Jesus said to His disciples concerning the Holy Spirit that, “You know Him; for He lives in you” (John 14:7). The Holy Spirit had begun to work in them, but there was more to follow, for Jesus said, “and [He] will be in you” (John 14:7).
When a man is building a house, he is in and out of it and round about it. But when the house is finished, the owner sweeps out all the chips and sawdust, scrubs the floor, lays down his carpets, hangs up his pictures, arranges his furniture and moves in with his family. Then he is in the fullest sense within it. He abides there. Now, it is in that sense that Jesus meant the Holy Spirit should be in them.
The disciples had forsaken all to follow Christ. They had been commissioned to preach the gospel, to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to raise the dead, to cast out devils. Their names were written in heaven. They were not of the world, even as Jesus was not of the world. They knew the Holy Spirit, for He was with them, working in them, but not yet living in them, for they were yet carnal, each seeking the best place for himself. They were fearful, timid and false to Him when the testing time came.
This experience of theirs before Pentecost is the common experience of all true converts. Every child of God knows that the Holy Spirit is with him; he realizes that He is working within, striving to set the house in order.
But often this work is slow, for He can only work effectually as we work with Him, practicing intelligent and obedient faith. Some days the work prospers and seems almost complete, and then peace and joy and comfort abound in the heart. At other times the work is hindered—and often almost or quite undone—
by the strivings and stirrings of inbred sin, by fits of temper, by lightness and frivolity, by neglect of watchfulness and prayer, and the patient, attentive study of His Word, by worldliness, by unholy ambitions, by jealousies and envyings, by harsh judgments, selfish indulgences and slowness to believe.
The Spirit seeks to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, to lead the soul to that point of glad, wholehearted consecration to its Lord, and that simple, perfect faith in the merits of His Blood which will enable him to enthrone Christ within.
Samuel Logan Brengle, The War Cry