Monday, November 26, 2007
Why Does God Fill us With His Spirit?
. The reason we are Spirit-filled is for SERVICE! (Acts 1:8) In the Old Testament when the Lord anointed someone it was time to get busy! Gideon was anointed to go to war, Samson was anointed to kill Philistines, and we are anointed to win souls and cast out devils in Jesus name. The power of the Holy Ghost is for all that call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
14 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13)
19 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Eph. 5)
9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
10 And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. (Acts 13)
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. (Luke 1)
John the Baptizer had to be Spirit-filled before Pentecost ever happened because he was called to proclaim Christ and repentance, two things you need the Holy Spirit to assist you in doing.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (John 15)
If you call yourself “Spirit-filled” and you don’t obey God’s Word and witness to the lost, you are fooling yourself. I don’t care if you speak in tongues and dance in church every Sunday. Anointed people are often misunderstood, even hated.
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
So often I hear Christian’s say they want to be like Paul, Peter, or some other early church father. Could we really bear what they bore? Could we sacrifice as much as they did? I’ll give you two examples of modern day saints that had to endure hardness like good soldiers. While stationed in Turkey during Desert Storm I had the blessed pleasure of leading 2 Turkish Moslems to Christ. I was excited and on fire about this experience, until I found out what happens to Christian converts in Islamic countries. Usually they lose their jobs, their family, and in some instances their very lives. People had to be baptized in bathtubs for fear of their faith being discovered. To this day I wonder and worry about my two brothers in Turkey. You see how trivial the message of prosperity sounds in light of people who count it a blessing just to live another day in the faith.
Another example I know of is a friend and professor of mine named Mitch Triestman. He is a teacher at Philadelphia Biblical Universities Institute of Jewish Studies. Mitch is Jewish believer in Jesus Christ. He shared his testimony with our class and it made me realize how much salvation cost. His father disowned him and treated him like he was dead, because he accepted Christ. When you make Jesus Lord of your life someone will be upset, that someone is Satan! The enemy will rise up in the ones that you love the most and make your life hell. Do we have the victory? Yes we do, but! Let us examine scripture and get an understanding about the warfare we are involved in:
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8)
Let’s break this verse down to its common understanding: It is WRITTEN throughout scripture, not just in Romans but it is WRITTEN, that for the sake of Christ we are accounted as SHEEP for the slaughter. We are the Lord’s sheep. We are defenseless creatures without the blood of Jesus covering us. Staying in constant fellowship with the Master is essential for our personal survival. We are more than conquerors because he led captivity captive and defeated the powers of darkness. However the enemy still exists and desires to “sift us as wheat”. The ultimate aspect of our victory is the fact that we are saved from eternal damnation.
We are in a battle in the “hear and now”, don’t fool yourself; the devil still launches attacks on the saints of God. How does he attack? 1. Death 2. The suffering of life 3. Angels (fallen ones) principalities and powers (regional demons) 4. Everyday struggles 5. The unknown future. The comfort is found in verse 39; none of these things can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. We are sealed until the day of redemption. The devil cannot steal our salvation. This assurance is what Stephen, James, and Paul had that made them fearless in the face of death. I feel that today’s saints are so earthly minded from prosperity teaching that they are not looking toward heaven and the fact that nothing down here is worth holding on to.
I have a chronic illness that reminds me everyday to redeem the time I have on this earth. I am beyond panicking over whether Jesus is going to heal me or not. I am concerned about teaching His Word to a lost world. I want to lead as many people to Jesus as I can with the time I have left. We must have 3 Hebrew Boy Faith. This is the kind of faith that trusts in the sovereignty of God. They understood that God is able to do anything, including deliver them from the fire of the enemy. The Hebrew boys realized that God was in control of the situation that they were in, regardless of how bad it looked. Whether in the fire of suffering or outside of it, you must know God is with you.
10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. (Psalm 66)
I know from personal experience there are backlashes involved in spiritual warfare. Let’s look at the scriptures:
If you think just quoting the right verse over a time of suffering and trial will deliver you think again. The key to “going through” is in the relationship you have with the Lord. He is the True Vine, we are His branches. We must stay connected to Him in order to make it. Remember Jesus did not run from Calvary, He ran towards it. Just like David ran towards Goliath. We will wrestle with the powers of darkness. Early I my ministry I had frequent encounters with demon possessed and oppressed individuals. I recall one incident when I was ministering to a woman under attack in Trenton, NJ. After she received her deliverance I became ill. My wife had to pray with me all the way back to the car. Demons hate being cast out!
22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.