Filled with the Spirit: Understanding God's Power in Your Life (2 page)

BOOK: Filled with the Spirit: Understanding God's Power in Your Life
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Some of the other various roles and functions of the Holy Spirit in our life are:

He prompts us to pray and teaches us how to pray.

He strengthens us in our time of need.

He alone can minister to our inner man when we are hurting.

The Holy Spirit also prompts us to make correct choices, but He will
never
force us to make them. He must be
allowed
to be in charge. We cannot change the things in our life that need to be changed, but the Holy Spirit can.

The Holy Spirit Remains with Us Forever

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever —

The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.

John 14:16,17

Here in John 14, and later in John 15 and 16, Jesus makes reference to the Holy Spirit and His ministry among believers — and that ministry has not changed. It is important to understand His ministry so we can appreciate it and cooperate with it.

The present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit is so powerful and so precious. Since we are believers in Jesus Christ, He is already in us and with us, but He wants to come and dwell in us fully and completely.

First Corinthians 6:19 tells us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are His house. The Spirit wants to indwell the entire house and not just one room or a portion of it.

As Jesus told His disciples, the Holy Spirit wants to come and take up residence within us for a purpose. Remember that He wants to comfort us, counsel us, intercede for us and pray through us, be our Advocate or Lawyer, strengthen us, and stand by us and help us in everything we face or go through in this life. And as we saw when He descended upon Jesus at His baptism, the Holy Spirit wants to come and remain with us forever.

That was a key issue for the disciples because they were used to the Holy Spirit coming upon them in certain situations and then leaving when that situation was over.

For example, in the tenth chapter of Luke, we read how these same disciples received a mighty anointing of the Holy Spirit when Jesus sent them out two by two into all the surrounding towns to minister in His name. He told them to preach the Gospel, cast out devils and lay hands on the sick. They came back tremendously excited because even the demons were subject to them in Jesus’ name. Jesus explained to them that He had given them authority and power over all the power of the enemy. In other words, the demons were subject to the disciples through the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit that was upon them.

Then in John chapters 14, 15 and 16, Jesus told His disciples something different. He referred to the time when the Father would send the Holy Spirit upon them to remain with them forever.

It was not as though the disciples knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus was telling them, they would know and recognize the Spirit when He came because He (Jesus) had been with them. The good news was that now He would
always
be with them through the Holy Spirit to work His ministry in them forever.

And that same promise is made to you and me today.

The Holy Spirit as Teacher and Guide

But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

John 14:26

It is the Holy Spirit Who teaches us. He is also the One Who causes us to remember what we are taught.

In John 16:12 Jesus told the disciples,
I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.

Then in the next verse He went on to say,
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].

Finally, in verse 14, Jesus said to them about the Holy Spirit,
He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.

What wonderful promises from God. They let us know that we can be led and guided by the Holy Spirit within us and not by outside forces. If we will listen to the Holy Spirit by following our heart instead of listening to the enemy Satan, or following our head or our feelings, the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s will for us in every situation.

The Holy Spirit as a Witness for Jesus

But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me.

John 15:26

In this passage, Jesus tells His disciples that one important part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to act as a witness for Him.

In verse 27 Jesus follows that statement by adding,
But you also will testify and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

That applies to us as much as it did to the first disciples. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are also called to be witnesses for Him. We can be ever ready to fulfill our responsibilities as believers, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit as Representative of Jesus

However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthened Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

John 16:7

Just before the Crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that He was about to leave them, and they were filled with sorrow. But He went on to tell them that unless He left them and went away, the Holy Spirit would not come to be with them in close and continual fellowship, which would be much better for them.

Now you may be thinking, “But how could anything be better than having Jesus right here with us?”

Jesus was in a human body just as you and I are. As one Person, He could only be in one place at a time.

But the Holy Spirit, Who comes in Jesus’ name to represent Him to every believer, can indwell each of us fully at the same time all over the entire world. This is another one of those things that our carnal minds cannot understand, yet it is true. The Holy Spirit not only indwells us with His precious Presence, but also the presence of the Father and the Son.
1

The Holy Spirit as Sanctifier

The Holy Spirit also reveals to each of us the will of God for us individually, and He works God’s will in us, which includes the process of sanctification. This is another part of the Holy Spirit’s job — to make us sanctified.
2
The word
sanctification
simply refers to the process that God uses to do a work in us by His indwelling Holy Spirit to make us more and more holy until finally we become just like His Son Jesus. This process is lifelong and will be completely perfected when Jesus returns.
3

The Holy Spirit is called “holy” because that is what He is, and His purpose in taking up residence in us is to make us holy too. He is the Sanctifier, the agent of sanctification in our life. If you study the subject of holiness, you will learn that there is no such thing as a person becoming holy apart from a great involvement with the Holy Spirit in their life. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is the power of God given to us to do in us and through us and for us and to us what we could never do on our own. We cannot make ourselves holy, but the Holy Spirit can.

3

E
MPOWERED BY THE
H
OLY
S
PIRIT

3

E
MPOWERED BY THE
H
OLY
S
PIRIT

But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall he My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

And when He had said this, even as they were looking [at Him], He was caught up, and a cloud received and carried Him away out of their sight.

Acts 1:8,9

Power is something everyone seeks in one form or another. God’s will is for His children to have power. But many people who are not in right relationship with Him seek power in wrong ways — through exercising power over people, excessive power in the business world, receiving a promotion, etc.

Some believers don’t have any idea that they are supposed to be powerful, and they are “weakness-minded,” which causes them to be filled with an “I can’t” mentality. Recognizing that we have godly power helps us get rid of the “I can’t” attitude.

After we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we get filled with “can do.” We are no longer unable — we are able. We are no longer weak, but we are mighty. The truth is that nothing is too hard for a believer who is baptized in the Holy Spirit and has the power of God in their life.

In the passage in Acts 1:8, the Greek word for the word
power
is
dunamis,
which means,”… miracle(s), power, strength….”
1
This is a special miracle-working power. Jesus told us we could receive “dunamis” power through the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Waiting for the Promise

Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His disciples that they were to wait for what the Father had promised, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which the disciples would soon receive. Why did He want them to wait for it?

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
defines
power
as, “The ability or strength to perform an activity or deed….”
2
Remember, the Holy Spirit is the power of Almighty God, and He empowers us to reach and accomplish things that go beyond human limitations. The disciples received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which enabled them to be witnesses for the Lord throughout the known world.

God desires every believer to be witnesses in our world, but He doesn’t expect us to do it in our own strength and ability. When He calls us to do something, He equips us to do it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Are you a Christian who has power, ability, efficiency and might? Do you have enough of the power of the Holy Spirit flowing in your life that your life is changing and your problems are being overcome by the Word of God and the power of His Spirit? Are you making a difference in someone else’s life? If you answered no, then you need to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit; it will change you from
doing
witnessing to
being
a witness for the Lord.

Before I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I was out witnessing to others. I was part of an evangelism team that went door to door weekly telling others about Jesus. But although I was
doing
witnessing, I was not
being a
witness. The reason was that although I was born again and had the Holy Spirit in me and working in my life as a Christian, I did not have enough of the power of God flowing in my own personal day-to-day life to cause me to be like Jesus.

Now I’m not saying that we cannot do anything at all for God without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe that God’s anointing can come upon us to accomplish and do different things. But for me it was like having a little trickle versus a flood. And with the kind of problems I had in my life, I needed more than a trickle; I needed a flood. I had been sexually, mentally and emotionally abused in my childhood, and the negative results were very prominent in my life and personality.

At the time of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, He wanted the disciples to be flooded with God’s power, or the fullness of God, in their lives. No one could be born again until Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. He is called …
the firstborn among many brethren.
3
After His resurrection from the dead, He had appeared to the disciples and breathed upon them saying,…
Receive the Holy Spirit!
4
I believe the disciples were born again at that time. Jesus had been born again from the dead, and now others could share in His victory.

God had originally created man to be spiritually alive. Our spirit was to be filled with the Spirit of God and be the leader of our body and soul.
5
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned in the Garden of Eden, they didn’t die physically but spiritually, and they began to live in the soulish realm.
6
When a person is born again, their spirit is filled with the life of God.

Before we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, our soul runs our life. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit is in the depths of our spirit man, desiring and seeking to run our life, but He can only do that when we give Him permission to come and
fill us
.

Although the disciples had become born again and
received
the Spirit, and they had a measure of the Holy Spirit, they had not yet received the promise of the Father and been totally
filled
with the Spirit.

If they had received the promise of the Father at that point, they wouldn’t have been waiting for it in Acts Chapter 2. That total infilling was to take place later, after the ascension of Jesus, on the Day of Pentecost.

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