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Meditation 22*

Love in Our Hearts Poured out by the Holy Spirit

And hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured out
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,
who has been given to us.
Romans 5:5

Together with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is the true and eternal God. Actual God. Not a third part of the divine Being or a part that belongs to that Being. No, that one highest Being is simultaneously Father, simultaneously Son and simultaneously Holy Spirit. Each of the three Persons has the same Being and together they are of one substance. God the Holy Spirit is therefore also the omnipresent God. He is not a God from afar, but near by, close to each one of us. It can never be said that the Holy Spirit is here but not there; He is everywhere and everywhere in His totality. God the Holy Spirit is even in hell, where He is as a consuming fire, a terror in the conscience of the damned.

Even if the Spirit is always everywhere, He by no means uncovers Himself, reveals or displays Himself in every place or at all times. He can be and is there in such a way that we do not always hear his footsteps, that His face is veiled for us, that we do not listen to His voice. In effect, where this is the case, it is as if He were not there. But, after you have sinned, the pressure of an Accuser, who does not allow you rest, suddenly surprises you in your inner being. That does not mean that Accuser was not there before. No, He was there all the time but hidden to you. That Accuser was the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit uncovers His formidable face here for a moment and then once again goes into hiding, according to the character of the person for whom He uncovers Himself, judging at one time, comforting the next.

He is always the same God the Holy Spirit, who with the Father and the Son is one unique, eternal and true God, but sometimes He hides Himself behind a thick veil, sometimes behind a more transparent one. At other times He uncovers His entire face, His glorious and comforting face.

For that reason the Scripture teaches and the Church of Christ knows from experience that there are souls who have never noticed anything of the Holy Spirit and those to whom the Spirit has revealed Himself. Even blessed believers have times and moments during which they miss the Spirit and other times and moments when they possess the Spirit in ecstatic blessedness.

When the Holy Spirit uncovers Himself to an unbeliever, he will see a “consuming fire,” avoids it and slouches away. That is the Holy Spirit without the Mediator!

Should it please God to cause someone to be born again through faith, then that person will also get to see the Holy Spirit, but as the Comforter, gentle, loving, teaching and anointing the soul. That is the Spirit poured out by the Mediator, reconciling, and indescribably refreshing and bountiful. The heavy fog is swept away by mercies. Thus the eye of the soul now sees the same Holy Spirit whom it did not see previously. While previously alone, that soul now has God in the innermost room of the heart.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit uncovers Himself to the unconverted without the latter being born again. We don’t question why that should be, but the Bible so teaches in Hebrew 6. Not a few people have memories dating from before their real conversion about experiences of seeing lights of phantom conversions. However, such an experience is wholly different from the operation of the Holy Spirit in genuine second births. Only a tip of the veil is lifted for just a moment, only to fall back into its normal position.

However, with genuine second births, the veil totally falls away so that the view of the Spirit hits and falls upon us. This amounts to His being poured out in us; His indwelling in His temple; His coming into us, living, praying, comforting and motivating. Even among those born again, the eye of the soul can at times close again either partly or fully so that it can no longer see the Spirit (clearly), but in such cases the consoling face retains His presence; the Holy Spirit does not withdraw.

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What is then the full blessing in that consoling and comforting presence? It is this, brother or sister, that in, with and through the Holy Spirit the love of God is poured out into your hearts. The holy Apostle Paul testifies to this, and to that witness the Church of Christ responds with an “Amen,” that also is echoed in your soul.

Understand well that this is not that lukewarm, tepid, diluted explanation that reduces the Spirit to a mere heightened awareness so that its beneficiaries now instinctively practice love as God is love. It’s nothing like that. This love of God is the tender, divine, merciful love of the Highest Being towards us that, like a river revives the shriveled pasture and refreshes the thirsty garden of our souls through the streaming in of a cavalcade of the Holy Spirit.

You do not have love in you; your heart is devoid of it. Whatever may look like love within you is one of three forms. It could be that instinctive love of a mother hen towards her chicks, but that has no value with God. It could be a display of love that suddenly shrivels up when it becomes a threat to your ego. It could also be the only true form of love that has been created in your loveless heart by a Higher Force, a nurturing that penetrated your cold spirit from the outside, a holy spark in your heart, a splash from the blaze of eternal tenderness. By nature your heart does not believe in God’s love. Measuring Him by your own yardstick, you think of the Eternal as cold and without passion. Oh, yes, you say, “God is love. He, the Father of all forgives all.” But that is mere idle talk, superficial chitchat without root or fiber. Meet up with distress—you’re hungry without food; your favourite person has been cut off from your heart; your honour is under attack—and you will see what remains of God’s love.

That contemptuous fencing with beautiful sounds about God is deeply offensive. What has anyone who speaks in this manner of forgiveness, ever, ever experienced of that horrendous guilt for which he himself personally needed to receive forgiveness? All this is empty, meaningless gibberish. Being cold yourself, you thought of your God as equally cold, carefully measuring and reasoning things out as you do in your own cumbrous, matted soul.

But, then, suddenly a fire shot into your bones and your marrow writhed within you. God struck you down as you felt your unrighteousness cascading over your head. Then, yes, then you suddenly discovered your God, as your illusions fell away and the real God appeared before you, a totally consuming Fire! That’s when finally, finally the Holy Spirit forced Himself into your heart and came to dwell in its inner chamber. From there He addressed you with words of unspeakable blessedness, while you suddenly came to understand all that inexpressible tenderness of the consoling face of your God. That’s when love came, the love of God, that warm, glorious glow of living love of the loving life. It was all food and drink at the same time, complete nourishment for your soul. That love of God was inexpressible; it was something indescribably glorious, like an inflow of a stream of many waters, in which each individual drop expanded into a full ocean of riches and blessings.

Oh, the Holy Spirit is God Himself. He does not blend Himself with you, but all that you feel and realize in your innermost being, is what He makes you, as it were, co-feel and co-realize concurrently with Him. Along with that come the divine joys and blessings He Himself relishes and experiences, now that that holy peace has descended into your terrorized heart and God Eternal has flooded you with His divine mercies. That, that is what the holy Apostle of the Lord experienced when he wrote, “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,” to which he added, “who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). Everything is freely given us. The Holy Spirit is given us out of pure grace, with the result being a mandatory and eternal gratitude laid upon all of God’s chosen.

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