The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (Father, Son, Spirit). It’s important to note that he’s a person….not an atmosphere or an ‘it’. In Matthew 3:16, he’s likened to the dove. This is no coincidence since the dove is amongst the purest of birds, only dwelling where they feel welcomed. This is like the Holy Spirit. He’s not interested in an occasional visitation but rather in habitation. His desire is to make his home in our hearts. That’s the essence of what we mean when we talk about being ‘filled with the Spirit’.
And what is the Holy Spirit’s purpose? To empower us. To guide us. To lead us. Ultimately, his mission is to equip us to carry the love of Christ into our world so that Jesus can be glorified. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said ‘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.’
When we experience the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, this should never lead to an insular or self indulgent experience. This would be to completely miss the point. Everything the Holy Spirit does is not so much about getting us to look inward – but rather helping us see outward. He fills us up to send us out.
The evidence of a truly Spirit filled church is a compelling, passionate and loving commitment to reaching out to those who don’t yet know Jesus. God hasn’t left us to do this on our own. He wants us to know that he is with us. That’s why the Holy Spirit fills us. This gives us confidence, boldness and courage to communicate the Gospel to people we meet in everyday life. Interestingly, on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was first given to the early Christians, the result was that 3000 people were ‘added to the church‘ after hearing the disciples sharing the message of Jesus (Acts 2:41).
So how do you be filled with the Holy Spirit? You just have to ask. Jesus said ‘If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”’
We explore this and much more in the ‘Growing in Your Faith‘ track of our ‘EQUIP’ nights. More information about these at HERE.