While walking yesterday morning, God placed the Holy Spirit heavily on my heart and mind. I realized that through knowing, loving, praising, exalting and following Jesus, I know, love, praise and exalt my Father. “I and the Father are one”–to know the Son is to know the Father. The Holy Spirit, although I know He is in me and works and speaks through me, guides me, teaches me and comforts me in challenging times, was not personally and intimately known to me, as are my Father and Jesus. The acts and workings of the Holy Spirit are so secret and mystical–so much is said of His influence, power and gifts, that we are prone to think of Him as a power, a manifestation or influence of the Divine nature, an unknowable agent rather than a Person. I immediately began praying that He would reveal Himself to me, personally, not the nebulous disembodied impersonal spirit I had been viewing Him as. Then I began praising and exalting Him, giving Him glory for the incredible part He plays in my daily walk as a Christian, in my knowledge of God and Christ. As I did so, I became overwhelmed with the knowledge of Him and just how critically important knowing Him and engaging Him personally on a daily basis truly is.
We all know the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We can never truly manifest these fruits without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Although people try, no one is able in their human capacity to do other than make a poor show of it. The names of the Holy Spirit give us a better understanding of who He is. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Grace, Burning, Truth, Life, Wisdom and Knowledge, Promise, Glory, and the Spirit of God and Christ.
The Holy Spirit regenerates us, through the renewing of our mind, so that we can understand things of the Spirit. He indwells us “Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you”, 1 Corinthians: 6:19. He empowers us for the life and service God has planned for us. The Holy Spirit guides us “A righteous man’s/woman’s steps are ordered by the Lord”—when we listen to the Holy Spirit directing our steps, we are always exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there, for God’s will (not our own) to be done. He seals us with the assurance of salvation–the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of adoption” which God puts into our hearts, by which we know, on an intimate, personal level, that we are His children. The Holy Spirit anoints the believer for teaching and knowledge, service and consecration. The Holy Spirit is the author and interpreter of the Scriptures, and it is through Him that God’s Word comes alive to us, in Spirit and in Truth. Finally the Holy Spirit can be grieved–to refuse any part of our mortal nature to the full sway of the Spirit is to grieve Him. If we continue to grieve Him, that grief turns into vexation. We do not want to vex the Holy Spirit!
There is a difference between possessing the Spirit, and being filled with the Spirit. All Christians, those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior and are following Him, possess the Holy Spirit, but not all are Spirit-filled. Both the baptism and the infilling may take place at once–there is no need for a long wilderness experience in the life of the believer. It is the will of God that we be filled or Baptized with the Spirit at the moment of conversion, our rebirth, and remain filled at all times. Although it may not be necessary, I am in the habit of asking for an overflowing, not just a fill up, on a daily basis, and the Holy Spirit is never stingy with Himself if we ask.
In these times, we all need to be Spirit-filled believers, and to come into a closer personal relationship with Him who gives us all the power and tools we need to live victorious lives in Christ Jesus. Without His power, we are ineffective vessels, and unable to become sons and daughters in whom our Father is well pleased. Worse, we may not be hearing what the Holy Spirit is telling us, which is critical in these days. We need to be Spirit-filled so that our eyes and ears are fine-tuned to immediately see and hear what He is showing and speaking to us. If He says: “Go here or go there now!” we need to be hearing Him and doing what He is telling us, without question or hesitation.
I made the mistake a year or so ago of delaying after receiving the Holy Spirit’s clear, emphatic command, saying: “Go Now!” I was still saved from what was coming, but not without suffering consequences due to my delay, consequences I would not have suffered if I had acted immediately, as He directed me. It was a very good lesson for me. When He speaks now, I listen and act immediately, and do not allow my own willful, hard headed, rational mind to get in the way. I pray you learn this lesson without having to suffer unpleasant consequences in the process.