Posts Tagged ‘Come Holy Spirit’

“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:

 

Put to death in the flesh: Made alive by the Spirit

November 14, 2014

1 Peter 3--18 The Verse of the Day for November 14, 2014 is found in 1 Peter 3:18 (KJV):

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

The New Living Translation provides this rendering:

1 Peter 3:18 (NLT):

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

The verse contrasts being “put to death in the flesh” with being “quickened or made alive by the Spirit.”

Translated from the Greek word zōopoieō, the expression meansto cause to live, make alive, give life, restore to life, endued with new and greater powers of life, of seeds quickened into life, i.e. germinating, springing up, growing)”

The phrase “quickened by the Spirit” also brought to mind this stanza from the poem “Constant Reminders.”

God makes known to us a new covenant,

Quickened within us by a lively hope,

Energized by ever-increasing faith,

That we might know and be known by His love,

Surpassing even the knowledge of God:

How great and how precious is each promise.

I recall seeing a graphic illustration of having been put to death with respect to the flesh in stark contrast to having been quickened or made alive with regard to the Spirit:

Although this is not the particular sculpture that I saw, it shows the transformation taking place as an antelope is changed into a butterfly.

Although this is not the particular sculpture that I saw, it shows the transformation taking place as a dying  antelope is changed into a butterfly.

About 10 years ago while living in Columbus, OH, there was special exhibition called Chapungu, a collection of sculpture from Harare, Zimbabwe on display at the Franklin Park Conservatory. One of the sculptured works of art that particularly arrested my attention was entitled “Dying Antelope Transformed into a Butterfly.” It was the inspiration for this poetic response to what I witnessed:

A Lesson from Chapungu

Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers;                                                                        

The snare is broken, and we have escaped.

Psalm 124:7

 

With my eyes open to see what God has to say,

I stroll through varied green scenes while looking to see

Secret messages, sculpted letters sent to me

In rocks that cry out from quarries of Zimbabwe.

Hunted game escapes, just beyond the fowler’s grasp,

An antelope transformed into a butterfly,

Snatched from the clasp of death, quickened to glorify

The God that spoils the powers of the deadly asp,

To release souls who trust Him from the fear of death.

You uphold me with your victorious right hand.

Not even death can limit all that you have planned,

For you sustain all life and safeguard every breath.

The Lord protects my life, preserving flesh and bone,

That I might proclaim His praise as a living stone.

 

Israel Houghton and New Breed offer this passionate prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit,” a worship medley that overflows into praise: