Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
I recently taught one of our School of Discipleship classes on the filling of the Holy Spirit, and I wanted to share some of the things I have learned while preparing. The book we are studying is: Against the Wind by our director, Brother KP. The particular chapter was called: “By His Spirit.” Basically, the chapter simply says that everything we do in ministry must be done by the power Holy Spirit. I think we would all agree with that. The difficult part is how do we obtain this power and what is the evidence that we are filled with the Holy Spirit. It is no surprise that the doctrine and subject of the Holy Spirit is so controversial and has gone so far as to split churches and generally put Christians into different camps. After all, the Holy Spirit is God’s greatest gift to us, and for such a great gift, Satan will always introduce a counterfeit.
I am not writing today to try to teach one stance or another. But I do want to, by God’s grace, talk about a couple of things. That will help us as the Body of Christ to live and serve our Lord better and to His glory.
First, as Brother KP says, “All of us called as servants of God must–absolutely must–heed the instruction of Paul. We must be filled with power from on high.” He further states, “…the work to be done is not in the realm of flesh and blood alone. Our task is supernatural. And it is only by the Spirit’s power that we can accomplish the task our Lord and Savior left for us.” In Acts, there was a situation where some of the widows were overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the disciples told the congregation to select seven men to do this. What were the qualifications needed by the seven? They needed to be men of good reputation and full of the Spirit and of wisdom. One might think that such a simple ministry could just be done by anyone. But not so, the service needed to be done by men filled with the Holy Spirit. Why? So that their service would be authentic. God honors service done by His Spirit.
This brings to the second thing I want to mention. How does a person become filled with the Spirit and what is the evidence of being filled. First, becoming filled. I think the clearest answer to this is simply to ask for his filling by faith. In Luke 11:1-13 Jesus was teaching on prayer. He used an example of a father being asked by his son for an egg or a fish. Would the father give his son a snake or scorpion? Of course not, that is totally absurd. Then in verse 13, Jesus says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Can it really be just that? I believe the Bible says so.
One more thing, evidences. Here is another quote, “The wrapping should never be mistaken for the gift. The Holy Spirit Himself is the Gift of the Risen Lord to His church. When He falls upon people, it may be with shouts of Hallelujah, tears of joy and the gift of tongues, or it may be quietly, silent and without much emotion. Temperaments vary, and the Spirit of God (unlike many Christians) is willing to adapt Himself to each temperament. It is foolish therefore to expect that others should receive the Gift in in the same wrapping in which we received Him–whether spectacular or commonplace.” (Zac Poonan) In other words, the gift itself, is more important than the wrapping it comes . It is the inner reality that matters.
One more thing. The filling of the Spirit is not a one time experience. Ephesians 5:18 says in part, “be filled with the Spirit.” The word filled, means “be continually filled.” We need His filling with each and every task we do.
I greet people when they come to Stonepoint. I stand by the back door of the meeting room and say hello and shake hands. One would think that I can do that in my own power. But no matter what you do or where you serve, whether it is on the worship team, working with children, or making coffee and keeping the refreshments stocked, it should all be done by the power of the Spirit. All service to our Lord is supernatural. I pray, that we, as part of the Body of Christ, will always be filled with the Holy Spirit.