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The concluding thought in connection with the secret of power is, we must constantly recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit. There is a marvelous secret of strength in recollecting the divine presence in us and in the work God calls us to. "Moses endured as seeing Him who was invisible." "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." The saints in the middle ages looked upon holiness as " the practice of the divine presence." Every time we go into a meeting or speak to a soul or pray or sing or work for God, if then and there we recognize the Holy Spirit as in us and with us, it will not only be the source of our inspiration, but it will be the act of faith which God honors with success. I do not say we are not to pray for the presence of the Holy Ghost, or for Him to fall upon us and the Word, but that, having prayed in the name of Jesus, we are to recognize the prayer as answered. The Holy Ghost always accompanies His own Word. In every meeting for the purpose of salvation or spiritual edification, the Holy Spirit is invariably on hand. David said the Lord prevented him with His goodness. The word "prevent" originally meant to run before, just as Elijah ran before Ahab when there was going to be a plentiful rain, so the Holy Spirit runs before us preceding every copious work of grace. Jesus says, "Where two or three are met together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Not, He will be there, but He is there, waiting to meet them. The Holy Spirit is in the church before we get there, in the pulpit waiting for us, in every human soul before we speak to it, and the secret of power is, to thoughtfully, trustfully, unwaveringly recognize Him there. When Jacob was converted at Bethel he said, "God is in this place and I knew it not." Twenty years after, when he had power to prevail with God, he recognized the Almighty in the form of a man, and went forth with an enduement which melted his hardened brother into tears. The Holy Ghost always moves through appropriate conductors, of which there are only two; namely, a truth or a personality. He never works except through some truth or some person. If we use the truth according to His will, and fully yield our person to Him we are then to recognize Him in the use of these two agencies.
"The Spirit and the bride say come." The bride is God's spiritual church. The Holy Ghost says "Come," and the Pentecostal church says "Come," but you notice the Holy Spirit gets His invitation in ahead of the church. And when you go to a sinner and say "Come to God," the Spirit has been there ahead of you, and is there to sanction your invitation.
The Spirit has gone to every child of humanity. I do not know just what the Spirit is doing, but it is my place to recognize His presence. In every assembly where the pure gospel is preached, there is some susceptible case. Some sinner susceptible to conviction, some believer that is a candidate for a deeper experience. We never know who the cases are. It is frequently the very persons we least expect, but the Spirit knows, and I am to recognize Him as working on the people. This very recognition of His presence will inspire us with energy and definiteness.
Did you ever see a blind person in a room with nobody there and he felt himself alone? Did you ever notice the countenance of such a one when he supposed himself alone, and then note the instant and wondrous change when he recognized your presence? The very recognition of another presence transfigured his features. I knew an old blind lady, who, when sitting alone, wore a very sad expression, but at the sound of your footstep, or a spoken word, the change in her expression was marvelous. The same thing is true in the spiritual realm. To forget the presence of God, to regard Him as at a distance, is to detach ourselves from the source of power, and our souls droop. But the moment we intelligently and clearly apprehend, God is here, the Spirit, the Comforter is in this place, He is ready and willing to work through me to the pulling down of strongholds, what a difference it will make in our words, prayers and songs.
There will be a freedom, an unction, a gladness, which nothing else can inspire. "Lo, I am with you always." I do not care how poor or infirm or weak you are, the moment your soul clearly apprehends the eternal verity of that fact, "I am with you always," there will be kept open in your soul the secret spring of a power that is above all eloquence, for it makes eloquence; magnetism, for it creates magnetism; the power which alone is sufficient for gospel purposes.
These are some of the items which have come to me in connection with this subject. It is passing wonderful what utterly frail and weak things God can use for His glory, especially when we work, not for our emolument or fame, but for the glory of the name of Jesus, perfectly willing to be loved and prized by God alone. When the Lord has been pleased to use us in any work, the best thing we can do is to give the work up to God the moment we are done with it, and drop back into our native littleness and nothingness, and rest in God.