How am I filled with the Spirit?
Years ago, I asked the Lord this very question. Feeling a need in my ministry…I prayed and kept praying till I got this answer:
“To be filled with My Holy Spirit…you need to be emptied from the fullness of yourself.”
I said, “I have consecrated my life to you….I have given my life to be your preacher; I witness and pray for others, I work at being obedient to Your commands…..what more should I do?”
(Did you notice how many “I”s there are? Ouch! Obviously, being emptied of self is a tall order!)
So I asked….”How do I empty myself out?”
The answer was quite simple….I cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and bring everything that says, “This is me…my way of doing a job, my way of preaching on a text, my way of saying things”……to God….until, everything I am (habits and characteristics) and everything I do, says “This is Him.”
He showed me that this is my life’s work….to me conformed to His image, here and in all my days.
He must reign in my life, by a deliberate act of my will….my willing it, for all the things of my life.
Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Subjection has become a “bad word” today. (Of course to the wrong elements, it is.)
But subjection to Christ is freedom.
“What!, you say, that can’t be.
Subjection is bondage;…..you have to do.”
But the reality of the subjection to Christ, is a love relationship.
(In all the conversation which I shared with you, between the Lord and I….there was the knowledge of His Presence, both in rebuke…”You are a preacher, and you do not know this?”
And in a sense of a love-calling…..”Do this for Me.”)
It is to know that He loves….you
(No, it is not just the knowledge of the head, having heard it so many times).
It is a closeness of His Spirit,…..a sweetness of His Voice (even when He corrects us),….and such a sense of rest of heart, and mind (and my mind usually goes around in circles pretty good).
Hosea 11:4 “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.”
Jesus Christ came as a man to show us the great love He had for us:
By His life in subjection to His Father. (“…for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:28-29)…
By His sacrifice to save us from our sins (and they are the real bondage)….
And by His resurrection, to give us all things in Him.
Song of Solomon 8:7 “Many waters can not quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.”
We can not give anything for the Love of God, for He has loved us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3).
Before we were born, God loved us; by the Love of His Will.
It was not because there was anything in us that drew Him to us (definitely not as far as I am concerned).
Nor was it because He saw what we would do for Him, after conversion. Or because of what we would become.
No, He loved us because of one reason: He willed to do so.
Matthew 6:10 says, His kingdom come, His will done in earth, as it is in heaven.
And Jesus taught that we should pray this.
In heaven it is done willingly, joyfully, completely. But also with fullness of power.
He has this sort of power for us; but to get it down here into us we need to have His kingdom come with in us.
He showed me, that we should not ask……How much do I have of God?
But, how much does He have of me?
For we are filled with the Holy Spirit to the degree or extent, that we are willingly emptied of ourself life.
Imagine jars filled with water. Now, imagine you are going to fill them with another liquid.
They won’t mix, so one of them will “push” the other out.
The one comes in; and the water flows out.
This is the filling of the Holy Spirit. He flows in, at new birth.
But if we just let Him have that much of us, it is like a skim of oil on top of the water.
But when we yield to Him, be obedient to His direction, and give up our way…….then He keeps flowing in,…..and our self life, flows out.
We have more “want to”, more power to do, and more knowledge and joy in the doing.
This is to be being filled with the Holy Spirit;….and it is only as we submit to Christ’s rule in us; as subjects to King Jesus….
Under His command, doing His Will.
Ephesians 5:17-18 “Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”