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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Keep on Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

Keep On Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

The Bible says:  “Do not get drunk on wine which can lead to sin: but keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)  It seems that this Bible verse may be comparing wine with the Holy Spirit.  Both can stimulate or calm us and make us feel good.  But this Scripture warns us not to drink too much wine as it can lead to harm.  Instead we are encouraged to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and keep on being filled and be filled some more and then more until “streams of living water flow out from within us” (John 7:38)   

So how do we “keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit”?  The Holy Spirit lives inside of us when we believe in Christ as our Savior and Lord.  So first we need to have the Spirit there inside of us in order to “keep on being filled” with Him.  Scripture says: “Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you received from God, you are not your own.”  (1 Corinthians 6:15-16)  

Everyone who believes in Christ as their Savior receives the Holy Spirit, but after we believe in Jesus we can choose to have more or less of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It’s our call. We can grieve the Holy Spirit by not giving Him room to do much in our lives.  Or we can want to grow in our Christian faith and desire more of the Holy Spirit and His power and influence.  Then if we pray and ask God to fill us with more of His Spirit, God will answer that prayer and give us what is sometimes called the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.”   

 Scripture tells us that God our Father wants all of us to have the Holy Spirit inside of us and He promises to give Him to us if we ask for this gift.  Scripture says: “If you being sinful and imperfect parents, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father (who is sinless and all loving) give the Holy Spirit to you when you ask Him.”  (Luke 11:13)

Our heavenly Father has the gift of the Holy Spirit for each of his children. He has planned a large life for every one of us but we will need the Holy Spirit to guide us through this life.  I don’t think we want to miss out on what God has for us and live our lives without His guidance and help.  

 Our part is to want the gift of the Holy Spirit and to desire Him in our lives.  To be willing to obey and to open our heart’s door to Christ’s Spirit, that’s our part.  God will not give the Holy Spirit to anyone who is not open to receiving Him.  He will not go where He is not wanted.

Jesus Christ (His Spirit) stands at the door of every heart knocking and asking to come into every life.  If we are too busy to hear Him knocking, or don’t want Him coming in and changing our lives around, we will never know how much we have missed!   Scripture says:  “Look, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and commune with him/her and she/he with Me.”    (Revelations 3:20)  And:  “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?”  (Hebrews 2:3)

Sometime when people receive the Holy Spirit they fall down on the ground or cry or feel Gods’ liquid love flowing into them and they know that they have received because they can feel His dramatic presence.  But then other people receive the Holy Spirit quietly when they believe without feeling anything at all. “We don’t base our experience with God on feelings, but on faith” says Joyce Meyer. (Joyce Meyer, “Knowing God Intimately” p.191)

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit was poured out on a crowd of people as they were listening to Peters’ sermon and when they were all believing in Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  Here we read: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message.”  (Acts 10:44)   After the Holy Spirit came onto them, this group began praising God and speaking in unknown tongues and the believers who came with Peter were amazed.   

We do not have to speak in tongues after we receive the Holy Spirit.  Many people do but then many don’t.  Sometimes people make too much of speaking in tongues. But speaking in tongues is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is given to us to guide us and gift us and help and strengthen us.  And the Holy Spirit gives us “fruit” in our lives – love, joy, faith, peace, patience, gentleness, etc. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Scripture says: “If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive.  (1 Corinthians 14:2)  And Jude, verse 20, says that when we pray in tongues we edify ourselves and build ourselves up in the holy faith.  Joyce Meyer speaks personally about her experience with speaking in tongues and how it builds her up and edifies her.  Here is what she says: “Many times I have had the experience of feeling discouraged or physically tired, and yet I had work to do.  Often I have needed to teach in one of my conferences, and I certainly did not feel like a woman of faith who was anointed by God, or filled with His power, to minister to others. At such times I have learned to pray in the Holy Spirit, or pray in other tongues.  As I do so, I can literally feel the life and power of God rising up out of my “inner man” and ministering strength to my entire being.”  (Ephesians 3:16)  (Joyce Meyer, “Knowing God Intimately” pp.171-172)   

Scripture says that we have not because we ask not.  (James 4:2)   Ask for more of the Spirit in your life and then believe you receive, and you will receive.  Scripture says: “We receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:14)  Faith is everything.  Joyce Meyer in her book, “Knowing God Intimately” p. 193 writes:  “If you don’t believe you have received, then even if you have received, it will be to you as if you have not.  You cannot act upon something you don’t believe you have.  I want to stress again the importance of “believing in faith” that you have received and not making your decision based on feelings.” (Joyce Meyer, “Knowing-God Intimately”, p.193)

All through the Bible we are told again and again that our faith is all important to God.  And Scripture says that “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God”  (Romans 10:17)  Many times I have felt that my little faith was not enough and have asked God for more faith.  And He has answered.  Scripture says that God will give all of us more faith if we ask. 

In Luke 11:13 Jesus promises that God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.  So if you haven’t already, come and ask.  Ask in faith and believe that you receive and you will receive the Holy Spirit. The tiny drop will grow into a stream in your life and then into a river of living water flowing out of you.  Open the door and He will come in. Give Him lots of room in your life and keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.  And your life will never be the same again!      

Many of the thoughts and scriptures in this blog were taken from Joyce Meyer’s book, “Knowing God -Intimately”.

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