Filled with the Spirit: Understanding God's Power in Your Life (6 page)

BOOK: Filled with the Spirit: Understanding God's Power in Your Life
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Yes, Paul found excess in the exercise of the gift of tongues, and he dealt with it. But he did not command or even suggest that tongues should be done away with to get rid of the excess.

Some people teach against things they don’t understand or have not personally experienced. This is sad and robs many people of God’s fullness for them.

Each of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is important and each has a role to play in the life of the believer. These gifts are bestowed upon us for a reason and a purpose. Open your heart to the Lord in faith and trust, allowing Him not only to fill you with His Holy Spirit, but also to impart to you the particular gifts He wants you to have — including the gift of tongues.

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T
HE
G
IFTS AND THE
M
OTIVATION OF
L
OVE

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T
HE
G
IFTS AND THE
M
OTIVATION OF
L
OVE

But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all — love].

1 Corinthians 12:31

With this verse Paul concludes Chapter 12, stating that while we need to be aware of the gifts of the Spirit and know that they are available to us, our motivation for seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to be love. God wants to give us power through the baptism of the Holy Spirit so we can have a strong love walk and be a blessing to others.

Pursue Love

Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [ make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).

1 Corinthians 14:1

Again, Paul’s point is that although we are to seek and develop the gifts of the Spirit, our main goal should be love.

As we saw in the first verse of 1 Corinthians 13, Paul wrote that even if we can speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, we are nothing but a big noise.

Although we have talked about tongues in this book, I don’t want you to think that just speaking in tongues is everything there is to the baptism of the Holy Spirit because we can speak in tongues and still just be a big noise, as the Bible says. We also need a desire to walk in love and to manifest good fruit — the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

This fruit is described in Galatians 5:22, 23:
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

Notice in verse 22 that the very first fruit of the Holy Spirit is
love.
I believe love is the primary fruit of the Spirit, and the others are all expressions of love. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit,
we are totally filled with God’s love for us and are able to minister to all those He sends our way.

All of us are presented with a variety of opportunities to manifest love and the other spiritual fruit every day of our lives. Through the infilling of the Spirit, we have God’s power, ability and strength to help us manifest these fruit with ease, which would otherwise be hard. There is no such thing as power without a strong love life.
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When we walk in the love of God, everything else falls in line.

Tongues and Edification

He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself hut he who prophesies [interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness].

1 Corinthians 14:4

After stressing the nature and importance of love in 1 Corinthians 13, in the fourteenth chapter, Paul returns to the subject of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, concentrating on the gift of tongues.

Although we have already discussed tongues, let’s look at one more aspect of it.

As previously mentioned, the person who speaks in tongues speaks not to men but to God because no one understands our prayer language but the Holy Spirit. So unless the message they deliver in tongues is interpreted for the sake of others, the only person who is edified and improved is the person themselves.
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Paul makes this point clear later on in verse 13 of this same chapter when he writes:
Therefore, the person who speaks in an [unknown] tongue should pray [for the power] to interpret and explain what he says.

In verse 14 he then goes on to explain:
For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays, but my mind is unproductive [it bears no fruit and helps nobody].

If that is the case, if no one else is helped by our praying in tongues, what should we do? Paul gives the answer to that question in verse 15: …
I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will sing [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also.

That is what I do. I pray and sing with my spirit in tongues, and I also pray and sing with my mind and understanding; I believe what I pray or sing in English afterward is the interpretation. When I pray and sing in tongues, whether or not I interpret it in English, I am still edified. But when praying and singing in tongues around others, such as in a worship service, you and I should do as Paul teaches — speak in tongues but also pray that we may interpret what we say. That way we are all edified.

Paul teaches that we are to keep the gifts of the Spirit, particularly speaking in tongues, in balance. We are to operate in them properly, especially in the midst of a congregation of people.

Whenever we pray in tongues, we are assured that we are praying as we should because the Holy Spirit is praying through us.

Help of the Spirit in Prayer

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

Romans 8:26

This verse teaches us that the Holy Spirit assists us in prayer by helping us to pray as we ought to. If we will allow Him to do so, He will pray through us the perfect prayer with yearnings and groanings that are unutterable.

Sometimes when we are praying in the Spirit, all we get from the Holy Spirit is, “Oh, God!” or just a groaning or utterances or speaking in other tongues, but we can be assured that we’re praying the perfect prayer that’s going to get the job done because …
He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.
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Just think about it — if you and I are believers in Jesus Christ, we are the home of the Holy Spirit of God, and He is making intercession to our heavenly Father on our behalf twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week! This truth should make us bold, fearless and aggressive in a balanced way. We should believe we can do whatever we need to do that is part of God’s plan for us because we are equipped through the power of the Holy Spirit. With Him, we have what we need and more besides to live a victorious life.

The Holy Spirit is our guarantee of the good things that are to come. I believe God desires to take you to new heights in Him through the power of His Spirit. I encourage you to throw yourself entirely open to Him and ask the Holy Spirit to get involved in every area of your life. If you will do that in honesty and sincerity, He will begin to work in you in a powerful and exciting way.

C
ONCLUSION
: R
ECEIVE THE
H
OLY
S
PIRIT
!

C
ONCLUSION
: R
ECEIVE THE
H
OLY
S
PIRIT
!

Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you! [Just] as the Father has sent Me forth, so I am sending you.

And having said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit!

John 20:21,22

In these pages I have tried to reveal to you how the limitless power of God is manifested in our life through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and how it is central to experiencing true success in everything we do. You will gain the most value from reading this book if you have already received the fullness of the Holy Spirit, or if you go on to receive it. So, if you haven’t already done so, I hope that you will open the channel for God to begin to move in your life in a mighty and powerful way by asking for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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But, if at this point, you are undecided as to whether or not you want to receive it, may I encourage you to do something? Put this book down and take some time to pray about it and think about it. Study the Bible for yourself and let God speak a word of confirmation to you in your heart.

If you would like to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts He wants to bestow on you, just open your heart to the Lord and pray this prayer in faith and sincerity:

Lord Jesus, You are the Baptizer, the One Who baptizes in the Holy Spirit, and I am asking You right now to baptize me in the power of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Pour out Your Spirit upon me, Lord. Fill every part of my being so that I am flooded with Your power and Presence.

Give me the spiritual gifts that You want to bestow upon me so that I can be equipped and empowered to minister to others in need.

Thank You for Your marvelous love. Help me to share it with all those with whom I come in contact day by day.

All this I pray in Your precious, holy name. Amen.

Begin to Speak in Tongues

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:4
NKJV

Now open your mouth in faith and begin to speak in other tongues. Don’t be afraid. Utter those little syllables that come to you.

Your mind may be unfruitful, but this kind of language does not come from the head; it comes from the inner man.

Don’t try to figure it out, just release it in Jesus’ name.

You may have received only a little bit of language, but don’t let that stop you. I encourage you to continue to use what you have received, and you will receive more.

Remember, when I first began to speak in tongues, I only had four words, and the enemy tried to tell me that I had nothing, that I was just making it up. He will try to tell you the same thing. Don’t listen to him. Keep speaking as the Spirit gives you utterance. Sooner or later it will grow into an entire language, just as it did for me.

If you did not begin to speak in your prayer language for some reason, don’t be discouraged. If you asked in faith and sincerity, I believe you did receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is flowing through you right now. In your private time with God continue to offer your voice to Him, and in faith utter any syllables that may come to you.

If you would like to know more about the baptism and ministry of the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to begin studying and finding out all you can on the subject. To help get you started, there is a recommended reading list on the Spirit-filled life at the back of this book.

If you did receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit through this book, I would appreciate it if you would contact our office at the address and telephone number also listed in the back so we may rejoice with you.

I pray that you have been blessed by this book and that it has made a difference in your life. I am so excited about sharing these truths with you because the indwelling Holy Spirit is such a great blessing. He inspires us to do great things. He endues us with power for all of our tasks. He has been given to us to accomplish a whole series of things in us, through us and for us.

The Holy Spirit is in you not only to help you retain these truths, but to give you many others besides. Begin to apply what you have read, and
enjoy your new life in the Spirit!

E
NDNOTES

E
NDNOTES

E
NDNOTES

Introduction

1 See John 14:16.
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2 See Acts 2:38.
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Chapter 1

1 Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.,
The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament
(Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 1992), s.v. “baptize.”
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2
New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright © 1988. Used by permission,
S.V.

PROPHET
.”
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3 See Luke 3:16.
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4 See Colossians 2:9,10.
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Chapter 2

1 See John 14:20,23.
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2 See Romans 15:16.
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3 See Philippians 1:6.
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Chapter 3

1 James Strong,
The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
(Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1978), p. 25, #1411.
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