“Be patient, therefore, brothers, to the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain. Be you also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near.” James 5:7, 8.
In the East, the former rain falls at the sowing time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ….
Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. –Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 25.
Questions to think about:
What is the former rain needed for?
What is the latter rain needed for?
If the Holy Spirit works in the same manner, can we receive the latter rain without receiving the former rain?