Other missionaries spend long periods trying to acquire the language, but these missionaries, history records, went into a prayer meeting for six weeks, night and day, and came out of that meeting speaking the Japanese languages fluently.
These things only demonstrate to you and me the necessity of keeping the soul open to the ever-growing consciousness of God. Is healing a wonder? No, the marvel is that men have remained blind to the power of God for so long. How is it that you and I, raised in Christian homes, reading the Word of God, praying to our Father God, failed to comprehend that the power of God through Christ is able to save a man from all his sins and all his sicknesses?
Our souls have caught just a little flash, a little larger revelation of the living God through the blessed Word and through the Holy Spirit, the divine power to make it real. But, my brother, beyond the soul is the great ocean of God. We are just paddling around the edge yet.
When I was ready to leave Pullman last week, my friends gathered around. Many of them said, “Brother, we never heard anything like it. What a marvelous meeting. What numbers of wonderful healings!” But when I got on the train, I sat down and wept. Why? I could remember that back in that town, a dozen people had been prayed for who were not healed at all. They were just as worthy perhaps as the ones who were healed. And, beloved, if Jesus had been down to Pullman instead of Brother Lake, they would all have been healed.
There is a place for you and me, way down at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, in humility so deep and true that God can put upon us the real power of God in that holy, heavenly measure that is necessary for the blessing and healing of all men.
Take your umbrellas down. The Spirit is falling. The cry is going up from the souls of men for a new revelation of the power of God through Christ. Bless His name.
Savior? Yes, bless God, Savior from every sin. Do not try to jellyfish your conscience and make yourself believe that you are not sinning, or that there is no sin. No, bless God. There is a power of God so real and true that it will take from your heart every desire for sin and make it so offensive to your soul that your spirit will turn from it. Yes, it will fill you with the Holy Ghost until you rise up a prince and king. Sin gone, sickness gone, the power of God reigning in your life, giving you the glory that was in the face of Jesus, blessed be His name, and putting a song of joy in your heart and the radiant glory of heaven in your life.
Yes, bless God, for this salvation my soul prays, and I pray today that upon this audience the power of God will descend, which will open our consciousness to God and take us into the Holy Ghost and reveal the Christ in us, transforming our nature and making us like Him. Not a little like Him, but in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (See Ephesians 4:13.) Like Him, like God, like Christ in deed and in truth. God bless you. Amen.