Sunday, October 5, 2008

Filling of the Spirit

In Church this morning, I wrote copious notes! It was just one of those sermons. Mostly to help cement the Truth in my own heart, I am going to record the highlights here.

Five marks of a Spirit-filled Church:

1. The people are fully committed to:
- teaching - hunger to learn God's Word;
- fellowship - hunger to be with other believers;
- breaking of bread (celebrating communion) - Christ's death and resurrection are at the centre;
- prayer - devoted to pray together for all things (set aside a 'place of prayer').

2. Spiritual power - AMAZING things happen when the Spirit is working. (Some examples in the book of Acts are 300 new believers in a day, dead raised to life, healings, evil spirits cast out.) In order to have the power of the Spirit working within you, you must have a personal relationship with Christ (does He talk to you? is the Bible personal for you, speaking into your specific life circumstances?), you must obey the Lord with all your heart, and you need to ask Him to fill you with His Spirit.

3. Sacrificial love for one another (see Acts 2 and Deuteronomy 15). The people give to one another as they see a need - generously. Quote of the day, "what we do (or don't do) with our material possessions is an indication of the Spirit's presence."

4. Unquenchable joy, in all life's circumstances.

5. External focus - desire to bring others to the Lord, and He adds to their numbers because of their obedience in this.

The basic instruction for growing into a body of believers that is filled with the Spirit is for each person of the body to seek that filling up. Believe God. Obey the promptings of the Spirit. And give all the glory and credit to God.

So there's my summary. Now for my thoughts. Three things I feel God spoke into my heart during the service.

First, I need to find my special place for prayer. A place where the distractions of my world don't interrupt, a place where my sole purpose of being there is to commune with the Holy One. I remember my Tante (German for Auntie) disappearing into her en suite bathroom for long periods of day I dared to go ask what she was doing in there (surely no single person needed to spend that much time in the bathroom) and she told me that was where she went to have uninterrupted prayer time. Cool, eh! Do you have a place of prayer?

Second, I need to be willing. Willing to give, even if it's my last $20, at the moment I feel the Holy Spirit prompting. Willing to speak, even if it's with people who intimidate me, every time He opens the conversational doors. Willing to not take the credit, even if I offered my time and talents sacrificially, for all the good things He does through me. I think my biggest struggle in this is that willingness to speak up about Jesus and what He's done for me. Are there any areas of willingness that trip you up?

Third, I need to be joyful. The true mark of the Spirit within...the thing that gets the attention of other people...the source that keeps us enduring our life's walk - this is the indescribable, incomparable, unquenchable joy of the Lord. Joy because (no matter how we mess up) our rotten stinking sin has been washed away. Joy because (no matter the circumstances - even great loss and pain) God is with us every step of the way. Joy because He has poured out His goodness, mercy, and love on us for no other reason than this - He wanted to! I do believe that this kind of joy is possible, but grasping hold of it in the midst of a bad day where I can't balance the budget, the kids are misbehaving, and my sweetheart is far away is something I know I cannot do in my own strength. Have you ever glimpsed this joy?

Just imagine it for a moment. A Church where all the people in it are filled with joy - true joy, not just fake "I'm okay"ness, where there is not one single needy person among them because everyone is taking care of one another, where every Sunday hundreds of new people pour through the doors... Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?!

Come, Holy Spirit, come...


  1. You've blessed and affirmed me once are such an incredible and sweet niece. And what a reminder for me to get back to where I once was.

  2. I have a special place. It is in my dining room. I have a big chair with a little end table there that I keep my bible, bible study books and pens/highlighters. I meet God there each morning while having breakfast. Having a desinated place where I keep everything has helped me a great deal.


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