As I pray for God to have His way in my life — which is not easy — I also pray that He has His way in all His children. That is not easy either. It is His desire that we yield to Him and be filled with the Holy Spirit. That may be an easy and lovely thing:
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him.” (Matthew 3:16)
It also may be a dramatic event:
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1–4)
When the Spirit comes in, He changes things: fear to boldness, ordinary people performing signs and wonders along with a powerful ability to speak God’s Word:
“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29–31)
The Spirit produces attitudes too, attitudes that replace our old sinful thoughts and actions:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23)
There is more, such as unity, loving care for one another, an ability to grasp the things of God, and a deeper understanding of His will. Being filled with the Spirit is not for independent, complacent people. It is like being injected with a power and motivation never experienced.
Tozer’s devotional has this line about some of these New Testament passages: “’Pay no attention to that,’ we have been told by ‘interpreters.’ ‘That is not for us.’ So it has been ruled out by interpretation and the blessed Dove has been forced to fold His wings and be silent.”
This is a valid statement, yet that interpretation is not the only reason God’s people are not praying for the Holy Spirit to fill and use them. Some of us realize that when this happens, we are spiritually energized yet can be physically spent. Doing the work of God is exhausting. While His strength is perfected in weakness and others see the power of God in His people, we who have it feel our human weakness! That isn’t much fun either.
Today, I am tired. My heart has been in a-fib since January and I’ve had a couple of injuries and problems with medications. A well-meaning friend put her hands on me and said, “Be healed” and then said, “Now act like it.” If only it was that easy! The will of God is not always great power and boldness. Sometimes it is suffering with the Spirit giving grace to bear it.
Jesus, today I’m not sure what You want for me other than I know I need You, no matter what shape I am in or what is going on around me. You supply peace, contentment, and trust. These and other good attitudes are from Your Spirit who lives in me. Help me say NO to the self-centered stuff like feeling sorry for myself and being fearful of losing a meaningful lifestyle. Thank You also that I can express the desires of my heart to the One who is in charge of my heart.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)