As I explained in UNSEEN, the Greek word lambano (to take) is usually translated “to receive.” However, because the conjugation of the verb is clearly in the active voice it should not be translated as though it is the passive voice. I suppose translators see it in the passive sense because they can’t conceive of taking anything from God but only receiving what He might hand them. Unfortunately, that leaves them in a state of mind waiting for God to hand something to them, which doesn’t happen since He already has. God is waiting for us to take what He has given us. We do that by faith (believing that He has given it to us and that it is ours regardless of what flesh tells us.)
Oh, the wonder of this word “to take”… In this usage, Paul is not speaking of taking some thing that God has given us. Rather, he is speaking about a mystery which he discusses elsewhere. In one place he writes of the mystery of marriage. In others, he writes of the mystery of our union with Christ. Paul is using a mystery to explain another mystery. That is as close as he can get to explaining the Divine with human language.
But, here’s the point. When Paul (cf Gal 3:2 and 3: 14) says “to take” the Spirit, he is using the mystery of marriage to try to explain the power of a believer’s union with God in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Paul is speaking of a believer taking the Spirit in a sense that is similar to a groom taking to himself his bride and a bride taking to herself her groom. God calls it a mystery, and is only able to cause us to understand it in His language, which is a language we only recognize and understand by believing Him. Bottom line, Paul is writing about actively taking a relationship with the Holy Spirit rather than just waiting for it.