The Call of the Spirit
‘And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come.’—Rev. xxii. 17.
HAVE you thought about ‘the love of the Spirit’ ?1 Have you realized that God’s ‘loving Spirit ” says to you, ‘Come’? Are you conscious that if you refuse to listen to this gentlest call, you are ‘grieving ‘3 the Holy Spirit of God, —’ vexing ‘* Him by the rebellion to which this refusal really amounts,—’ resisting ‘5 the Holy Ghost, whose power alone can work6 in you the holiness without which you can never see the Lord?7
Every ‘ Come !’ in the Bible is the call of the Spirit. For ‘all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,’8 and the ‘ holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. ‘* And every time that a still small voice in your heart says * Come,’ it is the call of the Spirit.
1 Rom. XV. 30. 2 Ps. cxliii. lo, p. v. B. 3 Eph. iv. 30.
4 Isa. Ixiii. 10. 5 Acts vii. 51. 6 2 Thess. ii. 13.
1 Heb. xii. 14. * 2 Tim. iii. 16. 8 2 Pet. i. 21.
Every time the remembrance of the Saviour’s sweetest spoken word floats across your mind, it is the Holy Spirit’s fulfilment of our Lord’s promise that ‘He shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’1 Last time those words, * Come unto Me,’ came into your mind, whether in some wakeful night hour, or suddenly and unaccountably amid the stir of the day, did you think that it was the very voice of the Holy Spirit speaking in your heart? Or did you let other voices drown it, not knowing that the goodness of God was leading you by it?2
Every time an ambassador of Christ* bids you come, and every time that any one who loves Him tries to speak a word for Jesus to you, it is the call of the Spirit and the Bride; for the Bride is the Church of Christ,4 and she is the privileged instrument through which the clear music of the call is oftenest heard.
What makes you take the trouble to read this book? Why is there any attraction at all for you in the subject? Is it not that the Holy Spirit is causing your heart to vibrate, it may be but very feebly as yet, at the thrill of His secret call? Your awakening wish to come is the echo of that call. If you stop and listen, it will be heard more distinctly and winningly. The call will grow fuller and stronger as you turn and yield, and follow it. And the same blessed Spirit will give you power to do this.5
1 John xiv. 26. 2 Rom. ii. 4. ^2 Cor. v. bo.
* Eph. V. 25-32 ;2Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16. ^ i Thcss. v. 24.
He will show you your need of Jesus, and He will testify of Jesus to you, so that you shall be willing to come.1 Do you feel very helpless about it?’ Do you wish you had the mighty aid of the Almighty Spirit, so that you might rise and come while Jesus of Nazareth passeth by ?* Then why do you not ask for it? Who is to blame if you do not have what is to be had for the asking ?* Christ Himself has put the promise in the very plainest words: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you,’ and ‘Every one that asketh receiveth.’6 What could you wish Him to say more? What could He possibly say more? Clearly, if you have not, it is because you ask not.6 But if you are asking for the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, you have already the earnest of the Spirit,7 and you shall have more and more.8 So take courage!
But it is no light thing to put away a holy desire, however feeble; because it sprang not from your own heart, but is the voice of the Spirit saying, Come! It will not always speak, if not obeyed. Turn back from Revelation to Genesis, and you find the shadow of the bright light of the winning call in the unchanged warning note: ‘My Spirit shall not always strive with man.’9 Not always, dear, unknown friend, whom I would fain win for my Lord,—not always / But He is striving now, He is calling now, ‘To-day, if ye will hear His voice.’10 Listen, yield, come!
1 John XV. 26. 2 John v. 7. 3 Mark x 47-49.
4 Luke xi. 13. 5 Matt. vii. 7, 8. 6 Jas. iv. 2.
7 2 Cor, i, 22. 8 Matt. xiii. 12. 9 Gen. vi. 3; Prov. xxix, z. 10 Heb. iv. 7.