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The seeker may ask, “By what means is this experience received?” We would answer, “By grace through faith.” Though it is the inheritance for every child of God, we can never earn or merit it. The Holy Spirit is a gift.
He takes up his habitation in the cleansed temple, but Christ’s provisional grace has cleansed us. It is appropriated to us by faith. Peter tells us that the purpose and lasting effect of a personal Pentecost is to “purify the heart by faith even as he did unto us.” Faith is the open door through which the Holy Spirit comes to abide. There is much misunderstanding concerning faith. It involves trust in the grace of Christ’s work, but it surely involves an obedient will. There must be a knowledge we are doing the will of God. Faith is born in the heart when there is a concurrence of the two wills: the human and the Divine. So we see there are some conditions and requirements for our receiving this experience of entire sanctification. We must have a conviction of strong desire for a clean heart and mind. No one receives the Spirit’s baptism and anointing without a fervent desire for his abiding presence. “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 Not only must we have a conviction of want, but a conviction of need. We see our depraved self. We abhor our condition. The soul will nearly despair when the Spirit reveals the wretchedness of carnality. The voice is heard emanating from the soul, “Woe is me, for I am undone.” Or as the Apostle groaned, “oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Oh, what need is ours! The enemy of the soul must be bound and cast out. Unsanctified friend, you dare not take a passive attitude or be overcome with despair. Look to Jesus! the author and finisher of our faith. Do not succumb to despondency. When the question arises, “who shall deliver me from the body of this death,” look up and say, “I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord.” The one that realizes his unholy condition in the light of God’s holiness will either turn back or he will continue to cry out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” You must now face your Gethsemane. Though dark this way, you must follow your Christ. You will be faced with the conditions of taking the narrow way, and the fact that you will be an outcast of the world; you will be mocked, betrayed, falsely accused and despised by some you love most. All must be committed to the Father.
Though persecuted, ill-treated, misunderstood you will gladly suffer that you might do his will. Friends will forsake you. Jesus said we will be hated by the world. With such prospects you whisper, “Jesus, I’ll go through with thee.” The night will grow dark around you but keep seeking for the Spirits help. He who will not go into Gethsemane and to the Cross may not expect a Pentecost. He will never forsake the honest heart. Settle it in your heart to take the narrow way with Jesus. The plans, the dreams, the ambitions of the heart must be abandoned to the will of God.
Everything of life, the past, the present, and the future is lost in his divine purpose. “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Our will is lost forever in the will of God. “Ye are not your own: for ye are bought with a price.” You must willingly give to God the sovereignty of all that you are and all that you shall be. It is then settled in your heart, “Not my will, but thine be done.”