Posts Tagged ‘Acts 2:17-18’

“A fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit” is what we need

July 25, 2022
My thinking is that we need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit as promised by God, our Father, in Acts 2:17-17

This morning as I began my daily devotional, this thought came to mind: “What we need as 21st Century believers is a “fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” I also recalled lyrics from my formative years passionately expressed in the traditional hymn: “Spirit of the Living God” :

Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me,
Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.
Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me.

Lucy Adams in  “Song Stories: Celebrate Pentecost with ‘Spirit of the Living God’” offers background information on this popular 20th Century hymn:

Born in 1890, the composer, Daniel Iverson, a Presbyterian minister, composed the hymn while attending an evangelistic crusade in 1926 in Orlando, Florida. The text from Acts 11:15, “The Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning” inspired Iverson to seek his own Holy Spirit renewal.

After the morning service, he went alone to the nearby First Presbyterian Church. With the great teaching still fresh in his ears and heart, he sat at the piano and prayed. He wanted to express in music his desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. The words and music came quickly. Iverson introduced the song to the campaign and subsequently distributed it for others to sing.

Francis Dixon, in discussing the infilling of the Holy Spirit, refers to some of the lyrics and comments, “We should experience fresh fillings of the Spirit all the way through our Christian experience, for only then can we live joyfully, serve powerfully, and glorify God in all that we think, do, and say.”

George O. Wood explains “Why You Need a Fresh Touch of the Holy Spirit Daily”:

“…The Spirit, in our present challenges, is filling us to every level of capacity. May we be filled at this moment in life with all of God that we can take. May we experience to the deepest level and core of our being the fullness of God that the Spirit makes present!”

The lyrics from that hymn flooded my soul with warm memories of my desire to experience more of the presence of God through the Holy Spirit, and it inspired this original psalm, an expression of my prayer for the world at this time:

“. . . And The Spirit of God Moved. . . .”

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

George Iverson

Traditional Hymn

As the Spirit of God moved upon the water,

As an eagle ascends on high and stirs her nest,

Attentive to the cries of her starving young ones;

As she satisfies her young and then spreads her wings,

So Holy Spirit with a gentle wavering,

Flutter over, move upon us in a new way.

As a gentle dove would hover over her brood,

Cover our souls and saturate our whole being.

As we wait upon you, spread your wings, bear us up

That we might soar to heights above the fowler’s snare.

Renew our strength and refresh our desire to serve.

As you feed us and sustain us, we shall mount up

On eagle’s wings. We shall run and not be weary.

As we look to you, we shall walk and not faint.

We close with the contemporary worship song “Rest on Us” by Maverick City Music with lyrics by Brandon Lake:

 

Walking in the Spirit

September 28, 2018

The Verse of the Day for September 28, 2018 comes from 1 Corinthians 2:14 in the Revised Standard Version:

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Here is the rendering from the New Living Translation:

But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

Revised and re-posted, today’s Verse of the Day contrasts two distinctive groups of people: those who are of a carnal or fleshly nature and those who are spiritual whose spiritual nature dominates. In the first instance, those of a carnal nature are led by bodily appetites, the five senses, and also by a self-exalting spirit, estranged from the life of the spirit. To those who walk after the flesh, spiritual matters or concerns of the Spirit are foolishness to those whose very nature is earthly, sensual, and devilish.

In Romans Paul contrasts those who walk after the spirit and those who walk after flesh in Romans 8:1(NKJV):

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

He goes on to explain how believers are different because we do not walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

Galatians 5: 16-18 in the Amplified Bible sharply delineate this dilemma:

16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.
18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.

In the midst of the turbulent times of this present age, many think of the prophetic word spoken on the Day of Pentecost proclaiming words spoken by the prophet Joel regarding the Spirit of God:

Acts 2:17-18

17 ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days
I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

Our discussion also brings to mind this original poem

The Spirit of God

“Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.”
Traditional Gospel Song

As the Spirit of God moved upon the water,
As an eagle ascends on high and stirs her nest,
Attentive to the cries of her starving young ones;
As she satisfies her young and then spreads her wings,
So Holy Spirit with a gentle wavering,
Flutter over, move upon us in a new way.
As a gentle dove would hover over her brood,
Cover our soul and saturate our whole being.
As we wait upon you, spread your wings, bear us up
That we might soar to heights above the fowler’s snare.
Renew our strength and refresh our desire to serve.
As you feed us and sustain us, we shall mount up
On eagle’s wings. We shall run and not be weary.
As we look to you, we shall walk and not faint.

We close with a reminder of how believers should be walking: “Walking in the Spirit.