Today we are going to talk about Spirit, or the Holy Spirit. There are six things I would like you to know about Spirit.
First, the Spirit of God will come to you in unexpected moments and unexpected ways.
Second, you must be willing to serve as an instrument for Spirit to play through in whatever manner it desires.
Third, the harder you try to capture the experience of Spirit, the more elusive Spirit becomes.
Fourth, a desire and a willingness is the only way to open yourself to receiving the Holy Spirit.
Fifth, the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is something so personal and so mystical that it cannot be described in words.
And sixth, you are not a failure if you have not yet experienced the presence of the Spirit of God in your life. It will come.
In The Quest book they talk about how, in medieval times, people would hang wind harps in the open windows of their huts. The wind, moving through these wind harps, would be transformed into music.a
The little instruments would never know, or even care, from what direction the wind blew or how gentle or gusty it might be. They were simply open to the flow of the currents of air, allowing the currents to play whatever music they desired at the moment. It was as if the wind harps sensed that their purpose was to serve as instruments for the wind, for without the wind there could be no music.
Neither would there be music if the instruments resisted the wind. By their complete cooperation, the wind harps were capable of an infinite variety of music as the wind was free to be the wind through them.
There is a marvelous and mystical passage in The Gospel According to John, in which Jesus compares Spirit, the Spirit of God, to the wind. (John 3:8) "The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."b
Like those medieval wind harps open to the moving currents of air, we must be open to the movement of the Spirit of God as It comes to us in unexpected moments and in unexpected ways. We must be willing to serve as instruments for Spirit to play through us in whatever manner It desires, because we sense in our hearts that this is the only way for us to make music and that without the music we are hollow and dull.
So the first thing you should know about Spirit is that It will come to you in unexpected moments and unexpected ways.
And the second thing is that you must be willing to serve as an instrument for Spirit to play through in whatever manner it desires..
THE ELUSIVE MYSTERY
The Spirit of God, like the wind, moves where it wills, not seen by the human eye or heard by the human ear but only sensed by the human heart. The actual experiencing of the Spirit of God, what some call the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is an utterly private, personal, and individual experience which no one can know for you or explain to you. God is Spirit, and the only way to know this Spirit is not through the intellect but through our own inner spirit.
To try to experience the presence of Spirit is to move yourself farther from it. You cannot capture Spirit by trying, any more than you can capture the wind by pursuing it with grabbing hands. There is only one way to know Spirit, and that begins with a desire in your heart and then a willingness to allow Spirit to reveal Itself to you.
In the Mysteries of John, Charles Fillmore writes, "When a soul makes complete union with God-Mind there is always an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon it."c This is true glorification, the acknowledgment by the Father that the Son is indeed lifted up (glorified).
So, the next three things you should know about Spirit are:
The harder you try to capture the experience of Spirit, the more elusive Spirit becomes.
A desire and a willingness is the only way to open yourself to receiving the Holy Spirit.
And, the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is something so personal and so mystical that it cannot be described in words.
IN THE MISTS
So on your journey as truth students, this is the stage where you will temporarily have to lay aside your maps and your walking stick and step out in absolute trust. When it comes to the personal experience of Spirit in your life, there are no directions or landmarks to guide you. It is too deep, too involved with levels beyond your human modes of communication. Yet it's there all the same.
Spirit is longing to make that contact with you. To allow yourself to be willing to receive the experience, to be touched however briefly or lightly, is never to be the same again.
In Keep A True Lent, Charles Fillmore writes, "In the silence go before the altar and lay your problems before the Lord."d The altar is that place in consciousness where you are willing to let go of the lesser for the greater, to let go of personality and enter into individuality of the Christ.
While in this closet of prayer, fix your mind powerfully on the consummation of a certain idea until the idea nucleates a certain amount of thought substance. This is followed by a spiritual quickening, or the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, third in the Trinity.
The function of the Holy Spirit implies distinct personal subsistence: He speaks, searches, selects, reveals, reproves, testifies, leads, comforts, and distributes to every man.
In concentration the Holy Spirit works through the divine substance to bring forth the fruits of Divine Mind. The Holy Spirit is the teacher. The teacher and the student use the same principles; but the teacher arouses and inspires the student to greater achievement. The Holy Spirit today is urging us to greater spiritual effort.
When you ask in the silence of Spirit to be shown why you do not demonstrate the powers that Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated, the Holy Spirit will in some way reveal to you your lack. How that revealment will come about, no one can tell you. But if you are patient and trustful, you will be guided and directed so that all the links in the chain of your being will be brought together and harmoniously joined, and the Son of God will be revealed in you.
THE DAY WILL COME
There are people who have not yet experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This does not mean that they cannot be God-guided, able to transform their lives and continue on their spiritual journey.
If you feel you are one of these people, that you have not had the experience of Spirit, you are in no way a failure. Do remember, however, that if you maintain a simple willingness, the experience one day will come.
At the right hour and in the right way, probably when you least expect it, the Spirit of God will make Itself known to you. Having had the experience, you will then understand why things of the Spirit can only be known spiritually.
Meanwhile, keep in your mind the image of the little wind harps. Beautifully nonresistant to the ways of the wind, they are ever ready to be played through, to serve as instruments of music for the wind.
COME AND SEE
(John 1:38-39)"When Jesus turned and saw the two disciples following, he said to them, 'What are you looking for?' They said to him, 'Rabbi' (which translated means Teacher), 'where are you staying?' He said to them, 'Come and see.'e"
In Your Hope of Glory, Elizabeth Sand Turner writes, "When the illumined intellect (John the Baptist) reveals the presence of spiritual man (Jesus), we are greatly interested and ask, "Where are you staying?"f" Where is the habitat of the Christ? No one can tell us, not even Jesus as a man. He does, however, issue an invitation, "Come and see." We come by turning in mind and heart to the things of Spirit. We want the things of Spirit, yet we are often reluctant to release worldly interests.
Our desires are for both spiritual and material blessings, but the latter can be secured permanently only if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Ours must be a willingness to leave the outer and turn to the inner. How else can we know where He lives? To follow Him is an inward, spiritual journey. If we take it, we shall discover the abiding place of the Christ.
Our innate desire is to progress spiritually; we want to see the kingdom of God. But this is not possible until we are "born anew." We are born of the flesh, that is, we are living in a world where the sense or mortal consciousness governs, and in the main, our desires and interests have to do with the satisfaction of the sense nature or with the seemingly required routines of life. When we wish to be born of Spirit, we must be willing and eager to come into a higher state of consciousness.
Jesus defined the new birth as being "born of water and the Spirit." Water cleanses and purifies. Water baptism signifies repentance or a turning from the sense nature, a denial of destructive thoughts and emotions. "To be 'born of the Spirit' is to come into the consciousness of divine law and to lift the whole man into a new life of harmony and order by affirmative prayer."
Spirit is not a force that we have anything to do with in the sense of creating it. Like the wind, it "blows where it will," and we are aware of it. He that is born of Spirit does not fully comprehend how the change came about or when, but he knows full well that he is a different person. "The new birth is simply the realization by man of his spiritual identity, with the fullness of power and glory that follows."
"Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks,"g wrote Paul to the Thessalonians. In Jesus Christ Heals, Charles Fillmore writes, "The idea is that we should be persistent in prayer.h" We know it is always the will of the air to give us all that we can breathe into our lungs. Jesus compared the Spirit to the air in describing the new birth to Nicodemus. It requires lung capacity to breathe deeply of the oceans of air; so, it requires spiritual capacity to realize how accessible and ready omnipresent Spirit is to fill us full of itself. The lack is in us. God is more willing to give than we are to receive
Jesus said, "The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life."i Spirit is that indescribable invisible cause that produces all reality. He who lives in the consciousness of effects alone can know nothing about Spirit, because he has not made himself acquainted with the realm in which it operates. But no one is barred from becoming acquainted with Spirit and residing in its domain. It is just as accessible as the material and far more attractive.
If you want to know about Spirit, you will have to take up spiritual ways. You cannot go to the realm of Spirit by traveling the lower road. The road to the realm of Spirit does not lie on the map of the earth, and no man has found it in his physical geography. That spiritual things "are spiritually discerned" was the discovery of someone long ago, but he had no copyright on it. To him it was a revelation, just as it will be to you and to everyone when it dawns on the consciousness. It is a great advantage to the spiritual seeker to make this discovery.
Millions of persons in every age have tried to find Spirit through matter and material ways, but they have returned unsuccessful to the dust. "For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see and saw them not; and to hear the things which you hear and heard them not."j They did not fulfill the promise of Jesus, because they saw death and succumbed to its dissolving hand. They missed the goal because they did not keep the words of Jesus. They kept the letter instead of the spirit. They applied in an abstract way what was intended for everyday practical use.
You all are instruments for Spirit to play through as It wishes. Be willing... for the music will come.
Sweet and holy Spirit of God, I invite You into my life. Play through me as Your instrument for peace and healing and joy and love in this world. Create the music in me that I was born to sing. Touch me with Your grace and goodness that I may serve and glorify You more.
aThe Quest Richard & Mary-Alice Jafolla
cMysteries of John, Charles Fillmore
dKeep A True Lent, Charles Fillmore
fYour Hope of Glory, Elizabeth Sand Turner
g1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
hJesus Christ Heals, Charles Fillmore