I love the book of Acts, especially Acts 2. I read the account of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and it leaves me just mind blown! As you read through this chapter, you see the call to repentance and baptism, and then you see the belonging of the Church, the way they drew together to learn from the apostle’s, to fellowship (the new believer’s desired to be with the people of God), breaking bread together (most likely this speaks to both sharing in communion with each other as well as common meals), and they prayed (this was a regular practice of the early Church and it expressed their total dependence on the Lord) together. They did these things daily! Could you imagine if the Church today still desired all of these things? So what is missing in the Church today? Well, I believe it is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Before anything else, before Peter preached this amazing sermon that essentially began the Church as 3,000 people repented and were baptized in faith in Jesus Christ, before gathering together, before breaking bread together, before praying together – It ALL began with the presence of the Holy Spirit! We have to get back to a place of desiring the Presence of God through the Holy Spirit in our lives, so that His presence is alive in the Church. We have to stop being afraid of the Holy Spirit and invite Him in!
“One of the most telling blows which the enemy ever struck at the life of the Church was to create in her a fear of the Holy Spirit.”– A.W. Tozer
As believers in Jesus Christ we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit the moment we profess saving faith in Jesus – we are sealed. Being sealed by the Holy Spirit is God’s way of marking us as His, but it is also His way of equipping us and empowering us to live the life He calls us to live in Christ. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit continually. How do we do this? We must be in God’s Word, studying it, applying it, meditating on it. We need to be people of prayer, seeking and listening to God. We must be people who are living in obedience to the Lord. This doesn’t just happen. It takes intention. The apostle Paul encourages the Church to be filled with the Spirit. Galatians 5:16 “Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” “Flesh” everything in us that opposes God and His will. Why does Paul encourage walking in the Spirit? Because the flesh and the spirit are always contending with each other and the only way for us to overcome the desires or lusts of the flesh in our lives is to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Today’s Church is more reflective of a church that wants ‘saving’, but not transformation. Today’s Church wants the benefits of the Holy Spirit in ways such as healing people of sickness, but it doesn’t want the fullness of His presence because it might be weird or uncomfortable. Here is the thing- we either want the Holy Spirit or we don’t. There is no half way. We have to have Him continually filling us, equipping us, empowering us, or we will never accomplish what He has called us to do. We also need His conviction when we are living in ways that the Lord does not desire for us. Have you ever considered that walking in the Spirit and experiencing His presence is only weird and uncomfortable because we don’t do it?
Maybe you take vitamins every day. Why? Most likely you want to be healthy, strong, and be able to function the best you can day to day. For the believer who is filled daily with the Holy Spirit, it’s the same concept. He enables us to live and accomplish the things that God has put before us to do and He helps us to be spiritually strong. Jesus needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so how much more do we? That’s it. StraightUp!