History

Grip of the Spirit

"God is holiness laying hold on human helplessness, and it is the Holy Spirit’s gripping hold on people." by Captain Charles Smith
Samuel Logan Brengle

As William and Rebecca were preparing for the birth of their baby, they prayed to the Lord that the child would grow up in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Samuel Logan Brengle was born on June 1, 1860, in Fredericksburg, Indiana. His parents not only dedicated Samuel to the Lord but encouraged him in his faith as he grew up in their fervent Methodist ways.

Samuel Logan Brengle

Samuel became a success in every area of his life as he pursued what he thought was his calling. Sometimes we experience this as well. We tend to think that success is something that we encounter with the emotions of our will and the energy of the world, but the Holy Spirit had other plans for Samuel, as He does for each of us. What we can be in Christ is one thing, and what we are is quite another. Living in Christ means we are totally dependent on Him. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this in Acts 17:28: “For IN HIM we live and move and have our being” (NIV, emphasis mine). In other words, we, like Samuel Brengle, are found weak trying to lay hold onto strength. We are helpless trying to lay hold onto holiness. We are human trying to lay hold onto God. But from God’s point of view, He is strength laying hold on weakness, God is holiness laying hold on human helplessness, and it is the Holy Spirit’s gripping hold on people. 

It was because of that grip that Samuel Brengle’s life was never the same. Have you encountered the Holy Spirit of God in this fashion? Are you living in the gutters of sin or in the grip of the Spirit?  

Captain Charles Smith is the Corps Officer in Jonesboro, AR. Photos by The Salvation Army National Archives

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