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A CMI Nugget
Be Filled With The Spirit
God desires that we be filled with His very Spirit. Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world and showed us as human beings how to live by the power and leading of the Holy Spirit. Now Jesus reigns in heaven, having been crucified by men and raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:4). He has been exalted by God, and sends forth to His people His Spirit, the very Spirit of God. God, through Jesus has provided the way for us as humans to be filled with His very Spirit, the Holy Spirit.
The Bible admonishes us not to be drunk with wine, but to "be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18) The Bible says, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). The Bible says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
I, perhaps more than anyone, have needed and continue to need to walk in an ever increasing fullness of the Spirit of God. As an alcoholic I became convicted by the Spirit of the sin of drunkenness. When I was in AA and came to realize that the 12-steps were the product of an ungodly spirit, my only recourse was to seek the total freedom that only Jesus could offer through knowing the truth of His word through the Holy Spirit (John 8:32). The admonition to "be not drunk with wine,Öbut be filled with the Spirit" became both a command and a promise, knowing that by being filled with the Spirit of God I would be able to "walk in the Spirit, and not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). Drunkenness is listed by Paul as one of the sinful results of living in the flesh and not in the Spirit. Today I know that by letting the Holy Spirit guide me, letting Him control and manage all of my desires, and by knowing Him and the glories of Jesus Christ in an ever increasing way I can remain free from the bondage of alcoholism and enjoy the freedom and peace that Jesus promised His people.
What are some of the considerations in becoming "filled with the Spirit?" How can we walk in the "fullness of the Spirit?" God, in His mercy has taught me some things that I would share with you. I do not pretend to have reached my full potential of being filled with the Spirit. I still can and need to grow in the understanding and fullness of the Holy Spirit in this life, knowing that the measure of the fullness of the Spirit in this life is still but a portion of the fullness we shall obtain when we receive our new bodies, and see Him who is "filled with all the glory and fullness of God."
1. Knowing and receiving the Holy Spirit in all of His Fullness. Being filled with the Spirit requires us to know and receive the Holy Spirit in all of His fullness. Some people have a limited view of the work of the Holy Spirit. They, like me, might only know Him as the one who brings us to Jesus. Certainly this is a very important work of the Holy Spirit. But there is more. He is also called our Helper, our counselor, the one who is called to work with us ever encouraging and teaching us, communicating to us the things that are ours in Christ (1 Corinthians 2:12-14). He is called to bring us into the living relationship of the Lordship of Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:3). He is called to impart to us the righteousness and the power of God, so that we can be the people God has called us to be (Acts 1:8; Romans 5:17; Romans 14:17). He is called to be the One who will bring us into the judgments of God, so that we can be cleansed from our sin, know and experience our full identity as Christians, and know what things are best for us (Isaiah 4:4). We no longer have to be under the whims and passions of our flesh and the world. We can know and follow the judgments of God ( John 16:7-11). He teaches us all about the life and character of Jesus, and He develops in us the very nature Christ (John 16:14 ). He imparts to us a holy fire so that we can have a zeal for the things of God (Luke 3:11). The wisdom and revelation of the things of God can be imparted to us by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:15). A more detailed explanation of the work and the fullness of the Holy Spirit is covered in the document The Names and Work of the Holy Spirit.
2. Receiving the Holy Spirit into all of our being. The Holy Spirit desires to fill our entire being with His presence and desires. He would work in us the nature of Christ so that we can be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:17-19). Our whole being is to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Paul in Romans 6 encourages us to yield each of our members to God to be used by Him for righteous purposes, and to repent of the unrighteous ways in which we have used our members (Romans 6:19). As we welcome and receive the work of the Holy Spirit into our entire being, we will be shown some of the sinful ways in which we have used our members. In particular, our conscience needs to be cleansed and restored to its rightful purpose. This can be done, through the blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit, speaking through the writer to the Hebrews says, " How much more shall the blood of Christ Öpurge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God" (Hebrews 9:14). Our consciences, our inner sensing of what is good or bad for us, can be made alive to the things of God. We can have the nature of God imparted into our whole being through the Holy Spirit. We can love what God loves, and hate what God hates. We can receive and understand Godís ways as our minds are transformed by the Spirit of God (Romans 12:1-2). We can be changed, our members (our emotions, our attitudes, our ideas, our wills, our hands, our feet, our brains, our very beings) can be cleansed and renewed by the blood of Jesus and the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit. We can live for God, and no longer be enslaved by living for ourselves. We truly can experience the purposes of God, who sent Jesus to take our old self centered nature on Himself so that we could receive His very nature into our being and learn to enjoy a life of living for Him who died for us and rose again (1 Corinthians 5:15). We can know the reality of being a temple of God, having His Spirit live in our very being (1 Corinthians 3:13). We truly can be sons of God, led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).
3. Receiving the Holy Spirit into all of our situations and relationships. The Holy Spirit, resident in us desires to be manifest through us. We need to release Him into each moment of every day. We need to let Him rule and lead us in every relationship. We will find as we do this, that we have tried by ourselves to rule or control certain situations or relationships. We will find that we have used guilt and shame to motivate and control others. The Holy Spirit will bring His gentle work of conviction to us as these things are revealed. He will convict us, lead us to confess our sins, and show us the righteousness of Jesus available to us so that we can walk in new ways (John 16:7-11). We may find that we still hold grudges or resentments towards some. We may find that we need more of the wisdom and strength that He is able to impart to us so that we can pray for and forgive those we have resented, and show love to those who have grieved us. We may be asked to confront some who are continually hurting us, seeking them to come into Godís repentance and life changing ability. He will show us His will and teach us His ways. This will result in us becoming more sensitive to His leading and more dependent on His power (Philippians 2:13). Our personal quiet times will be enriched as we learn to commune with Him, and listen to His voice. We will find the disciplines of the Christian life to be a very necessary practice in order to maintain and increase our spiritual sensitivity. We will truly become "spiritual houses" and be the special people God has called us to be (1 Peter 2:5). We truly can be Godís children, knowing Him, living for Him, exalting the life and work of Jesus our glorified and risen Lord.
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