Because you got nothing when you’re on empty.
Acts, #68. Acts 19.1-7
From far away came this email . . .
‘So let me get this straight - I make a decision to follow Jesus and let him lead my life and you’re saying that then God will live in me? That is kinda crazy, don’t you think?’
Actually, when put that way, it really is crazy. Crazy, at least, to our limited minds. And for sure, having God the Holy Spirit indwell us certainly sets Christianity apart from every other religion. But then, there is Jesus Christ who also willingly became a man to love, teach, lead, suffer and die… what kind of a God would die for people? What kind of a King would die for his subjects? Only One. O yes, there are many distinctives about our faith, to be sure.
But one of the least understood aspects of Christianity is the person and work of the Holy Spirit of God, the third person of the trinity. 'The Spirit is not just a flighty, whimsical spirit who comes and goes like the wind. He is an eternal being.'1 While he is one third of the Trinity, he has his own mind and distinct personality. He prays for us-> "The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."2
I discussed how the Holy Spirit in us enables us to know hope in our souls, to walk in power because he is God in us. Further, it is how God is able to say ‘never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’3 The Holy Spirit interprets God to us,4 which means that as we seek God's guidance, for instance, it is the Holy Spirit's function to impress on us the path to take. He leads, guides, convicts, comforts and draws people to the heart of God. I love the Holy Spirit.
People mistakenly refer to the Holy Spirit as energy … uh-uh. The Holy Spirit has all the qualities of a person without possessing material substance. He has will, intelligence, feeling, knowledge, empathy and the ability to see and love, think and hear, speak and desire, grieve and rejoice.5
Your attention please: while I do not profess the one right way to pray, I have a way that works for me and others have since decided it works for them too. (I will share that in a day or two), but the way I make sure my tank is full is this--in the morning when I pray, as I get to the part in my prayer asking God to forgive my sins…right after, I ask him to refill me with the Spirit.
We are studying Acts--chapter 19.1-7 just now, where Paul asked the believers in Ephesus: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”6 In the case of those folks, they had not received the Holy Spirit because they didn’t have the whole picture of the gospel--that the Messiah had indeed come and as he promised, the Holy Spirit right after Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven.
To these same folks, Paul would just a little later write, “…be filled with the Holy Spirit.”7 In Greek, the verb used here means to ‘keep on being filled’… Ah, yes.
You see, while his presence in my life is a constant, my permission and desire for the Spirit to be much in me is not… if life is anything at all, it is distracting from the presence and awareness of God. So I daily ask God to refill me with his Holy Spirit so that I will be tuned in to his voice, his wisdom, leading, guiding, comforting and convicting.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman . . . he does not come where he is not wanted. Is he welcome in your life, my friend?
I am praying for you--this is a life-changing message if you will take it in.
1 - from The Forgotten God by Francis Chan
2 - Romans 8.27
3 - Hebrews 13.5
4 - 1 Corinthians 2.13
5 - A.W. Tozer, brilliant man of God. 1897-1963
6 - Acts 19.2
7 - Ephesians 5.18