This question betrays a misunderstanding that could prove critical to spiritual maturity. The Holy Spirit is a person, so the real question is: "Should I be filled with the person of the Holy Spirit?" To answer that question, you first need to know who He is.

Jesus defined the person of the Holy Spirit and His work. There is no greater source of information regarding the Spirit than the Master's own words.

Look up these verses:

• John 14:16-17

• John 16:12-15

Jesus said the Spirit would be a Counselor, a Spirit of truth, to be with us forever. Often, He is referred to as the "gift" of Christ. But we must understand that He is a living person, not an inanimate power. And He comes for one purpose only-to reveal Jesus Christ.

Many resist being filled with the Spirit because they have seen Him portrayed as some sort of strange force that makes people do weird things. Those who truly know the Spirit will tell you, He is strange sometimes, but He is an intimate and trustworthy companion.

The Holy Spirit has one desire: to reveal Jesus Christ absolutely to you and through you. He has no other agenda. So to seek His infilling is to seek being steeped in the transforming revelation of Christ. Who wouldn't want that?

Romans 8:9 says, "Those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all" (NLT). Verse 6 says that only when our minds are controlled by the Spirit can we expect to have life and peace.

The Spirit personally imparts to us the very life of Jesus. The Bible is clear: Without Him, it is impossible to know God or to live effectively. He is our connection to everything of Christ.

So the question really isn't "Should I be filled with the Holy Spirit?" but "What would hold me back from receiving Him?" For most people, it is some experience, misconception or aversion to full surrender.

What is it in you that rises to protest? What fears do you have of Him? Where did those fears come from?

The Holy Spirit is a person; in fact, He is God. He comes to rule. He comes to perform your life for you, to be the character you do not have (see Gal. 5:22-23). He comes as the ultimate solution to the whole mess of you and the only means by which you will ever fulfill God's will.

JULIE R. WILSON is a Bible teacher and freelance writer and editor living in Lubbock, Texas.


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