And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.…
How to realise the immanence, or possess ourselves of the indwelling of this Holy Spirit, is purely a question of conditions. Let me illustrate my meaning. To a man in perfect health an atmosphere impregnated with disease-germs is comparatively harmless; but should he approach a typhus-stricken patient with a body exhausted by exercise, or faint from want of food, the probabilities are that he will fall a prey to the disease. Again, as a man brings himself into harmony with all the laws of his being, life assumes a bright and joyous aspect. Forms, tints, sounds, the shouldering hill, the roseate hues of dawn, the sweet-voiced song of birds, rouse in him the spirit of devotion, and appeal to him as revelations of a hand and mind Divine. But if his eye be jaundiced, his liver torpid, his pulse irregular, his brain congested, then creation becomes a blank, the world a wilderness, and life a weariness and a woe. Or, once more, take mental conditions. Have you never, in reading a book, marked with pencil some passage that suddenly flashed its meaning in upon your mind; and then, some six months later, in re-reading the same passage, wondered how it was you failed to re-experience the inspiration of the former time? There was no change in the book; the change was in your mental condition. Have you never, in hearing some strain of music, felt that it led you into a world of fancy, a realm of strange unutterable delight, and yet, forsooth, when on a later day the same chords have been touched by the same hands, to your astonishment they languidly and meaninglessly floated past your ear without rousing the imagery of your soul? There was no change in the music, the change was in the mental conditions of your life; at one time you were responsive; at the other, dull and inert. In all spheres of our existence, joy, truth, love, are proportioned to conditions. And so in the realm of the Spirit. Fulfil the Divine conditions and you are en rapport with the Divine life. Permit those conditions to go unfulfilled, and the Divine life will be to you as though it were not. And oh! how simple these conditions are! They do not consist in lashing yourself into a frenzy, nor in shouting yourself into hoarseness, nor in mutilating yourself. No. The conditions are prayer and supplication from hearts one in accord. It is prayer, and prayer only, that fits us for Divine indwelling; it is prayer, and prayer only, that puts us in touch with God. A prayerless life can no more draw to itself the Holy Spirit than glass can draw the electric fire; nor can a prayerless Church bring forth the fruits of holiness any more than the frigid zone can call forth and perfect a tropical growth. "Ye have not because ye ask not; and ye have not because ye ask amiss." Live in the atmosphere of prayer; for therein, and therein only, will you fit yourself for the Divine indwelling; therein, and therein only, will you be vigorous with the life of God.
(J. Marshall Mather.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.