How to Be Filled with God’s Holy Spirit, Part III
Today we conclude the series on "How to Be Filled with God's Holy Spirit" by sharing the final key and explaining how to maintain the filling of the Spirit. The first four keys were: 1. Present your life to Jesus Christ. 2. Obey God on every Issue. 3. Want sincerely to be filled. 4. Entreat God for His filling. We continue with the fifth key, R:
5. Receive the filling by faith. The Bible says, "By this he [Jesus] meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive."15 And again, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."16
If you adhere to God's principles for the filling of the Holy Spirit—Present, Obey, Want, Entreat, and Receive— God will fill you with his Spirit regardless of how you feel. God's Word doesn't say that you will receive "good feelings" when you are filled with the Holy Spirit (although you may or may not) but that you will receive POWER. We need to take God at his Word, believe him, and act accordingly.
What is the evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit? The sure-fire evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit, according to God’s Word, is power—power to be an effective witness for Christ, power to serve Christ, power to live a life that is in harmony with God's will, and power to bear the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."17
Having a gift or gifts of the Spirit are not necessarily evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit because a person may have many gifts of the Spirit but be anything but filled with God's Spirit.
How to maintain the filling of the Holy Spirit: The filling of the Spirit is not a once-for-all experience. It is a continual action and a daily need. The literal translation of the command to be filled with the Spirit18 is to "keep on being filled with the Spirit." The disciples of Jesus were repeatedly filled with the Holy Spirit.19 Learn to continually abide in Christ who said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."20 We abide in Christ by spending time regularly with him in his Word and in prayer and by daily maintaining the five key steps.
A suggested prayer for the filling of the Holy Spirit: "Lord Jesus, I surrender my heart and life unconditionally to you. Please take complete control of my life, forgive me for every sin, and fill me with your Holy Spirit and power so that my life will always be lived for you and thereby glorify your name. Thank you for taking control of my life, forgiving me for all my sins, and filling me with your Holy Spirit as you have commanded and promised to all who obey you, ask for, and believe. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
15. John 7:39 (NIV).
16. Mark 11:24 (NIV).
17. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV).
18. Ephesians 5:18 (NIV).
19. See Acts 2:4, 4:31, 9:17 and 13:9.
20. John 15:5 (NIV).
Adapted from the online article, "How to Be Filled with God's Holy Spirit," at: http://tinyurl.com/gods-spirit