08/12/2013

Who can reach our soul?



13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Power is the special and distinctive prerogative of God, and God alone. Power belongs to God. God is God: and power belongs to him. If he delegates a portion of it to his creatures, yet it still is his power. The sun in the heavens, although it is “…like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course” [Psalm 19:5], yet it has no power to move through the universe except as God directs it. The stars, although they travel in their orbits and no one can stop them, yet they have neither power nor force except that which God daily infuses into them. The tall archangel, near God’s throne, who outshines a comet in its brilliance, and who excels in strength and listens to the voice of the commands of God, still has no strength except that which his Creator gives to him... And when we think of man if he has might or power, it is so small and insignificant, that we can scarcely call it such; yes, when it is at its greatest-when he waves his scepter, when he commands vast armies, when he rules nations-still the power belongs to God.
This exclusive prerogative of God is to be found in each of the three persons of the glorious Trinity. The Father has power: for at his word the heavens were made, and by his strength all things continue, and through him they fulfill their destiny. The Son has power: for like his Father, he is the Creator of all things; “Without him nothing was made that has been made” [John 1:3], and “in him all things hold together” [Colossians 1:17]. And the Holy Spirit has power.

It is concerning the power of the Holy Spirit that I will speak this morning; and may you gain a practical example of that attribute in your own hearts, when you sense that the influence of the Holy Spirit is being poured out on me, so that I am speaking the words of the living God to your souls, and the power bestowed on you when you feel the effects of it in your own souls.
1. First, we note that the inner spiritual power of the Holy Spirit has power over the hearts of men and women.
Normally, it is very hard to affect a person’s heart. However, if you want to get at them for any worldly purpose you can do it. A cheating world can win the hearts of men and women, a little gold can win their hearts, a bit of fame and a little applause can win their hearts. But there is not a minister alive, who by himself, can win the hearts of men and women. He can win their ears and make them listen; he can win their eyes, and cause those eyes to look at him; he can win their attention, but their hearts are very slippery. Yes, the heart is like a fish that all gospel fishermen find difficult to hold on to. You may sometimes almost pull it out of the water; but slippery as an eel, it slips between your fingers, and evades capture. Many a minister has imagined that he has caught the heart but has been disappointed. It would need a strong hunter to overtake the deer on the mountains. It is too fast for a human on foot to approach.

Only the Holy Spirit has power over the hearts of men and women. Did you ever try your power on a heart? If any person thinks that a minister can convert the soul, I wish they would try. Let them go and become a Sunday-school teacher. They will take their class, they will have the best books that can be obtained, they will have the best rules, they will draw their lines of defenses around their fortified spiritual city, they will take the best child in their class, and if they are not tired in a week I will be very much surprised. Let them spend four or five Sundays in trying, and in the end they will say, “The young person is incorrigible.” Let them try another. And they will have to try another, and another, and another, before they will manage to convert one. They will soon find it is “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.” [Zechariah 4:6] 
Can a minister convert anyone? Can he touch the heart? David said, your “…hearts are callous and unfeeling.” [Psalm 119:70] Yes, that is very true; and we cannot break through such a hard heart...Many pieces of the true steel that God has put into the hands of his servants has had the edge dulled by being used against the sinner’s heart. We cannot reach the soul; but the Holy Spirit can. He can give a sense of blood-bought pardon that will dissolve a heart of stone. He can,
“Speak with that voice which wakes the dead,
And commands the sinner to rise:
And makes the guilty conscience dread
The death that never dies.”
He can make Sinai’s thunders audible; yes, and he can make the sweet whisperings of Calvary enter into the soul. He has power over the hearts of men and women. And here is a glorious proof of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit that he has rule over the heart.
2. But if there is one thing more stubborn than the heart it is the will.
Some believe in freewill. Many dream of freewill. Freewill! Where is that to be found? Once there was freewill in Paradise, and freewill made a terrible mess there, for it spoiled all of Paradise and turned Adam and Eve out of the garden. Freewill once existed in heaven, but it turned the glorious archangel out and a third part of the angels of heaven fell into the abyss. I want nothing to do with freewill, but I will try to see whether I have a free will within me. And I find that I have. I have a very free will to commit evil, but a very poor will to do that which is good.
 I demonstrate my freewill when I sin, but when I want to do good evil is present with me, and I cannot carry it out. Yet some boast of freewill. I wonder whether those who believe in freewill have any more power over other person’s wills than I have. I know I have no power. I find the old proverb is very true, “One man can bring a horse to the water, but a hundred cannot make him drink.” I find that I can bring all of you to the water, and a great many more than can fit into this church; but I cannot make you drink; and I don’t think a hundred ministers could make you drink. I have read all about the great preachers, Rowland Hill, and George Whitfield, and several others to see what their secret was; but I cannot discover from them any plan that would work in turning your wills. I cannot coax you; and you will not yield by any other means. I don’t think any man has power over his fellow creature’s will, but the Spirit of God has. “I will make them willing in the day of my power.” He makes the unwilling sinner so willing that he is eager for the gospel; he who was obstinate, now runs to the cross. He, who laughed at Jesus, now begs for his mercy; and he who would not believe, is now made by the Holy Spirit to do it, not only willingly, but eagerly; he is happy, he is glad to do it, rejoices in the sound of Jesus’ name, and delights to obey God’s commands. The Holy Spirit has power over the will.

Source:  The Power of the Holy Spirit
June 17, 1855
by C. H. Spurgeon  (1834-1892).

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