BE REFILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
There are teachings circulating about how we have received the fullness of the Holy Spirit and we no longer need to be refilled or pursue more of Him.
I might have almost have been persuaded with this theological theory a few years ago, but I found the fruit of this perspective to cause withering and dryness in relationship with the Holy Spirit. Here’s the crux, the theological truth of our new creation being filled with the fullness of the Godhead must be held in tension with the experiential reality of our life on the earth flowing with the Spirit.
When the theological truth is overemphasized to the neglect of the experiential reality, we dry up.
The points below are what put me back on the path of an ongoing pursuit of experiential relationship with the Holy Spirit.
- In Ephesians 5:18, in the Greek verb tense that Paul uses, it would be literally translated, “be being continually filled with the Holy Spirit.” That is a very ongoing operation.
- The same Christians that were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost were refilled in Acts 4:31. Why would they be refilled? Why didn’t they just believe that they were filled with the fullness?
- The Christians in Ephesus had not yet received the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-7). Why would Paul lay his hands on them to receive something? Why wouldn’t he just give them the revelation that they are already filled with the fullness and tell them to believe that?
- If the New Testament writers tell us to edify our spirit, why would they say that if I don’t have too? (1 Cor. 14:4, 14-17, Jude 20)
- We are to abide in the vine (John 15). I don’t believe that is passive; I believe it is a conscious awareness and focus, not a work, but a drawing from the presence that is ongoing.
- In James 4:8, we see that if we draw near to God that He will draw near to us.
- Paul told Timothy to “fan into flame the Gift of God which is in you.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
- This one always hits me like a brick*, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11 (*a good brick)
- Lastly, if the analogy of our walk with the Lord is marriage (Eph 5) - two becoming one, etc - then doesn’t it make sense that we would have an ongoing and deepening relationship? When I married my wife, I received all of her, from the hair on her head down to her toenails. When we received Jesus, we received all of Him. Yet I travel a lot and when I come home from a long trip, it can take a few days of reconnecting for my wife and I to feel refilled with each other’s presence.
I believe that if we have a real and normal relationship with the Holy Spirit, we will also have times of experiencing more of Him and refillings of His presence, and that we should also pursue this.
If your shadow is healing people (Acts 5:15) and your clothes can cast out demons (Acts 19:12), then maaaaybeeee you have enough of the Holy Spirit. As for me, I am going to keep drawing near, abiding, fanning the flame, edifying my spirit, keeping my spiritual fervor, being refilled and keep on being refilled. I hope you will do the same!