No Need to Pray the Spirit Down
In Him , you also, after listening to
the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation –
having also believed,
you were sealed
with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance
with a view to the redemption
of God’s own possession,
to the praise of His glory.
-Ephesians 1:13, 14 (NASB)
There is no spiritual blessing in heaven that we have not already been given in Christ. In Christ, there is simply nothing else to be had (Ephes. 1:3).
At the very moment of regeneration, we were sealed, in Christ, with the Holy Spirit, marked and eternally documented, as it were, as owned by God as His heritage and possession. Sealed (First aorist passive indicative of sphragizō, to set a seal on one as a mark or stamp).
Confirmed as God’s own children, His love for us (not your love for Him!) is freely, lavishly, abundantly poured out towards us, within our hearts, beginning at the moment of regeneration (Rom. 5:5).
At regeneration, when we are justified by faith, God, with all power and authority, plants His Spirit within the heart of the believer (Rom. 8:15) and begins to transform us by the renewing of our minds through His written Word (Rom. 12:2).
To pray that the Spirit of God be ‘poured out’ among His people or for the Spirit of God to ‘please come down!’ as it often is prayed with great fervor, is to ignore the fact that He lives within us (I Cor. 6:19; 2 Tim. 1:14), and is an indication of sinful ingratitude for His presence within our hearts. Perhaps that is not always the case, but I fear lack of knowledge of God’s Word and belief in it, combined with a foolish attempt to manufacture another Pentecost, is often the reason for it.
The outpouring of the Spirit of the living God, His seal, His presence is the result of regeneration, of a living faith. All this we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Brethren, instead of asking for what we’ve already been given, let us give thanks for His outpouring of the Holy Spirit within our hearts, His seal of the Holy Spirit, and the working of the Holy Spirit in us by transforming us by the renewing of our minds, and His presence and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, by faith, setting our hope upon the veracity of His Word.
Lord, help our unbelief!
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Amen Joel. After of, oh, about close to 40 years of swaying, jumping, whirling around, etc. of calling down this spirit, I was standing in church one day with my eyes closed, arms raise…waiting…I started peeking around, eyebrows raising, (because it just dawned on me ;)…observing the scene, and this is the exact thing that popped into my head, “Why am I trying to call down something I already have?” Boom. That and, “I’m being manipulated.” (but that’s another story) Walked out and never went back. If one is calling down the spirit and it does come (which it will because ‘it’ will always oblige) it’s a counterfeit, so my recommendation is don’t ask. Go home, repent and re-read what’s being said here in Joel’s post. “In Christ, there is simply nothing else to be had (Ephes. 1:3). Glorious.
The “praying the Holy Spirit down” is usually done by those asking for God to produce evangelistic revivals. How different is it from praying for God to send more laborers into the harvest (more evangelists) as Jesus Christ commanded us to?
Excellent post, this is a fundamental issue that just seems to get blurred by emotion . I think RT summed it up well , if you ask and do receive something, its highly unlikely to be the Holy Spirit.