Expect To Receive The Holy Spirit


Catherine Booth

"I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope"
(Psalm 130:5).

Faith is inseparable from expectation. Where there is real faith there is always expectation. I often hear people pray for the Holy Spirit from their throats instead of their hearts. When I see how they talk the minute they get off their knees, how they live, and with whom they associate, I say, "You may pray till your dying day, and if you do not change, you will never be filled with the Holy Spirit." If they expected anything, they would wait for it. Common sense tells us that.

In the upper room, the disciples waited. For how long? The Bible says they waited ten days, until the Day of Pentecost had fully come. I have no doubt they prayed far into the night, so far as they could keep their natural powers awake. They waited. They did not set the Lord a time limit. They were wiser than that. They did not say, "Now we will go and have a couple of days praying. That will be a long time. We will just shut out all else and wait on the Lord for a couple of days. If He does not come by that time, it will be outrageous to wait beyond that. Whoever heard of a prayer-meeting two days and two nights long?" They did not set they Lord a time limit! They obeyed. The disciples went and waited until the Holy Spirit came.

You may say, "I have not been filled with the Spirit." No. Because you did not wait until He came. You got hungry, or fell asleep, or hugged your idol. You did not wait until HE CAME!

Suppose the disciples had given up on the fifth day and said, "There must be some mistake. He knows we are here, all ready, and the world is perishing for our message. There must be some mistake. We should begin without Him." But no, they waited on and on and on, until He came.

Can you imagine what sort of prayer went up from the upper room? Do you think they were the lazy, lackadaisical, prayers that we hear now and then for the Holy Spirit?

Oh! Think how Peter agonized and wrestled. Think how Thomas pled. Imagine how Mary would have wept, beseeched, and entreated. Consider how they were all of one heart and one accord. They wanted one thing. They were there to receive the Holy Spirit. The disciples cared for nothing else but Him. They cried for Him as hungry children cry for milk. They wanted Him and His indwelling. Did the Lord ever disappoint anyone who waited like that? Can anyone say so? Did you ever hear of such a case? Never. HE CAME!

Nowadays, some people set God time limits in everything. They think a good deal more about their dinners than about Him. People think a great deal more about conversations with their friends and doing the polite thing with them, than they do about the precious waiting Holy Spirit of God. They think a great deal more about their businesses than the business of God. "Oh!" they say, "It is business, and business must be attended to." But what about the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God? Must not your soul be saved? Must you not become a temple of the indwelling Spirit of God? Put a MUST in there! Your soul is much more important than your body. I have given you the most common-sense, simple, exhibits and illustrations of these truths that I possibly can. Was it not so? Did they not wait for Him as I have described, and did not the Holy Spirit come?

On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled both the men and the women. They began to speak as the Holy Spirit gave them words. The Holy Spirit still comes. Sometimes, my bodily senses are aware of His coming. When He comes, we only know that something so influences our bodies that we cannot describe it. When the Holy Spirit comes into a human soul, He opens his eyes, quickens his perceptions, enlarges his capacity and swells him with glory. His body will feel His power and sometimes be prostrated. What did the Apostle Paul say? "I have been into the third heaven and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful to utter." Do you think God intended such experiences and visions only for Paul and the Apostles?

Since Paul's day, many people have had such experiences. And many more might have them if they are willing to be wrapped in His arms and pressed to His bosom to know Him in the Scriptural sense. You must be willing to be given up and consumed by the Holy Spirit. Your heart and flesh must cry out after the living God, as David's did. You must pant after Him as the deer after the water-brooks. If you seek the Spirit's filling, long to come and appear before God. If you will so long for God that you cannot live without Him, God will come and reveal himself to you. Will you thus wait in obedient faith?

I want you to come up higher and not slide back and become cold and indifferent to these things. Here is the hope of the world, if there is any hope for it--people getting filled with the Holy Spirit. People must wake up to God and His glory and the interests of His Kingdom.

The world needs people filled with the Spirit. People with eyes to see spiritual sights others do not see, with ears to hear the crying of multitudes dying for lack of knowledge, with hearts to feel so they could go and weep over them, with hands to break the bread of life, with zeal to die for them if need be.