Can you imagine that the very Spirit of God is given to humans who believe in God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection? Just thinking about the Holy Spirit makes me realize that I can do better. I am not left to my own resources when it comes to praying, having faith, obeying God, doing what He asks me to do.
No one understands the depth of sin’s effect on a soul better than God. Every action He takes has been to reduce the effect of evil that was unleashed into our world when sin was merged into His perfect universe. We never saw it coming. Even Adam and Eve did not see what hit them. God has counteracted with the effect of faith after sin by enabling sinners to be affected by His holiness through the Holy Spirit. It is the power of God that brings about salvation. It is the power of God that brings about healing, wisdom, abilities and more. I know this power. I have taught in this power, been healed by this power, been kept safe through this power; yet I don’t allow the Holy Spirit to fill me as powerfully as God desires.
I may not always be aware of it when I am not filled with the Holy Spirit, but I do know the occasions when I allow His presence to be real in my life. It does affect me in a way that is not my natural self. I feel genuine forgiveness for my enemies. I have contentment in circumstances that would have someone else’s head spinning. I recognize that I am gaining a power outside myself and I like it. Ephesians 5:18-19 compares the effect of being filled with the Spirit to being drunk. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.”
Too much wine will take you lower than you ever wanted to go. Too much Holy Spirit will make your soul sing. It will help you understand your true self. It will guide you to truth, virtue, holiness, understanding, power and deeper faith. Taking in the Holy Spirit begins with faith. It requires emptying yourself of your own power, wisdom, resources. The Holy Spirit takes greater and greater affect in your life as you humble yourself more and more. In order to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you need to empty yourself of your sin.
Therein lies the trouble in my own experience with the Holy Spirit. I have become so comfortable with my worldly wisdom, capabilities and thoughts that I find the Holy Spirit’s leading a struggle to follow. I’m even writing this devotion one day later than first moved by the Holy Spirit. Rather than sit and write about the effect of the Holy Spirit on the soul (the thought God had shown me that week to write about), I watched TV until I was too tired to think clearly. I only wrote the first few lines and went to bed. This illustrates a truth about the Holy Spirit: I can grieve Him and limit His power in my life or I can restore His presence and power through my obedience and confession. Ephesians 4:30-32: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”