Friday, January 23, 2009

God is in our midst

If the Lord be indeed in Zion, and the king be in the midst of her, why do we pray as if he were not? I find no fault with the prayers of my brethren when they ask for an outpouring of the Spirit — what they mean by their prayers is a very proper thing, but I am not certain that the expression is altogether the best that might be used. The Spirit of God is with his people. I could not, last Monday night, ask to have the Spirit of God poured out, for it was there. If at any time the Holy Spirit was with any men on earth, even at Pentecost, he was here last Monday night, as those present must have felt. We had not so much to ask for it as to be thankful for it.

When two or three of you meet together in Christ’s name, do not meet unbelievingly. Remember that he has said, “There am I in the midst of you.” Be content with that assurance; you have not, as it were, to mount up to heaven, that is, to bring Christ down; nor to descend into the earth, that is, to bring him up from the depths: he is with you! “Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost?” “God dwelleth in you.” The Holy Spirit is given to the Church as a perpetual and abiding Comforter; and in the Church the Spirit of God always dwells. Do not pray, therefore, dear friends, as if God were not with you. “Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her king in the midst of her?” Do not pray, therefore, like the priests of Baal, as though your God were on a journey, or needed to be awakened out of sleep. He is with you, ready to answer by fire, if, like Elias, you have but faith with which to challenge his promise and his power.

From a sermon entitled "A Discourse For A Revival Season," delivered January 8, 1865. Image by Aislinn Ritchie under Creative Commons License.

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