HOLY GHOST, WITH LIGHT DIVINE
Andrew Reed, 1787–1862
That the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
As the earth can produce nothing unless it is fertilized by the sun, so we can do nothing worthwhile for God without the energizing Holy Spirit’s power operating in our lives.
I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me.
One of the marks of spiritual maturity in any believer’s life is the growing conviction of the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power for daily living. How natural it often seems to attempt to live our lives and even minister for God in our own wisdom and strength. How tragic it is when churches and religious organizations institutionalize themselves with dogma or legalistic rules and practices and gradually replace the invigorating ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of their people. It is said that religious movements often follow a predictable course: A Spirit-filled leader, an efficient machine, a dead monument.
“Holy Ghost, With Light Divine” has been for many years one of the church’s important teaching hymns regarding the Holy Spirit’s ministry. The first stanza tells us that we need a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s presence in order to have clear directions for our lives. Then we are reminded that we need the Holy Spirit’s ministry in order to live lives of purity and power (verse two). We also need the work of the Holy Spirit to balance the emotional sorrows of life with “joy divine” (verse three). Finally, we need the all-prevailing control by the Holy Spirit if our lives are to be totally committed and conformed to God (verse four).
This fine text, written by Anglican minister Andrew Reed, first appeared in a publication by its author in 1817.
Holy Ghost, with light divine, shine upon this heart of mine; chase the shades of night away; turn my darkness into day.
Holy Ghost, with pow’r divine, cleanse this guilty heart of mine; long hath sin without control held dominion o’er my soul.
Holy Ghost, with joy divine, cheer this saddened heart of mine; bid my many woes depart; heal my wounded, bleeding heart.
Holy Spirit, all divine, dwell within this heart of mine; cast down ev’ry idol-throne; reign supreme and reign alone.
For Today: John 14:16–21; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9–11; Ephesians 5:8, 9, 18
Try to engage in a conversation some respected Christian friend whose life clearly reflects Spirit control. Seek to learn more about this truth in a personal, first-hand manner. Sing this prayer as you go—