In order for us to live according to God’s will, we must have His Holy Spirit in us. There is evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work in us, by our attitudes, our desires and convictions. If we do not have notable changes in these areas then I believe we need to give this some serious thought and attention. The Holy Spirit never speaks, and boasts of Himself, so beware of circles that do this; John 16:12-15. Jesus explained that the Holy Spirit would be sent to His disciples to teach them what they need to know; John 14:15-18, John 14:26. We are given new life in Jesus Christ, that has been redeemed and so we stand forgiven by God no longer under condemnation. In order for us to take His gift of Salvation we must also receive the Holy Spirit. In order for us to receive the Holy Spirit we must prepare ourselves for His entrance into us and our lives. We are instructed in Acts 2:37-38, to repent and be baptized – so we may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 2 Cor 7:10 tells us that we must have a godly sorrow in order to be repentant of heart. This means we must understand that we are in wrong standing with God. To repent is to turn away from the wrong into facing the right and this involves our mind and will to agree with God that to continue in sin is death and to walk in the way of God is life; Rom 6:6-8. The baptism that is commanded for the church I believe has been reduced into a mere empty ordinance void of its power and meaning. Baptism essentially is the outward act of testifying our new commitment of living for God and this encompasses our mind/will – and actions in declaring that we die and bury the old life of self, sin and the world, and count it as dead, immersion into the water represents this death. Then we are resurrected from the dead into our new life in Christ as we come out of the water, see Col 2:11-15. Repentance and baptism go hand in hand for to repent, is to turn from your life of sin and rebellion from God to serve God without reservation – and this must come at a cost – which is your old life and baptism is the day you died so you can truly begin to live. At this point we are ready for the filling of God’s Holy Spirit. For some, the Holy Spirit comes immediately into them, and for others they need to ask Him. In Luke 11:9-13, Jesus exhorts His followers to ask, seek and find God, and for those who are persistent God gives to them His Holy Spirit.
We must remember that God gives nothing to anyone who desires it not. I hear people say things like, ‘I’ve asked and it doesn’t work!’ only to learn that their attitude and actions reveal that they want nothing to do with God. As our lives as believers it is up to us to seek after God, and for a great many they qualify their ‘seeking’ as words they pray and mental assent. Jesus explains it well in John 7:37-39;
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
In this passage we can see that we must recognize that we must have a thirst for Him. We are also told that we must come to Him, and that we must drink. In Jesus’s counsel we see that we must do certain things in order to receive what He has to give us.
I believe that it is most important to understand that to receive anything from God we must go before Him with honest, sincere and humble hearts. For to not then we are seeking in wrong motive – which God sees.
To be one who would have the indwelling of the Living God, is not a small thing, counted as nothing. It is deserving of respect to have this gift and in 1 Cor 6:19-20 we are reminded;
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s
It is required of us (which means this is not optional) to offer, yield and dedicate our bodies as instruments of righteousness so God may dwell in us; Romans 6:12-14. Our mouth is a good indicator of what lies in our heart see Matt 15:11, James 3, Matt 12:34.
The Holy Spirit is the very power of God that works in us to accomplish His will. Yet we must cooperate with Him so we may agree in His purposes. Nothing is impossible, and everything is yes and Amen in Him. So let us be careful not to grieve or quench His Spirit in us but to subject ourselves continually to Him so He may have His way and God be glorified.
In summary, to receive the Holy Spirit into our lives there are certain things we must do, they are:
- Be baptized
- Be thirsty
- Come to Jesus
- Drink, receive
- Present your body as His temple
“Lord Jesus, I am thirsty for the fullness of your Holy Spirit, I present my body to you as your temple, and my members as instruments of righteousness especially my tongue. Fill me I pray and let your Holy Spirit flow through my body so I may bear good fruit and my lips be flowing in rivers of praise, blessing and worship – Amen!”