This past week I received some questions from my last blog about the Holy Spirit. They were great questions and I thought many would benefit from talking about them. These are the same questions I had in my own faith journey.
I had longed for years to be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk in gifts, but it did not happen for a long time. But then everything changed! It is my greatest desire to help and encourage others to seek and then be filled with the Holy Spirit.
I need, I want to truly experience the presence of the Holy Spirit.
There are natural laws that govern the natural realm. If we are thirsty, we will seek to drink. The spiritual laws operate the same way, just with spiritual things. We must first have the desire for the Holy Spirit before we will seek to satisfy this desire. Too often Christians intellectualize themselves out of the desire for a greater filling of the Holy Spirit.
If you have the desire and it has not yet been met, know that God uses every stage of our faith to grow us. Be sure that God knows what He is doing. As we seek something higher, He is preparing us during this stage to let go of the lower things. Never despise the preparation time knowing that God will never give you something until you are first prepared to receive it.
Remind God of His promise: “I will put My Spirit within you…” (Ezekiel 36:27).
Exactly what does that mean to you [to truly experience the presence of the Holy Spirit]?
It is heaven come down to earth. It is the promise of God that He will dwell with man. It is nothing less that the Spirit of the infinite God filling the natural life of a finite man.
It is the tangible presence of God through both our natural and spiritual senses. It is the stirring of our spirit while at the same time it can shake the very foundations upon which we are standing.
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). You know you are praying in the Holy Spirit when even the building can’t sit still!
How does it [the Holy Spirit] manifest itself?
We cannot put an infinite God into a natural box made by man. I have found that half the battle in experiencing His presence is to not limit my thinking in how He might do it. Here is one of several blogs I wrote about experiencing the Holy Spirit: https://hehasyou.org/2018/07/09/the-weight-of-his-glory/
Is there “evidence” of the Holy Spirit?
The proof of the Holy Spirit in you is the Holy Spirit through you. “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20). The proof of power is power. So long as you can rely upon yourself, you will never draw from the resources of heaven.
When we read the Word, we have to decide on if we believe it or not. And once we believe, we will find that the Holy Spirit was never a passive bystander, but the powerful Spirit of God turned loose among men.
“…And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit… And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:5,8).
If the power of God is present, the power of God will change things. I have had so many incredible experiences, and every time confirms for me the presence of the Holy Spirit. Here is one of many blogs I have written on the power of the Holy Spirit unleashed: https://hehasyou.org/2017/11/20/led-by-the-holy-spirit/
Is it a “faith” mindset?
Some unbelievers will see miracles by the Holy Spirit, but in their unbelief explain them away. Or they will try to explain the Holy Spirit as something to have faith in but not to experience. But this is not the Holy Spirit that Jesus described for us. The Lord Jesus said, “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8).
Faith is a conduit by which God chooses to pour through us. So many in the Church today hinder the power of God by their unbelief. Stop sitting on the Holy Spirit. God is in you. Don’t squander what He can do through you. Believe like a believer.
When is the “filling” most likely to happen?
There will be the first filling, but do not limit yourself to a single filling, as it is an ongoing process. It is like eating food, we must continue in it that we would live in it and grow in it.
There are no formulas or programs of man that can initiate nor control the power and the movement of the Holy Spirit. Yet I have found in my experience, there are certain things that will prepare us.
- Spiritual work is never by natural power. The greatest hindrance to the Holy Spirit is our own efforts. We must empty ourselves that the Holy Spirit would fill us.
- Consecration to the Lord. One great way to consecrate is by fasting, as it puts aside the natural in favor of the spiritual. It makes us weak for Him.
- Worship music. We think the music ushers in the Holy Spirit, but it actually prepares our souls that we could receive Him.
- Prayers of the saints. When we pray in one accord, we lay the foundation by which the Holy Spirit can pour down among us. “…they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. …And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit… (Acts 2:1,2,4).
Alone, laying on of hands, charismatic church, intercession? Who can intercede?
I think it is so important that we find and get near to those who are filled with the Holy Spirit. I had several that greatly influenced me, lifted me, encouraged me and helped me on my journey.
I have found Spirit filled people in many different denominations. But certainly, some Churches will accept and encourage this filling of the Spirit more than others. But beware as some “spirit-filled” churches are not always filled with the right spirit. Always line yourself up to the Word.
For the initial baptizing of the Spirit I have often seen it be through the laying on of hands or the breathing upon another, coming from someone who has the anointing, and onto the person whose spirit is ready to receive. I wrote a blog about the first time I received a strong filling of the Spirit here: https://hehasyou.org/2017/09/25/baptized-in-the-holy-spirit/
Why do some people become “filled” and others who want to do not?
I believe that God desires that we would all be filled with the Holy Spirit. “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28).
Yet I see so many Christians that do not have that deeper filling of the Holy Spirit. I am sure there are many reasons why they have not yet received. But I want to encourage those that thirst for it, keep pressing in until you get it. Seek out those who have it and stay near them. Never stop asking God for what you cannot live without.
Make sure your seeking is for His glory and not your own. Don’t intellectualize the Holy Spirit using the wisdom of man. Don’t organize the Holy Spirit into the programs of man. Be willing to let your faith cost you something.
It seems to me that those who are “filled” think it happens just for the asking——if it isn’t happening then the believer must be doing something wrong.
The point is that the believer cannot do a thing, and so long as they try they are only a hindrance to the Holy Spirit. It does happen simply by us asking for it and being ready to receive it. But I can tell you, for some it takes years to get to the point where they finally give up, and then it happens.
Beware anyone who claims or seems to be filled with the Spirit but lacks the fruits of the Holy Spirit in their life. I can sense another who is filled from across the room, and it is often not that person who appears to be especially religious. Jesus taught us, “You will know them by their fruits…” (Matthew 7:16). The fruits reveal the roots.
Is there a right or wrong way to ask?
The right way to ask is with a childlike faith. We cannot demand it, only plead for it. Pray believing. Know that God loves you more than you can imagine, and He will provide for you more than anyone else ever could. Be satisfied with nothing as it is there He will give you everything you really need.
My prayer is for your life to be radically and forever changed by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Blessings to you,
All Scripture is from the New King James Version. I encourage you to look them up in the version you prefer to use.