Called to be filled with the Holy Spirit
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, having entrusted the Great Commission to His disciples, He then commanded them not to leave Jerusalem until they received power from on high to become His witnesses in Jerusalem and to the uttermost ends of the world.
We all, I am sure, know the dramatic events that followed on from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost which changed the lives of the disciples and led to the birth of the Church and the spread of Christianity throughout the known world. Souls were being saved daily, lives were transformed, and signs and miracles followed as the Gospel was preached. None of this would have happened without the infilling and empowered by the Holy Spirit, but I wonder how much of this would have happened if hearts had not been emptied and lives fully surrendered to Him, allowing Him free rein to live and work in and through them as He thought best. The call to be filled with the Holy Spirit is a call to us to partner with Him, under submission to Him, in the great adventure of bringing souls out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Kingdom. What an honour and privilege!
The same Holy Spirit indwells us, and always has, ever since our new birth. The same Holy Spirit who changed the lives of the Apostles and set them on fire for Jesus is the same Spirit in you and me. The same Spirit who gave birth to the church is the One who is in our churches. Why then do we not see the same power and commitment that was so evident in the early Church. Is it because we have not obeyed Paul’s injunction to be filled with the Spirit. To be filled we first need to be empty of self will and then surrender our lives completely to Him and invite Him to work in our lives and Church in the same sovereign way. Is this the reason why we are not seeing souls being added daily to the church. Unless we invite the Holy Spirit in and give Him complete control of our lives and restore His Lordship to His Church, we will remain passive and ineffective, unable to bring about the purposes of God in this generation. Let us not continue to grieve His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) or quench His Spirit (1Thess 5:19).
Thank about the things that we can do to grieve the Holy Spirit or quench the fire He would light in our hearts so as to prevent us from being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Pray today for our churches that the flame of the Holy Spirit will burn hot and bright, empowering God’s churches to be what God intended them to be. AMEN