Now that we’ve established why we must be filled with the Holy Spirit I want to discuss if only briefly since an entire series on the topic awaits your perusal, how it is that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit.
By a large margin, the most often asked question I receive in regards to the Holy Spirit is ‘how long do I have to wait?’ Unfortunately what many today have done is they’ve taken the ‘fast food, have it your way right away, delivered in thirty minutes or your money back’ mentality and superimposed it on the things of God.
‘But Brother Mike you don’t understand I prayed for a whole thirty minutes and nothing happened.’ (Excerpt from a real life conversation I had with someone concerning this topic.)
What we fail to understand is that it took three and a half years of being taught by Jesus for the disciples of Christ to be ready to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and even then when they were all gathered together in prayer and fellowship they had to wait another forty days for the power to descend.
Yes there are certain things that we can do, that are incumbent upon us to do, that we might be filled with the Holy Spirit, but the timing thereof is up to God and God alone. I needed to make this clear, because men attempting to impose their will on God, and saying ‘do this for me now or else’ is a tragic epidemic within the house of God.
Although the timing is up to God, as I said, there are certain things that we must do in order to ensure that we are ready to receive when He is ready to pour out.
The first thing we must do in order to be ready for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, is to desire it. This desire must spring from the depth of our hearts, it must be real and palpable and burning. Some have not, because they ask not, and contrary to popular belief, no, this does not apply to prosperity but rather the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The disinterest concerning the things of God within His own house, is evident enough for anyone to see. The disinterest and lack of desire for the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit is likewise evident in many congregations. Weak preachers offer up weak teachings which in turn produce weak Christians who are content with the thirty minutes per week they spend listening to their randomly chosen ‘spiritual leader’ who goes out of his way to appease their sensibilities, coddle their sin, and stroke their ego. There is not an ounce of desire, there is not even an inclination to press in to pray, to seek, to want more of God, because more of God would mean less of self, and we couldn’t have that because after all, self is that which we love more dearly than God Himself.
I realize this may sound cynical, even jaded, blame it on the twenty five years I’ve been in ministry, but much of the church is filled with pretenders, with posers, with hypocrites of all shapes, sizes and positions within the hierarchies of their chosen denominations, who like the camaraderie of being in a fellowship setting, but not the sacrifice and self-renunciation that comes with being a child of God. Most people who attend church today prefer it this way, they prefer being part of a spiritualized version of the rotary club, or the Shriners club, or whoever wears those funny fezzes. No we don’t wear fezzes, the little silver fish on our back bumper is our version of it though, and as long as we pay our membership fee, and attend the mandatory by-annual meetings, Easter and Christmas, then we’re golden.
Even though the Word tells us we are a peculiar people, we have an aversion to being considered different by those of the world, and we do our utmost to blend in, to assimilate, and to fit in. The only way a child of God can blend in with the world, the only way a child of God can fit in with those of the world is to become more like the world and as a direct result less like Christ.
We must desire to be more than a nominal Christian; we must desire the fullness of God in our life; we must desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit; and we must be ready and willing to lay aside every stumbling block that stands in the way of seeing these desires come to pass.
If we do not desire these things, if we continually seek out negative examples to point to in order to justify our indifference, if we put off seeking after God because it’s just not the right time, we will never know the power to which we as children of God have access to.
Doctrinal positions notwithstanding, the Bible tells us we are not to grieve, despise or treat with contempt the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
To me, these passages sound more like commands than they do suggestions or an alternative means by which to approach the spiritual. We are not to grieve the Holy Spirit, we are not to quench the Holy Spirit, and we are not to despise prophecy which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. What could grieve the Holy Spirit of God more than not being believed, or having His entire existence, relevance, purpose and presence doubted, maligned, and marginalized by those who claim to be of Christ?
If we take a position on any given doctrine or dogma let’s make sure it is Biblically sound rather than denominationally acceptable. Being consistently biblical rather than consistently towing the denominational line will save us much heartache and disappointment throughout our lives.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.