December 17: “The Filling of the Holy Spirit”

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Chronicles 19-20
Revelation 8
Zechariah 4
John 7

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

John 7:37–39 (CSB): “On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.’ He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

When I hear Jesus’ words, I observe a few things:

  • It begins with a need (“If anyone is thirsty”)
  • It progresses to the meeting of that need (“let him come to me and drink”)
  • It ends with the desire being met to overflowing (“the one who believes in me … will have streams of living water flow from deep within him”)

The previous words are what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit. While the Holy Spirit had been previously active in the world, empowering some of Israel’s leaders and prophets, His residing inside every single follower of the Lord was something new.

Now, let me step back for a moment. For the next few moments, let me write as a seeker and not simply as someone who is explaining Jesus’ words.

When we hear Jesus say that those who are thirsty can go to Him and they will have a continual stream of living water flow from inside of them, I just don’t see much of that around me today. When I look at the book of Acts and see how the Holy Spirit filled those Jesus-followers and gave them boldness, or effectiveness, or any number of other things that they needed but could not produce on their own, I’m left wondering why we often don’t experience that today.

Is it because the Holy Spirit has changed? Is it because Jesus’ words no longer apply?

I believe the answer to both of the previous questions, and any question like them is a resounding “no!” I believe that the reason we don’t experience the powerful filling of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) is that we aren’t complying with the first of the three bullet points I gave above. We don’t sense our desperate need for the Holy Spirit’s filling.

If we go to Ephesians 5:18, and read about what will happen within us if we are filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit, we learn that:

  • We will have a song in our heart (Ephesians 5:19)
  • We will live with an attitude of gratitude (Ephesians 5:20)
  • We will live with an attitude of submission to others (Ephesians 5:21)

If we look at 2 Timothy 1:7, and are filled with the Spirit, we learn that:

  • We will not struggle with fear
  • We will have a power source within us
  • We will have a love flowing from within us
  • We will have a mind capable of sound judgment

Friend, I don’t know about you but I just don’t see many of these things in believers today. That leads me to believe that so many people, who are probably saved, are living their lives in their own power. They aren’t tapping into the divine power source.

God never intended for His children to live with such impotence. The first-century church was a force to be reckoned with as they were accused of turning the whole world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is in light of the fact that many of the people in our own communities don’t even know where our church facilities are located.

Friend, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Hear the command of Ephesians 5:18, read all that the Bible has to say about it, and then desperately crave to experience His filling. I am concerned that we are headed into dark days but the light shines brightest in the dark. But it’s the Holy Spirit who will allow us to shine brightly and push back the moral darkness. We need Him!

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You for walking planet earth for about 33 years. But, as You went back to Heaven in Acts 1, you then sent the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. He is still the primary person of the Trinity that is operating in our world today. I desperately need Him. I know that I cannot live the life You desire for me in my own strength. I need the Holy Spirit’s filling. Help me to learn what You have to say about this in Your Word and then live in continual dependence upon Him as I experience His life flowing through me. I pray this in Your Name. Amen.

Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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