Imagine you are one of the 12 disciples sitting with Jesus at the Last Supper. You have traveled with Him for over three years, enjoying close fellowship with Him and witnessing a multitude of miracles and unprecedented teachings.
All of a sudden, He tells you that He is about to leave the earth and asserts that you will be better off if He goes. You might naturally ask the disciple next to you, "What in the world is He talking about?"
Jesus affirmed to His disciples:
"Your hearts are filled with sadness because I've told you these things. But here's the truth: It's to your advantage that I go away, for if I don't go away the Divine Encourager will not be released to you. But after I depart, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will expose sin and prove that the world is wrong about God's righteousness and his judgments" (John 16:6-8, TPT).
The truth of the matter is that it is "to your advantage" that Jesus returned to His Father—because you need the Holy Spirit to be your divine encourager! The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift to the church next to the gift of salvation. He is the third person of the Trinity and God Himself. I often say, "The presence of the Holy Spirit is not just the icing on the cake—it is the cake!"
If you are born again, there is no doubt that you have the Holy Spirit within you (see Rom. 8:9). Yet there is something more for believers to embrace: the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised in Acts 1:8, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power. And you will be my messengers to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces—even to the remotest places on earth!"
Receiving the Power
Throughout the history of the church, many great generals in God's army were able to identify a distinct experience when they received the power of God. And this experience was what propelled them into greater levels of fruitfulness and effectiveness in ministering to others. This type of encounter has been described in many different terms, such as being "baptized in the Holy Spirit," receiving the "gift of the Holy Spirit" or being "filled with the Holy Spirit."
Regardless of which term you use, these men and women of God definitely received the same thing: the power of the Holy Spirit.
I am emphasizing a distinct experience here because there seems to be a pattern with this taking place after a person's conversion. Of course, I believe the two encounters could happen simultaneously (see Acts 10), but testimonies tend to show that this infilling of the Holy Spirit comes as a distinct encounter following a believer's conversion.
The beautiful thing about the Holy Spirit is that God wants you to be filled often. I have said that there is one baptism of the Holy Spirit, but there are many fillings with the same Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul exhorts in Ephesians 5:18, "And don't get drunk with wine, which is rebellion; instead be filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit." In the Greek text, the word for "be filled" is actually in the continuous present tense, giving the verse the meaning, "Be continually filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit."
Each encounter with the Holy Spirit is unique and powerful in its own right. After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, He received the Holy Spirit as it descended on Him as gently as a dove (Matt. 3:16). On the day of Pentecost, the disciples received the Holy Spirit with amazing manifestations:
Suddenly they heard the sound of a violent blast of wind rushing into the house from out of the heavenly realm. The roar of the wind was so overpowering it was all anyone could bear! Then all at once a pillar of fire appeared before their eyes. It separated into tongues of fire that engulfed each one of them. They were all filled and equipped with the Holy Spirit and were inspired to speak in tongues—empowered by the Spirit to speak in languages they had never learned! (Acts 2:2-4).
Later in Acts, as the church experienced persecution but responded by coming together in unified prayer, we see the believers again being filled with the Holy Spirit. "At that moment the earth shook beneath them, causing the building they were in to tremble. Each one of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with unrestrained boldness" (Acts 4:31). Even if you have received an infilling of the Spirit before, why not choose to receive more?
God wants you to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit, which will help you walk in a more victorious, fruitful life as a Christ-follower. Being filled with the Spirit will make you a blessing to those who do not yet have knowledge of Jesus. So, by faith, receive the power and fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit!
A Life of Being Filled
Here are four practical ways I have learned to stay continually filled with the Holy Spirit:
- Every day I make the decision to walk in obedience to God. Scripture tells us that God freely gives the Holy Spirit "to those who [hear and] obey Him" (Acts 5:32, ESV). Jesus said, "If you truly desire to be my disciple, you must disown your life completely, embrace my 'cross' as your own, and surrender to my ways" (Luke 9:23, TPT). This is an attitude of the heart. We have the daily opportunity to offer our lives to God as "his sacred, living sacrifices" and to "live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart" (Rom. 12:1b)—it is our authentic expression of worship.
- When I get up in the morning and later throughout my day, I have made it a daily habit to ask the Father to fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit. If we need to drink plenty of water on a daily basis to be healthy, how much more should we drink of the Holy Spirit by asking Him to fill us so we can stay spiritually sharp and healthy? Luke 11:13 says, "If imperfect parents know how to lovingly take care of their children and give them what they need, how much more will the perfect heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit's fullness when his children ask him." So, in faith ask the Father to fill you, and by faith receive that infilling. "Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you'll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you" (Matt. 7:7).
- I continually focus my eyes on the vision of a great revival and harvest. Keeping myself focused on the big picture gives me a holy dissatisfaction with the status quo. It helps me stay hungry for the more God has for us. Jesus said, "How enriched you are when you crave righteousness! For you will be surrounded with fruitfulness" (Matt. 5:6).
- I am intentional about receiving impartation from others who are full of the Holy Spirit. I am a "God chaser," and those whom He has anointed carry His glory. These may be people in your environment: your pastors or anointed, godly individuals in your church or city. If you find that you have a strong hunger for impartation, consider visiting another church, city or nation where a move of God is taking place. You may want to immerse yourself in a global revival hotspot, like China, India, Africa, Brazil and Indonesia.
Each one of us was made to manifest the glory of God and host His presence. As we continue to desire more of God, honor Holy Spirit and surrender our hearts to Him, staying continually filled and overflowing in the Holy Spirit will be a natural and everyday occurrence for us.
Ché Ahn and his wife, Sue, are the senior and founding pastors of HRock Church in Pasadena, California. Ché serves as the founder and president of Harvest International Ministry (HIM) and the international chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI). With a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, he has played a key role in many strategic outreaches on local, national and international levels. He has written more than a dozen books and travels extensively throughout the world, bringing apostolic insight with an impartation of renewal, healing and evangelism.
For the original article, visit hrockchurch.com.
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