Open as PDF
Since the beginning, God's Holy Spirit has been striving with man to see them brought to repentance. We read in Genesis 6:3... Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, they will live no more than 120 years." (NLT)
The religious leaders in power after the resurrection of Christ were recipients of the message of Stephen who told them they do always resist the Holy Spirit, as their fathers did, so did they (Acts 7:51). They went so far in resisting God that they likewise killed the prophets. As it is written... O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (Matthew 23:37,38 KJV)
The greatest key to living a victorious life is our willingness to accept the free gift of the fulness of the Holy Spirit. The reason people refuse to be full id because they refuse to surrender control. Who do you want in control? You or God?
God used several different analogies to demonstrate this in His word. Perhaps one of the great Old Testament examples is Ezekiel 36:27... And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. KJV The New Testament uses a similar passage saying... For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
The Coming of the Paraclete
In John 14:16 we read: "I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may be abide with you forever, even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him"... And again in I Corinthians 6:19... "What! Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?'
Old Testament Example
In Leviticus 26:12 we read... 'I will walk among you and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people."
Standing in the Power of God
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.(I Corinthians 2:2-5 NIV) Paul tells us plainly that mans wisdom is impotent to try to energize us to sustain us in our Christian lives.
When a person is "Full of the Holy Spirit" they are energized by the dunamis of God. Walking in the Spirit will keep a person from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. As it is written... This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Galatians 5:16-18)
This is the great struggle with Christians. Every man is tempted when he/she is drawn away of their own lust and enticed (James 1:14). This is the lust of the flesh that is lusting (a desire that seeks to take control) against the Spirit. This lust is revealed to be of sin in that Paul said he had not known 'lust' except the law had said "thou shalt not covet." This is one of the Ten Commandments. 'Lust' is a strong desire that seeks to control a person.
When we begin to 'drift away' from God and we cease in our efforts to be "full" of the Holy Spirit, an authority vacuum begins to form. The 'flesh' will sieze the opportunity to try and take control- if but for a moment. This is why we must be FILLED with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). This is why we must not quench the Holy Spirit.(I Thessalonians 5:19) Quenching the Spirit starts us down a path to grieving the Holy Spirit. Do you go into temptations against the strivings of the Holy Spirit in your conscience? Then you are quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit. When He sees us heading towards temptation, He warns us by pricking us in the heart (Acts 2:37). In this way He will lead us into all truth (John 16:13). If we cooperate in this leading of the Spirit we are not under the law. In our next study we will look at how a person can place him/herself at a great disadvantage in the fight against sin (the good fight of faith) by "sowing to the flesh" or by ignoring the mandate to be 'filled with the Spirit." The outcome of the battle is greatly determined by these two factors. Do you sow to the flesh? Do you seek to be filled with the Spirit? If you can answer yes to those two Christians the chances are great that you will have victory in your Christian life; if you answer NO to either of them you are likely struggling with sin and in a "sin-ask forgiveness"- "sin-ask forgiveness" state of Christianity.