Do you struggle with bad habits, constant worrying and wrong behavior? If you want to live in a continual state of the supernatural, saturated and energized with the power of God, you always need to be filled with the Spirit.
When we lack this infilling, we will deal with these issues:
—Unproductivity. We become unproductive for the kingdom because we lack the power to manifest what we preach.
—Spiritual leaking. When we hold on to an offense or carry unforgiveness in our hearts, we quickly lose our fullness. It is as if there is a hole in the bottom of our spiritual deposit. The anointing of the Spirit "leaks," and we lose the power of His presence.
—Constant spiritual warfare. When we are not filled with the Holy Spirit, the enemy uses the empty parts in us—such as the areas of our finances, health and family—to attack us. As a result, we find ourselves in constant spiritual warfare, struggling against principalities and powers, being tempted and fighting against the flesh, instead of living in the victory we are supposed to have.
—"Naturalization." When we lose the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we walk in the natural and cannot manifest the supernatural realm of the Spirit. We cannot overcome the devil and the impossible circumstances in our lives. That is why we need a power greater than ourselves.
—A loss of what is not used. The fullness of the Holy Spirit is like the manna that fed the people of Israel daily in the desert. Remember that the manna from one day would not work for another day (the only exception being the Sabbath). What wasn't eaten would be lost. In the same way, what we don't use when we are filled with the Spirit will be lost.
—A return to the world and sin. When we are not filled with the Spirit, the old nature begins to rise within us and fill the empty spots in our mind, will and emotions. Little by little, our character starts to backslide. Sin no longer seems as terrible to us, and we are in danger of returning to the life of the world.
What should we do to be filled with the Spirit of God? There are certain conditions for the fullness of the Holy Spirit to be a continual part of our lifestyle and for the power of God to be with us wherever we go.
- Recognize your spiritual condition—Many people fail to have an encounter with the Spirit of God because they ignore the fact that they need one. If someone does not recognize their needy condition, they cannot be filled with the Spirit. Acknowledging what we need gives Him room to move freely in our lives.
Knowing our spiritual condition also leads us to renounce everything taking up the space in our hearts and minds that belongs to the Holy Spirit. We need to reject every distraction, human effort, vice, sin, apathy and so forth, that is cluttering and smothering our lives. Then we must cry out to the Holy Spirit so that He knows He is welcome within us.
- Be hungry and thirsty for God—Whether we acknowledge it or not, we will become spiritually dehydrated if we do not continue to drink of the waters of eternal life (See John 4:10, 7:37-39). In the natural, you know when you need to eat or drink because your body sends you signals. In the spiritual, it is more subtle, but there are signs. Unfortunately, we often ignore them, thinking we don't need more of the Holy Spirit because we are full of what is vain and superficial. The Lord cannot give more to someone who is satisfied with where they are. If you are content merely reading about God or seeing how He uses other people in miracles and prophecy; if a simple message once a week on Sunday is enough for you; if you are satisfied with having a religion and living in tradition, then the Holy Spirit cannot fill you. But the impossibilities we and others constantly face show us that we must be filled with His presence at all times.
When you have a hunger and thirst for God's presence, it will cause you to seek the Lord in order to know Him and receive more of His presence. Spiritual hunger and thirst increase our capacity to receive from God. You must feel that you need the Holy Spirit, and mean it so strongly that you depend completely on Him. A longing for God will make you seek Him beyond the familiar, comfortable, convenient or safe. People who long for God are always praying, fasting, worshipping, praising, sowing and giving to others.
- Deny yourself—To be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit requires death, and that death is saying no to "self." Denying yourself means renouncing your ambitions, opinions, comforts and the pleasures of the flesh to seek the things of God. There are no shortcuts to access God's power because it comes only when we say no to our own desires. The mindset of the world is to do things in our own strength, but the way of God is to allow Him to use us as extensions of His power.
You will be anointed in proportion to how much you have died to yourself and surrendered to the Holy Spirit. When you die to the things of the world, you will no longer be prey to temptation. You will not love fleeting pleasures or be attracted to the enemy's offers of vain satisfaction. Only when you are in this state will the Holy Spirit fill you.
Let God be the one who satisfies you with His love, power and grace. Allow Him to make you supernatural, to enable you to overcome the world, and to turn you into an agent of change for others. Please pray this prayer:
"Heavenly Father, it has been a long time since I was filled by Your Spirit. I have been leaking in my spirit, and today I need You to fill me again. In the name of Jesus, I ask for a fresh outpouring because I desperately need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Amen."
Right now, I pray that the Spirit will invade you with a fresh fullness, so that you will go out again to preach the Word, win souls and heal the sick. And so that you will return to war against the enemy, the flesh and temptations, and overcome all opposition. When people see the fruit and power of the Spirit in you, they will know there is something different about your life. They will perceive that you live in victory, even in a world that fights daily against defeat and discouragement, and this will make them desire to have what you have.
Now, be filled with the Holy Spirit, from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. Be filled in your mind, in your body, and in your spirit, in the name of Jesus! Amen!
Edited excerpts from Divine Encounter With the Holy Spirit, © 2017 by Guillermo Maldonado, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.
Active in ministry for over 20 years, bestselling author Apostle Guillermo Maldonado is the founder of King Jesus International Ministry—one of the fastest-growing multicultural churches in the United States—which has been recognized for its visible manifestations of God´s supernatural power. He is a spiritual father to 500 churches in 70 countries, which form the Supernatural Global Network. He is also the founder of the University of the Supernatural Ministry (USM). Apostle Maldonado has a doctorate in Christian counseling and a master's degree in practical theology. He resides in Miami, Florida, with his wife and partner in ministry, Ana, and their two sons, Bryan and Ronald. Visit whitakerhouse.com.
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