A scripture on the Holy Spirit:
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)
I wrote earlier about praying not to be overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, but merely to be “whelmed.” In the interaction between the angel and Mary, it strikes me as interesting that the angel never brings a request for Mary’s permission, although Mary does humbly and piously submits to the overshadowing. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,” is the message, not “The Holy Spirit, with your permission, will come upon you.” Similarly, when Jesus goes into the desert, he is driven by the Holy Spirit to do so (See Matthew 4:1 in The Message translation).
“The Holy Spirit is a gentleman,” some say (perhaps first said by evangelist David Watson), and will not go anywhere uninvited. Perhaps. But Jesus himself said wind and spirit “blows where it wills.” It is perhaps easier not to resist the Spirit, but I wonder about the complicated relationship between our will and the Spirit’s will.
Come, Holy Spirit, come;
Let thy bright Beams arise,
Dispel the Darkness from our Minds
And open all our Eyes.
Chear our desponding Hearts,
Thou heav’nly Paraclete;
Give us to lie, with humble Hope,
At our Redeemer’s Feet.
Revive our drooping Faith;
Our Doubts and Fears remove;
And kindle in our Breasts the Flames
Of never-dying Love.
Convince us of our Sin;
Then lead to Jesu’s Blood:
And to our wond’ring View reveal
The secreat Love of God.
Shew us that loving Man,
That rules the Courts of Bliss,
The Lord of Hosts, the mighty God,
Th’ eternal Prince of Peace.
‘Tis thine to cleanse the Heart,
To sanctify the Soul,
To pour fresh Life on ev’ry Part,
And new create the Whole.
If thou, celestial Dove,
Thine Influence withdraw,
What easy Victims soon we fall
To Conscience, Wrath and Law!
No longer burns our Love;
Our Faith and Patience fail;
Our Sin revives; and Death and hell
Our feeble Souls assail.
Dwell therefore in our Hearts;
Our Minds from Bondage free.
Then shall we know, and praise, and love,
The Father, Son, and Thee.
–Joseph Hart, Hymns, & c composed on various subjects