Arise, and let your enemies be scattered.Judges:6:33 "Then all the Midianites and Amakelites, the people of the East , gathered together: and they crossed over and encamped in the valley of Jezreel. 34. But ,The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon." Judges 7:6 "And the number of those who lapped; putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men." What enemies do you face today? Is your soul vexed? Do you believe that the crisis you face is too great for you? Time and time again the Lord has used that which seems insignificant, to carry out His will. David, a small boy, faces the bear, the lion and finally Goliath. How is it that David can beat insurmountable odds? How is it that Gideon, with a ridiculously small number of men, can take on, rout, and destroy 120,000 men? When I was 12 years old, I discovered the secret of overcoming giants. My father was a very violent alcoholic. When I was 7 my mother had come to Christ and all hell broke loose in our house. Prior to that, our house was peaceful as my mother had always "towed the line," done what she was told. After coming to Christ, my Father realized he was no longer in control of his wife. She was having a love affair with Jesus. If it had been another man, he would have killed Him, but how do you fight God? After many years of violence and terror, one particular night seemed to draw all the demonic forces together. My father, always highly unpredictable, seemed to have lost his mind this night. He was laughing hysterically and then crying, and all the time holding my mother by the back of the hair and pounding her face with his fist. She just kept repeating "Jesus loves you, Jesus loves you." My sister was in the corner of the room screaming. I stood behind my dad, frozen in terror. We had witnessed violence many times before, but this night was different. The air was almost tangible, it had substance, almost like you could cut it with a knife. There was a demonic presence in the room that night and it had come to finish its work with my mother. As I stood there, frozen in place, suddenly, it was as if someone had poured water over me, yet in slow motion. It came down over my head and flooded my whole being, right down to my toes, and as it flowed down, then every bit of fear fled from my body. I stood in the midst of all that demonic chaos and I felt perfect peace and no fear. I reached up, and put my hand on my fathers shoulder. His head snapped round in what seemed like less than a second, faster than a man could normally move, still holding my mother by the hair, and I found myself looking into the blackest, wildest eyes I had ever seen. I looked straight into those eyes, and suddenly my vision went beyond the natural, and I found myself looking into the very soul of my father.Inside his own soul, the father that should have been, was bound by chains and gagged, lying on his side. I spoke to him and said "I love you." As soon as the last syllable was out of my mouth I was looking at the black eyes again and it said "I cannot argue with that." The presence was gone, and my father sat down, seemingly shell-shocked. Whatever demonic force had come, it was sent on its way by a 12 year old child, full of the holy Spirit. Gideon was full of the Holy Spirit, as was David. If we are to fight the enemy and defeat him in the field of battle, we too must be full of the Holy Spirit. Religious men will tell you that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit when we are saved and that is true, but we must be filled again and again. This filling flows from the very presence of God. We must take advantage of the throne room of God. With a price that can never be estimated, God the Father, through Jesus His Son, made the way to the Holy of Holy's accessible to all who call upon His name and are washed in the Blood of the Lamb. David says "Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me, restore unto me, the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit within me." The three hundred men that were chosen for Gideon by God were the men who lapped the water with their hand. The first to be rejected were the fearful, God does not want them to be part of the three hundred. The rest got down on their knees and drank with their tongues. The correct military position was to remain upright, and use the palm of one of their hands to drink. In this way they did not have to lay down their weapons and they could continue to watch for the enemy. We too must remain upright. If we are to remain in the fight, we must not lay down our weapons, we must be ready for the schemes of the enemy, ever vigilant. It is the Spirit of God within us that does all the fighting, if we quench that Spirit with sin, or by not coming into the presence of God, then we render ourselves useless. Only by flowing in the Spirit can we overcome fear, can we wield the weapons of our warfare which are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.(2 Cor 10:4-5) Several years after the incident recorded above, my father came to Jesus, as all men do, on his knees. At the age of forty-nine, having struggled against God violently, and being a slave to alcohol, he was gloriously set free from His struggle and also from drink. He has now been saved for 15 years and has never had the desire for drink since the day he met
Praise God brother Frank! I agree with you when people are filled with the spirit they can do exploits.Having grown up in a pentecostal church and been around charismatic groups and churches most of my life I have heard the 'normal' explanation of what it means to be filled with the Spirit. I was just wondering if you have ever studied that phrase, and whether you would like to share your understanding of the meaning.Thanks for sharing your experience with us.Jeff
Hi JeffHaving a love for theology(who would not like studying the things of God) I have studied the phrase. For a complete study I would reccommend Gordon D. Fee's "God's Empowering Presence," which may be the most exhuastive study on the subject. He is one of the few pentecostal theologians and does a good work.Of course you can study a subject, or you can live it or you can do both. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is an experience that all Christians should have experienced. It is intitiated at one time,then it will be a constant renewal, refreshing and reviving expereience for the rest of the believers life. The Lord is looking for those who would seek after Him as the deer pants for the water so our sould should long after Him. As we are in this "longing," place, then He rewards those who diligently seek Him. No one walks in a continual "Holy Spirit experience," but there are seasons in the lives of Spirit filled believers. I absolutely believe it to be a secondary experience. Without the power of God flowing through the believer, he can have no significant impact in anything that he does for the Kingdom. In the experience of the story I related, I was "filled," with the Holy Spirit. The power and the love and the boldness is supernatural. The Spirit filled man will sit at the feet of the Holy Spirit and learn of Jesus through the word of God. Jesus will be magnified in the heart of such a man by the teacher of all teachers. The gifts of the Holy Spirit, as found in the scriptures, will be in operation as the Holy Spirit distributes as He sees fit. Men may deny this, religous men may deny this, but the Word of God never changes. Its really thats simple Jeff. As in the book of Acts, so it is today, nothing has changed. The same Holy Spirit that moved in the earth 2000 years ago, moves today, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.....................Frank
Thanks Frank, for your reply. I have seen people seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I have also heard more than one person say that when you accept Jesus as your Savior that you are automatically filled with the Spirit.Those who seek a second experience seem to have a mindset that they received some Holy Spirit at the New Birth but are looking for an 'outpouring' of more Holy Spirit. I even saw one preacher use a glass and a pitcher of water to illustrate 'being filled.' I heard of one famous preacher who reportedly said the reason that he needed to be continuously 'filled' was because he leaked.Is the Holy Spirit an entity or substance of which we get portions or degrees? Is the Holy Spirit a power, like electricity, and we are the battery that regularly needs recharging? Isn't the Holy Spirit a person? If so how do you get 'filled' with a person?In case you haven't figured it out I like to question traditional answers and beliefs. I hope you don't mind.Jeff
Hi JeffI like the "leaking," analogy. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. He can fill me just as Jesus can dwell in my heart. Can I quench Him? Yes. Can I resist Him ? Yes. David cries out in Psalms that He wants God to "create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me, and cast me not away from your presence oh Lord, take not they Holy Spirit from me." So, it is those with a pure heart and clean hands that will ascend His Holy Hill." We must draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. He does reward those whgo diligently seek after Him. Of course, we cannot manipulate God. He alone knows the motivations of our heart. If we seek the Holy Spirit in order to bring glory to God, in order to be "nearer," God, in order to walk in the fullness and the power, then He will be found.I understand the teaching of indwelling and outpouring, it answers a lot of questions, but not all. It certainly gives some kind of peace to those who have not experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit, whether that turns out to be false comfort or not, only time will tell.........Frank
Hi Frank,I said previously that I have been around the traditional teaching or explanation of the scriptures concerning 'being filled.' I have seen those who were filled, the 'wannabes,' and the imitators. The metaphors never left me with a peace of mind. Then came the time when the Holy Spirit began to change my vantage point. When He began to allow me to see things from a God centered universe instead of a 'self' centered universe. The term 'filled with the Spirit' took on a whole new meaning. I had already experienced the glory and the power of being filled. I had prayed with and counseled many 'seekers,' but was perplexed at the difficulty of the realization of the experience for so many.In Acts 1&2 the followers of Jesus 'tarried' in the upper room in Jerusalem for about 10 days waiting for the promise of the Father. They were waiting for the power that they needed. There were some in my past who taught that this 'tarrying' was an essential part of the 'baptism.' But I also witnessed a few young people powerfully saved and filled all in one fell swoop, much like Cornelius and his family. This experience did not fit the teaching by some that the Holy Spirit will only manifest when the group comes into 'unity,' one heart and one mind.This new perspective to which the Holy Spirit brought me, allowed me to see the 'filling of the Spirit' not as me the vessel being filled with some substance from God, as if I was the center of the scenario. Instead, I saw the Holy Spirit as the personal agent of God the Father being the heart of the matter and me as the classroom of three year olds running uncontrollably in every direction being brought under the 'full' control of the Holy Spirit.The difficulty for me and so many others then in 'receiving the infilling' was the issue of focus. I was looking for God to give me something for me, instead of looking to give him full control of me for Him. Yes I received great blessing and benefit from being filled but I now saw that real purpose of the filling was for Him, that my life would come under His dominion for His glory.My current understanding then is that being 'filled with the Spirit' means to be filled with the conrol of the Spirit. Our attitude then must be the same as John the Baptist "He must increase , but I must decrease." John 3:30 ASVThe Holy Spirit was deposited in me when I was born again, I was sealed by Him as God's purchased possession, yet there remained a need for self to decrease and the Holy Spirit to increase in control until He manifested His total control as He did with the 120 on the day of Pentecost.The reason that I need to be continuously filled with the Spirit is not because He leaks out of me but because my commitment to surrender control to Him 'leaks.' I sometimes slip back into old patterns of self initiated action and discover that I am no longer operating in faith but in human reason and will. It is here that I face the enemy and get whipped. When I 'turn' (repent) from self-control and renew the commitment of surrender to the Holy Spirit's control I find power to stand in the face of the enemy and to be the overcomer for God's glory.I hope I didn't get to wordy. Thanks for discussing. Keep being filled and overcoming!Love in Christ,Jeff
HI JeffNot too wordy:) Amen to your explanation. I still like the leaked analogy because the rivers of living waters that the Lord pours into me has to pour out for the benifit of His kingdom. I am a flawed vessel and the Lord is glorified in my weaknesses. I agree about His control over us. I liken it to walking in the Spirit is like walking along the beach. The beach is His world and as long as I walk along this beach I am fine. If my flesh rises up then I find myself in the water, and there are sharks in the water, I am now in their territory. While I walk on the beach I walk in the perect peace and knowledge that ntothing in the waters can harm me. If crazy enough, for whatever reason, to walk into the waters, then I am putting myself , and my witness, in great danger. To walk along the beach is to walk according to the Spirit.The Spirit blows where it will and no-one knows where it will blow next. Why is one baptized in the Spirit and another not? I believe it goes to the motivations of the heart. Rememeber, Peter was a broken man prior to reeiving the Spirit of God at Pentecost. For most believers, there has to be a time when they cry out in some form or fashion "Oh wretched man that I am." Once they realize how helpless they truly are in their own strength, once they come to an end of themsleves, then it is there that they encounter the living God, in all His power. In America, the self made man, the individual, the independant man is glorified, all of these are great hinderences to a powerful walk with Jesus. I believe that is one of the reasons we see so few people genuinely "Born of the Spirit," and why so many believers lead a lukewarm life, they are doing almost all of it in their own strengths. Do some believers receive the indwelling and the outpouring at one time?Yes I believe they do. .............Frank
As I stood there, frozen in place, suddenly, it was as if someone had poured water over me, yet in slow motion. It came down over my head and flooded my whole being, right down to my toes, and as it flowed down, then every bit of fear fled from my body. I stood in the midst of all that demonic chaos and I felt perfect peace and no fear. I reached up, and put my hand on my fathers shoulder. His head snapped round in what seemed like less than a second, faster than a man could normally move, still holding my mother by the hair, and I found myself looking into the blackest, wildest eyes I had ever seen. I looked straight into those eyes, and suddenly my vision went beyond the natural, and I found myself looking into the very soul of my father.Inside his own soul, the father that should have been, was bound by chains and gagged, lying on his side. I spoke to him and said "I love you." As soon as the last syllable was out of my mouth I was looking at the black eyes again and it said "I cannot argue with that." The presence was gone, and my father sat down, seemingly shell-shocked. Whatever demonic force had come, it was sent on its way by a 12 year old child, full of the holy Spirit.