Being Filled with the Spirit
Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on me
Today we begin to call to God that we might be refreshed by his Holy Spirit. We have come through a wonderful time as we waited on God to prepare us in our week of prayer and fasting God spoke to so many in the Church
We are calling this season – Walking in step with the Holy Spirit.
Within our times together we are committed to
· Simple Biblical explanation
· Discovering & rediscovering the person of the Holy Spirit at work in our EVERYDAY lives
· Opening ourselves up allow the Holy Spirit to use us in all our situations
· Releasing us from fears doubts and insecurities
· Unlocking us from long standing challenges, sin & sickness
· Walking together on these Sundays in Small Groups and in one to one encouragement.
1. Being Filled
I want to talk very briefly today about Why we need to be filled with the Spirit and How we can be filled with the Spirit and then we are going to ask God to do just that.
For some of you though I might be jumping the gun somewhat
Do you really know who the Spirit of God is?
That could be a very long or a very short study.
Jesus described the Holy Spirit in this way.
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
Jn 14:24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Jn 14:25 “All this I have spoken while still with you.
Jn 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Jn 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
And again at the beginning of Acts
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
So we discover from this that the Holy Spirit is
· Sent from God the Father as the means by which God himself lives in us
· Is sent in Jesus Name-
· Is a Counsellor- Guide teacher mentor help
· Reminds us about the Good news of the Kingdom that was the Gospel of Jesus
· He brings peace to us
· He brings power to us
· Power with a purpose to assist us to be witnesses and
· Power with a clear programme to be witnesses to all the earth – Starting where we are.
2. Why do we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Ac 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is not some tacked on bonus it truly is an essential part of the experience of the believer.
There are many of us who look at our world and despair of its failings its greed and the broken society that we see.
Jesus prayed – Your Kingdom come Your will be done. It was His prayer but He prayed it knowing that without the presence of the Holy Spirit within us It was an impossibility.
For many of us we might say but surely The Holy Spirit came into my life when I became a Christian.
That is true and yet one of the puritans 300 years ago put it well this way
“He pictured a man walking along a road hand in hand with his little boy. The little boy knew that this man is his, and that his father loves him. But suddenly the father stops picks up the boy, lifts him into his arms, embraces him, kisses him and hugs him. Then he puts him down again, and they continue walking. It is a wonderful thing to be walking along holding your father’s hand; but it is an incomparably greater thing to have his arms enfolded around you.”
The sustaining and powerful work of the Holy Spirit within us enables us to change from fearful to faithful.
Let’s look at what happened when the Holy Spirit came on the disciples of Jesus for the first time.
Ac 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language
Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.’”
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
Every not some but every move of God down the ages since that time has been inspired, motivated, and led by that same Holy Spirit of God.
Now let me remind you of Ben’s wise point to us a few weeks ago. The extraordinary is also the ordinary.
A mighty move of God inspired by the Holy Spirit can as much be the prompt to telephone a friend or to speak a word of encouragement to someone as it is also the power and strength to take on sharing the good news of Jesus with a crowd of 3000 like Peter did.
BOTH are part of what Jesus prayed ‘Your Kingdom come; your will be done.’
Jesus said it starts where you are and grows.
You have been reading this for about 10 minutes and you might be saying I know this. The challenge then to you is –
Are you continually being filled with the Holy Spirit- Are you knowing the power of the Holy Spirit
at work in your life now.
Eph 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
You may well know that when Paul wrote that his word for being filled with the Spirit literally means –Be continually filled. Constantly overflowing.
You may have heard that a thousand times, but here I am today asking you and I today to call on God that we might be filled with His Holy Spirit.
3. How can I be filled?
There are some challenges for some of you I believe
a. Doubt –You have been here before – Will it work?
So I say to you:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
Lk 11:10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds;
and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Six times- He knows us
will it be Good
Will He ask me something I just don’t want to do
Just on from that passage in Luke 11 Jesus promises that just as your Dad if you asked him for a fish would not give you a snake, so God your loving Father knows how to give you wonderful gifts
We look at those who seem to live by the Spirit and choose to consider ourselves not up to the job. That’s for them the few who are up there doing that stuff.
Let’s be careful not to rewrite the bible.
Again, in Luke 11, does it say “How much more will the Father give to only those advanced Christians who have got their lives together?”
“How much more will the Father give to those who ask?”
We are going to move into a time of asking God to fill us all afresh with His Holy Spirit.
This is how we will do that
1. Ask God to forgive you for anything that could be a barrier to receiving
2. Turn from those areas -choose to lay them down.
3. Ask God to Fill you with His Holy Spirit- Go on seeking and asking- Seek God with all your heart open yourself to Him.
4. Open your mouth and start to praise God in English or in any language God begins to give you- don’t doubt believe what you receive is from God
5. Persevere- Keep going
We are ALL here to receive but we can also pray for one another- If you would like to be prayed for come to the side here and we will pray
Be Still for the presence of the Lord