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The Seventh Principle of Discipleship

Choosing Daily to be Filled With The Holy Spirit


ChooseDaily to be Filled With The Holy Spirit 

Intro: It is interestingthat one of the clearest commands in the scripture to be filled with the
Spirit, that also is absolutely necessary to live the Christian life, is one of
the most misunderstood and neglected factors in our lives! For sure, if we
desire the abundant life Christ offers to us, we are going to have to
understand and appropriate being filled with the Spirt on a daily basis,
because we leak! 

In this factor, we willexamine a few important scriptures and mention in passing some other important
ideas. If you desire a deep and thorough study on the Holy Spirit and this
matter of being filled with the Spirt, I recommend my book “The Forgotten
Promise.” In that book all the topics plus much more are discussed in greater

I. The need to be filled with the HolySpirit 

1. Understanding need: We are commanded to befiled with the Holy Spirit and we need to understand that the Baptism of the
Holy Spirit and the other 5 experiences of the Holy Spirit coming upon men as
described in the Book of Acts are all the same experience described and named
by Paul in Ephesians as being filled with the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts,
we find six different words to describe this “filling” of the Spirit. A careful
reading of the entire passages will demonstrate that each of these words is
actually describing the same exact experience with the Holy Spirit, just from a
slightly different perspective. These are not words describing different experiences with the Spirit thatwe should seek or expect, they are simply the same experience with a slightly different emphasis demonstratedfrom each description. The most important point is that we have the disciples
essentially experiencing what some would call “being baptized in the Spirit,”
over and over again! Let’s look at these six verbs: 

(1) “Baptized”“baptizo” – This is found in Acts 1:5. The verb is a future passive indicating
it will be happening in the future and it will be done by someone else (Jesus)
to us. Also as stated earlier, this word means to sink the ship. This indicates
being totally immersed in the experience. 

(2) “Comeupon you” “epelthontos” – This verb is found in both Acts 1:8 and 19:6 and is
found in the Aorist tense. This tense indicates more of a pinpoint action that
is significant in nature, like a “big bang!” It is interesting that Jesus uses
the first verb and this verb in the same passage to describe the Holy Spirit
coming to empower His disciples. Jesus saw no difference in using these two
words. To Him they were the same experience. This word actually means “all
around and all over you.” This indicates basically the same idea in that the
Spirit is filling every space around us. 

(3) “Filled”“pimplami” – This verb is found in Acts 2:4, 4:31, and 9:17. These particular
verses are significant because I have heard some teachers’ state these are the
three primary times when the believers are “baptized” in the Holy Spirit, yet
the scriptures use the word “filled” instead of “baptize.” This Greek word for
“filled” means to simply “fill up.” Just like you would fill a bowl or cup with
something, we are filled up with the Spirit. Obviously this indicates the
empowerment of the Spirit as a picture of our lives getting full of His

(4) “Pourout” “ekcheo” – This verb is found in Acts 2:17-18 and in 10:45. This verb
means to experience a “huge, massive filling quickly completed.” You could
imagine a tidal wave coming to fill your house in a brief second or two. You
barely blink your eyes and every room is completely filled. This indicates that
the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is not a matter of consequential well
planned out steps or a matter of phases that occur; it is a complete, total,
awesome experience! I could say, “It’s a big bam boom and out the door you go!” 

(5) “Receive”“lambano” – This verb is found in Acts 2:38, 8:15, 17, and 19:2. This is one of
those extremely rich words in the Greek that carries several deep meanings. The
word as found here carries the idea of “ingesting within.” In other words,
accepting the Holy Spirit in this experience is like ingesting food that
becomes a part of who you are, not just something added onto your back to carry
like a sack. It carries the meaning that this is not something that can be
easily eliminated from your life. These ongoing experiences change you, become
a part of who you are, and have lasting effects on your life. 

(6) “Fell”“epipipto” – This verb is found in Acts 10:44. This word carries the same
meaning as “come upon you” in point #2 above.  

Understand that as Lukeis writing the Book of Acts, he is simply trying to report what the Christians
were experiencing as they continued their faith and walk with Christ, being
filled with the Holy Spirit. He is describing the believer’s experiences in the
context of the various situations they were in that gives sense to the
different verbs used to paint the picture of the growth and expansion of the
Church in those early years. He has not given us specific words whereby we can
disagree and be divided about in this day and time. These words all describe
the same experience which is the empowerment of the Spirit. This empowerment or
“filling” is absolutely necessary for the development and expansion of the
Christian faith throughout the world. Jesus put it best in Acts 1:8, “But you
shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be
witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the
earth.” The word “filling” is what I choose to use to describe them all because
this is the word Paul chooses to use to describe this ongoing experience with
the Spirit. 

Later in writing the Bookof Ephesians, the Apostle Paul is providing a number of incredibly important
doctrines for the Church there and for Christian churches through the coming
ages. In one of the important passages, he summarizes all of the experiences of
the Book of Acts in regard to the believer’s need for the Holy Spirit and gives
us a crystal clear understanding about this “filling of the Spirit.” He chooses
to use the word “filling” which includes all of the other words we have looked
at in the Book of Acts. I can say with great enthusiasm and clarity that he is
speaking about the “baptism” of the Spirit as well as all the rest of these
experiential verbs as discussed earlier. This passage finalizes and provides
the full picture of what every believer should know and believe concerning the
truth about the “baptism” of the Spirit. This is found in chapter five verse
eighteen. It declares, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation;
but be filled with the Spirit.” The important focus is that we are to be
“filled with the Spirit.” 

The word “filled” herehas the same meaning as it is found in the Book of Acts and is really quite
significant. First of all, it is in the Greek present tense. As Paul is
teaching doctrine to the Christians, he makes it completely clear that this
matter of being filled with the Spirit is an ongoing experience, not a onetime
occurrence. No misunderstanding is to take place here. This is a part of the
believer’s lifestyle and every Christianshould be seeking to be filled with the Spirit on a regular basis. This is
further emphasized by the fact that this verb is in the “imperative mode.” The
“imperative mode” is the voice of command. In other words, Paul is presenting
this not as an option for a believer; this is a direct command from the Lord
through him. The indication is that the Christian life is not really possible
apart from being filled with the Spirit and as will be seen later, the filling
of the Spirit doesn’t last all that long in a person’s life. The need for
ongoing filling is necessary. Essentially, Paul is providing clear
understanding for the ongoing action, importance, and continuation of this
“filling of the Spirit” for all believers for all generations! It would be
important to take a few moments to fully digest what you have just read. 

There are some vitalconclusions to state in light of this study together. There are basically five
to mention, although several more could be made. I want to number them in a
brief fashion for memory recollection for each of us because of the importance
of them. 

(1) The filling of the Holy Spirit may beexpressed in different terminology, but all the descriptions are the same

(2) Thisfilling of the Holy Spirit is a significant moment of experience, not a gradual
“becoming” (punctiliar rather than linier), like our spiritual growth. This
filling can and should occur multiple times in a believer’s life.  

(3) Thesereoccurring fillings are absolutely necessary to live out the Christian life.
(Jesus commanded it… wait before anything else) 

(4) Theseexperiences with the Holy Spirit will only occur if we choose to surrender to

(5) Embracingthis balanced truth will not only set you free but will open the door for the
Holy Spirit’s activity to have full course in your life leading you to try
winning the world to Jesus Christ!  

2. Personalneed: We can not experience the abundant life which is actually the
supernatural flowing life of the Holy Spirit in us and through us. In addition,
we can not fully understand and be impacted by the Word of God or the Works of
God in us and around us. 

3. Kingdomneed: Without the power of the Holy Spirt we can not accomplish the most
important things of the Kingdom operating on the earth. One is loving one
another like Jesus has loved us. A second one is winning the lost to faith in
Jesus Christ. The third one is discipling believers. The fourth one is
defeating the Devil and his kingdom of darkness’ advance in this world 

II. What can happen when you are filledwith the Holy Spirit 

1. A new and freshawareness of His presence and His finished work Acts 7:54-56; Acts 4:8-13; Romans 8:14-17 

2. A new and fresh level of praise and thanksgiving John 4:23-24; Acts10:44-46; Ephesians 5:18-20 

3. A new and fresh commitment to God’s Kingdom’s matters Acts 9:17-20; Acts2:38-47 

4. A new and fresh dimension of God’s power Acts 1:8; Acts 2:17-18; Romans12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Galatians 5:22-23 

III. What hinders usfrom being filled with the Holy Spirit 

  1. Doubt/Rebellion James 1:6-8 

The word used here for“doubting” is the Greek word “diakrinomonos.” This word means to be “separated
or disconnected.” The word’s stem “Krino” means “judgment.” This translates as
having formed a judgment that is diametrically opposed to another judgment
because the “dia” speaks of two in opposition. This is not just about
questioning to gain a better understanding or to increase your knowledge, but
is about the refusal to accept the “other judgment”, the word of God. This
“doubting” is actually rebellion! That is the reason why we are questioning in
the first place! 

In the first church Iserved as pastor after graduation from Seminary, I encountered this in a church
leader; it was a painful lesson I have never forgotten. There was a genuine
move of the Holy Spirit in the church and people were experiencing being filled
with the Spirit and some of the Spirit’s gifts were manifesting in the
services. I realized how different this was for many of the older people of the
church and I tried my best to guide it carefully while being sensitive to my
best ability. One night in a deacon’s meeting, the topic came up about some of
the things happening in the church services. I attempted to share a biblical
foundation for what was occurring but for one older man, this was not satisfying.
Even though the discussion became slightly heated I continued to share that
there was nothing occurring in the church that was not clearly supported by
scripture. The meeting abruptly ended when the deacon stood up and shouted
quite loudly, “I don’t care what the Bible says, we aren’t going to have any of
this here!” 

This is a form ofdoubting the reliability and validity of the Bible and it manifested in what we
can call “rebellion”. Now it’s important to understand that this
doubt/rebellion is not just an emotional response of the moment. This
doubt/rebellion is a matter of the heart and demonstrated itself clearly at
that opportunity.  

Both the rebellion ofKorah, found in Numbers chapter sixteen, and the actual rebellion of Lucifer in
heaven against God resulted from a number of issues. One of those was a doubt
in who God is, or who God’s servants are, or even in God’s word itself. It was,
and still is, about the heart of a person separating themselves from God or His
truth found in the scriptures. This judgment from the heart that demonstrates
itself as “I’m right and you are wrong,” leads to the outward rebellion that
really began inward… in the heart.  

Another point I mustmention concerns the tense and voice of the verb “doubting.” This verb is in
the present tense and the middle voice. The present tense indicates the ongoing
habitual activity of the action. In other words, this is not just a onetime
action. Also significant is the middle voice. This voice indicates that the
action of the verb is being accomplished by doing this to oneself. The action
is seen as doing this to yourself, meaning that you are only utilizing your own
thoughts or thought processes rather than listening to godly counsel or to the
word of God!  

The verse indicates thereare two results from this “doubting.” One result is illustrated by “unstable
ways” and is seen as that which has no root or ability to be stable but is just
blown anywhere the external forces such as the wind blow! This is like having
no anchor and being tossed back and forth. The second result is illustrated by
what James calls having a double-mind. The Greek word here is “dipsychos”; two
minds. This is the picture of someone going in two directions at the same time
or with two mindsets or just unsure of themselves and being confused. This
produces disorder, insecurity, instability, and disconnectedness because of
being separated from the truth and the Holy Spirit’s influence. Even the clear
truth from the scriptures is questioned and doubted because of “What I’ve been
taught before and believed.” Because the presented truth doesn’t quite fit into
their religious paradigm so doubt and rebellion is birthed and manifested. 

To be filled with theSpirit will require submission to the Lord and a real surrender to the Spirit.
Doubt and rebellion both resists and opposes any possibility of surrender. The
focus becomes more about “what I believe” or “what I want” in any given
situation and the will of the Lord and the filling of the Spirit is the last
thing on their minds. We must put rebellion and doubt to “death” in our hearts
if we are to ever be filled with the Spirit. When we think that Lucifer lost
his place in heaven over rebelling against God, how could we ever believe the
Spirit would fill us if doubt and rebellion is active in our hearts? As the
scripture says there in James, “For letnot that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,” especiallybeing filled with the Holy Spirit! At this point, dealing with this problem
requires surrender, surrender, surrender, and nothing less or more! 

  1. Fear Romans 8:15; 2 Timothy 1:7 

There might be a numberof reasons why fear invades and controls believers; past experiences, excesses,
current intimidation or the unknown future are just a few I’ll mention that can
develop and empower fear in our lives. Regardless of the sources of fear, fear
is something to be quite concerned about… especially when we find it in our own
hearts. Fear is something that can be a great hindrance to being filled with
the Spirit as seen in these verses of scripture. 

Paul indicates in theverse from Romans that fear and bondage are closely connected together. He even
calls it a “spirit of bondage to fear.” This matter of being filled with the
Spirit is about experiencing a wonderful freedom! You will find it interesting
to note in this verse that “receiving” the Holy Spirit is the opposite of
“receiving” the spirit of fear and bondage. Paul presents fear as being in
direct opposition to the delightful freedom we have when filled with the Holy
Spirit. The filling of the Spirit clarifies our intimate relationship with our
Father God as being in a place where we can call Him “Abba Father.” This word,
“Abba,” could be translated “Daddy” and clearly defines the closeness and
connection we could have with the Father. The point to see here is that fear is
what hinders and could possibly keep us from this beautiful relationship. Fear
hinders us from being filled with the Spirit, thus keeping us separated from
intimacy with God. 

3. Unbelief Matthew 13:58; 17:19-20;21:32; John 12:37; Hebrews 3:12 

Honestly, this is adangerous hindrance to the filling of the Spirit. Unbelief is much more than
simply the lack of faith. In the word “unbelief” as we find it in these verses
there is the sense that this is a volitional, or willing, decision rather than
a result of our ignorance. Even in spite of the evidence displayed right before
people’s eyes, they make an intentional choice to not believe. Just the thought
of this is enough to make a person cringe. 

The Greek word is“apistia” and it means to be unfaithful or to be untrustworthy. There is
inherent in the word, a movement or action of some sort. The action is actually
a choice to not believe regardless of to what the evidence may point. Issues of
stability, value, and insight are involved in this intentional process of
unbelief. Instability, devaluing, and a lack of insight are in operation in
one’s heart and mind and that leads down the pathway of not believing. The
actual reality and value of God and His work is denied right from the heart. 

The above noted verse inHebrews sheds a bright light, bringing clarity to this matter. The “unbelief”
spoken of in this verse is revealed from its dark nature as it is described
like coming from a foundation or basis of “an evil heart.” So here we see the
really dark nature of unbelief.  

This discussion, althoughbrief, identifies two crystal clear points as to how unbelief will hinder
anyone from being filled with the Spirit. The first is it denies the reality of
God and any genuine thing He may be doing or has done. The second point is that
unbelief is actually the fruit of an evil heart. 

4. Attitude of Worldliness Romans1:28; 8:5-8; Colossians 2:18; Titus 1:15; James 4:1-5; Jude 18-19 

The mention of the word“attitude” speaks to a heart condition that includes a mindset or a thought
process that supports that heart condition. All of these verses above refer to
the attitude of worldliness and its destructive consequences to our lives. It
is quite difficult to be filled with the Spirit when we are filled with the

Paul describes this asbeing “carnally-minded” in Romans 8:6. The Greek word for flesh is the word
“sarx.” The Greek word for “minded” is “Phronema” which means a way of thinking
that is settled. Paul explains this as “setting the mind” on the things of this
world or the flesh. “Set” means to make something an important priority in
life. So this attitude of worldliness is not something we casually slip into,
but is a serious choice and decision made to follow a way of life that is
opposed to God’s way and for the most part thinking or believing that it
doesn’t matter. 

This has to do with ourestablishing the sensuous nature part of our lives as the most important matter
for us to satisfy and fulfill. Actually, this is where our emotions take over
and are directing our lives. The “attitude” is something that invades and
prevails over most of the areas of our lives and a characteristic expression of
this attitude is “I will do what feels good or what has the most benefits for
me!” Even in the religious world there are expressions similar in nature that
sound like this: “I don’t feel led” or “I have to pray about that to see how
I’ll feel about doing that”… regardless of what the scripture says. These are
indicators of an attitude that is worldly in nature, or as Paul calls it, “to
be carnally-minded.” 

Let’s take a look behindthe “curtain” to see the real darkness of this attitude… just in case the
thought might arise within us “This is not that bad of a thing.” The results of
an attitude of worldliness can be quite devastating to our spiritual life
especially hindering any filling of the Spirit. There are four results to
consider here: 

One result is thedevaluation of God. In Romans 1:28 the word “retain” means to “hold on to.” In
the verse, these people did not want to hold on to God. God is seen as being in
the way or as a barrier to progress. God is not important enough to hold close,
to cherish, or with whom to nourish a relationship. God needs to be kept out of
the picture; to not be Lord and Master of the picture! In addition, this word
“retain” is found in the present tense. As discussed previously, the present
tense speaks to a kind of action that is continuous and habitual in nature. The
refusal of these people to “retain God in their knowledge” wasn’t an action
that occurred from time to time but really was a state of mind, a fixed
position. If there is any use or connection of God to this attitude it is only
for selfish purposes. In other words, God is like a broom in a closet to be
pulled out only when a mess needs to be cleaned up. Once the mess is cleaned
up, God is put back away neatly not to disturb for the rest of life. 

The second result is thedemoralizing or even possible demonizing of God. In Romans 8:7 and in the
passage in James, we discover that an attitude of worldliness transports us to
a place where we are in opposition to God. We become His enemy! I don’t know
about you but I never want to be in that place of opposition to God and His
purpose… to be considered His enemy! This worldliness opposes the direction God
provides in scripture as to how we should walk and live; selflessly rather than
selfishly. James says plainly that we cannot be a friend of the world and a
friend of God at the same time. God help us if we allow people to come to
church and then we give them any impression that following Christ is anything
less that total sacrifice of self and total surrender and dedication to Christ
and His word. 

The third result is adefiling of yourself and others. The verse in Titus indicates that the attitude
of worldliness leads you into defiling yourself and your thinking. Your
thinking processes are influenced and distorted to the extent that you may no
longer clearly see. In Colossians 2:18, there is the indication that this
attitude will seek to “Cheat” or rob others of important godly matters
essentially defiling them too. 

The fourth result leadsto demeaning and dividing the body of Christ. Jude 18-20 speaks to this result.
Jude tells us this attitude of worldliness can lead you to the place where you
make fun of others (mocking) causing divisions. He clearly states that the
presence of the Holy Spirit is missing. The matter of being filled with the
Spirit is contrasted in this passage as the opposite of this attitude of

These four results speakto the horrible nature of this attitude and how dark it really is. We must
admit that this is an influence and struggle we all have in today’s culture. Society
feeds this attitude to us on a steady diet. When I go to a third world country
to do mission work for about a month or so, I find myself no longer exposed to
the over commercialization of America. I am cut off from all of the bombardment
of worldliness. Instead the focus is on the Gospel of Christ, a much more
simple way of living, and the ability to love God with no distractions. I find
it to be not only refreshing, it is revitalizing. When I return to the United
States, I am sickened by so much worldliness that prevails in Christians here
and it genuinely grieves my spirit. Sad to say, it doesn’t take long before it
no longer seems to bother me much anymore. Oh my goodness… we may be blinder to
this hindrance than any of the others. Perhaps these two comparisons explain
why the filling of the Spirit is a rare experience among Christians in America. 

Simply stated, for themost part we Westerners don’t want God, the church, or the Bible interfering
with our lifestyles, lifetime, or our time schedules! We want God available in
our every crisis and great needs but to give Him extended control over our
everyday lives and time schedule, well… He can just forget that! We want
entertainment, pleasure, and whatever else we can get from others with the
least amount of work or effort on our part. After all, don’t we have a right or
feel entitled to that? So, this attitude becomes another huge rock in our “jar”
that hinders and leaves less room for our complete filling with the Spirit. I
wonder if we really would come to grips with this understanding if it would
change how we internalize church on Sunday and any other services provided to
us through the week. Please, we must be cautious and careful not to seek an
easy justification to our practices. The question we must ask is “Do our
practices produce committed believers who are ready to risk their lives to
change the world for Christ?” What a “rock” to deal with! 

5. Stubbornness 1 Samuel 15:23; Isaiah 46:12; Acts 7:51 

From the verse in 1Samuel we find a number of interesting nuances from the word. The Hebrew stem
is the “Hifil” form. This particular stem form indicates the action involved is
quite intensive in nature. The actual Hebrew word itself means to “press or
push.” The intensive stem changes the meaning to “beat severely.” In other
words, “I will not give in, no matter what!” might be the kind of heart
expression spoken. This is the matter of becoming unreasonable, stuck, and
insisting on one’s own way. “This is the way it is going to be and no changes will
take place!” The idea conveyed is “beating up” on others simply for the purpose
of having it your own way. We call this bullying today. Also, this could mean
that you could be very hard on yourself, literally “beating yourself up” for
whatever your reasons. 

The New Testamentequivalent is being “stiffed-necked” and carries the same meaning. Essentially,
the concept and ideas are the same. The expressions spoken and held to in the
heart would be equal. The verse in Acts clearly communicates this.  

There could be some whowould argue with this point by saying that their attitude is simply
“steadfastness” rather than “stubbornness.” Consider the difference between the
two for a few moments so we can better understand this hindrance of
“stubbornness.” What we might call “steadfastness” might be “stubbornness” in
disguise. There are three sources to help us evaluate the difference. One is:
what does the Word of God have to say in light of the position we are holding
on to? A second definite way of evaluation comes directly from the conviction
of the Holy Spirit. Please remember that the Holy Spirit will never be in
conflict or contradiction with the Word of God. A third source of evaluation
can come from the godly counsel of other mature believers around us. The best
possible position of “steadfastness” would arise by all three of these sources
being in unity and agreement one with the other. If it is different that should
result in a questioning of our position. Two or more in disagreement would be a
definite indicator that we are off base and to hold on to our position would be
clearly “stubbornness!” Now it almost goes without saying that in any position
we hold there needs to be an openness and spirit of humility to listen to
opposing views and opinions. To be closed-minded and unwilling to hear other’s
thoughts is a sign of “stubbornness” to begin with. I do have to say I have
experienced this particular spirit in much older Christians more than any other
of the hindrances discussed in this book. This is such a shame because the more
mature believers should desire humility, understand that there is much they do
not know, and demonstrate a sincere hunger for the filling of the Spirit. But
because of their “stubbornness,” they seem to be the most lacking of those being
filled with the Spirit! 

Next, let’s consider whatstubbornness really is as God views it and how dangerous it is to our lives.
The referenced passage in Samuel equates stubbornness with “iniquity” and
“idolatry.” These are quite serious matters. 

How does this “idolatry”manifest itself in our lives? It is manifested by someone setting themselves up
as a god as they do what they want when they want. They make up their own
beliefs and rules and it doesn’t matter what God’s word, His Spirit, or other mature
Christians have to say. They might express it in this way, “This is the way I
see it, feel it, or want it, so get used to it!” It is easy to perceive at this
point how stubbornness will hinder anyone from being filled with the Spirit. 

The verse in Isaiahspeaks to how stubbornness has carried one off or has led one along a pathway
that is far from righteousness. The verse in Acts declares that stubbornness
reveals a condition of the heart that is covered and full of evil that affects
the body (“ears”) and the soul (“heart”). In addition, it shows itself in
resisting the Person and work of God around you. Wow! How much more serious can
this be? 

6. Pride and Selfishness Isaiah14:12-14; Luke 18:9-14; Romans 12:3; Colossians 2:18; James 4:6-10; 1

The sixth hindrance wewill study is pride and selfishness. As with the others, this one too is
extremely dangerous to the Christian life in being filled with the Spirit. I
have put pride and selfishness together because I see them as two sides of the
same coin. You cannot have one without the other. Our discussion regarding
pride is just as much about selfishness as it is with pride; just keep this in
mind as we progress through this point… pride is equal to selfishness.  

Pride as witnessed fromthese verses, is absolutely one of the most dangerous issues of our life. It
was the one sin that caused Lucifer (the Devil), who was an Arch Angel, to lose
his high position in heaven. In line with our topic and discussion, pride and
selfishness rising in his mind and heart hindered his ability to be filled with
the Spirit which then resulted in considerable poor judgment and a lack of
proper insight into just how he was drifting away from a genuine relationship
with God. This caused the lifting up of his pride and desire to uproot Almighty
God’s position, falsely convincing himself that he could be bigger and better
than God. And by the way… this sorry attitude continues to control the Devil

The Hebrew word for pridemeans “to rise up,” the Greek word in the New Testament means “to exalt
oneself.” Essentially the word carries the same meaning all through the Bible.
My definition for pride is “our using whatever means or people to (1) be
higher, (2) look better, and/or (3) to get what we want, regardless of what it
does to others!” It would be a mistake to not take into consideration what our
fallen sinful nature does with pride. It empowers and drives the force of pride
even more and, obviously, this fallen nature is what makes pride and
selfishness such a problem for all of us. 

Next, let’s consider afull description of pride. First consider this general thought. Pride and the
Holy Spirit are in constant and direct conflict with each other, battling for
control of our lives (Romans 7:15- 8:2). So then, pride desires to and will
fill us as quickly and as often as the Holy Spirit. As easily as we can be
filled with the Spirit, we can be just as easily filled with pride and
selfishness. I believe I can safely say that pride is worse than stubbornness!
Understand… there is no room for the Spirit when we are filled with ourselves.
This is an observation from what I have personally seen and experienced in

Pride and selfishness canbe understood from looking at three different perspectives. The first one is an
over-inflated ego. It can express itself by saying things such as, “I am above
others or that person; I am better than most; I have more value than others; or
I’m not as bad as that person.”  

The second perspective iswhat I call an under-inflated ego. Sometimes this is referred to as false
humility… there is a false presentation of a lowered self-image. This is a
devious tactic used to manipulate others and utilizes such phrases as, “Nobody
wants to listen to my opinions because I’m not valuable around here, or I’m
just not good enough to participate in something, or I’m not good enough for
God to bother with me and my little needs.” These are often said to gather
people around us who might put up with our pride and selfishness or used as an
excuse to put God out of our life’s equation so we can do whatever we want
whenever we want to! I have also witnessed people in this state of pride as
always being sick and needy so people will care for them and beckon to their
every whim and summoning.  

The third perspective isthe self-infatuated ego. This is where one is only concerned for themselves.
This is actually a foundational point of all of relationships and deeds. The
ego thinks in this way, “How will I benefit from this? What’s in this for me?
How will I get want I want if I do what you want?” It is all from a purely
selfish perspective and it doesn’t take into consideration what happens to
others. The only thing that is really important is the “me.” 

7. Unforgiveness Matthew 6:14-15;18:35; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; Hebrews 12:14-15 

This matter offorgiveness is something that we have discussed at length already but still
needs to be mentioned here because it is probably one of the most misunderstood
practices in the Christian life. Withholding forgiveness is an absolute
“killer” to our ever being filled with the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness is the very
heart of what it means to love others like Jesus loves us. This is the Purpose
of God: Loving Meaningful Relationships! Choosing to not forgive everyone at all
times for all things will not only hinder you from being filled with the
Spirit, it will keep you from ever experiencing any part of the filling. This
fact is of such great importance for us to understand that we must dedicate a
considerable portion of time to this point.  

Let’s first of allconsider defining what it means to forgive. In both scripture verses
(Colossians 3:13 and Ephesians 4:32), the Greek word used for the verb
“forgive” is “charidzomai.” The concept of the action taking place here is the matter
of “giving something.” The big question is what are we to give? This can best
be understood by the root word of “charidzomai,” which is “charis.” “Charis” is
the Greek word for grace! What we are to give is grace. You ask, “What is
grace?” and I’m so glad you asked. Grace is defined as the unmerited favor God
provides to us. It is a matter of not getting what you do deserve and of
getting what you haven’t earned or don’t deserve.  

When we choose toforgive, we are simply giving to someone what they may not deserve; it is a
matter of giving grace. It is so easy and quite natural when someone hurts you
to hold him or her in your judgment, and a bitter judgment at that. Forgiveness
is actually releasing them from your bitter judgment and turning them over to
the Lord who is the true and righteous judge. You can really walk away from
this kind of experience feeling so relieved. 

It is important thoughfor us to consider what forgiveness is not. This can clear up the meaning of
what Paul is calling us to do in these verses. There are eight particular
factors to give our attention. We can clearly state that forgiveness is not: Afeeling , A healing, Pretending the offense didn’t matter, Approval and
permission, Toleration, Equal with trust, Keeping score, Religious cover-up

Next consider that thisverb is a present middle imperative word and how often we are to forgive.
Matthew 18:21-22 

Finally consider whathappens if we choose not to forgive Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-35 

8. Non-repentant Heart Toward Sinful Habits 1 John 1:6-10; Hebrews 3:7-15 

As we face the eighth hindrance, we mustsee that it is a reflection from the perspective of what are we really going to
do with these sins that have already been clearly identified. Are we going to
justify, minimize, rationalize, or just ignore them altogether, or are we going
to begin dealing with them? Are we going to live responsibly or remain
unrepentant toward sin? 

A non-repentant heart is ongoingactivity and not just an occasional occurrence! Exposition of the verbs in
these verses reveals that almost everyone in this passage are in the present
tense except for God forgiving and cleansing; both of which are aorist tenses.
In addition, there is lots of talk but no walk to prove the point! John makes
it perfectly clear that we “say” one thing but “walk” in another direction. We
are living a lie and reinforcing falsehood and evil in our lives. 

A tell-tale sign is that there islittle or no conviction of sin in your life leading to genuine confession and
humility before God and man. There is little or no taking of responsibility for
your sins. In fact, it becomes easy to say or think, “I’m okay and better than
most people.” The last “sinned” in verse ten is in the perfect tense. The
perfect tense speaks to an action that took place in the past but continues to
have ongoing consequences. This results from total denial that you or I have
ever done anything wrong! 

There are 8 different sources of anon-repentant heart. There is no other Book in the Bible like Proverbs that
provides incredible insight and speaks to this matter of a non-repentant heart.
We are able to find throughout the Proverbs, verses that speak to each of these
eight points I want to share with you. Obviously there are many other verses
throughout the Bible that we could refer to but for this section I want to
reference just the verses out of Proverbs that help in the identification of
these sources. Here they are: 

1. A desire to be God or like a godover your own life, and to be in control - Proverbs 14:14,16; 18:1-2 

2. Unresolved hurt, woundedness, orconflicts - Proverbs 10:18; 18:19 

3. A sense of feeling powerless, avictim - Proverbs 18:14; 28:1 

4. A sense of I like what I’m doing anddon’t want to change, It is working for me and I am content with things as they
are - Proverbs 13:19; 15:21 

5. I really don’t think this is aproblem or a sin - Proverbs 16:2; 30:20 

6. A wrong belief system - Proverbs14:12; 17:15 

7. A fear of change and of the unknown- Proverbs 26:11-16 

8. Ignorance - Proverbs 4:19 

AnImportant Insight to Understand about the Contrast of a Non-repentant Heart and
a Repentant Heart. It is a real possibility for thepotential of the spirit of legalism to drift into our minds and lead us to
perspectives and judgments that are not correct or in keeping with God’s
ultimate purpose of loving meaningful relationships. I have to admit that even
I am guilty of telling others that unless you got rid of all of your sin and
your life was pure and clean, you could never entertain the possibility of
being filled with the Spirit. I was horribly wrong! I have discovered through a
life of experience and study of the scriptures that you can be filled with the
Holy Spirit and yet still be struggling or being tempted with sin! 

Struggling is quite different than just simply tolerating, excusing,walking in, or letting sin have its way in your life unchecked! I have known in
my own life and in the lives of so many believers that our hearts seriously and
desperately desired both God and to be free from the slippery slopes of sin…
but it is so difficult to break free of sin’s grip. The struggle is between the ongoing experience of repentance and theease with which sin occurs in our lives. In this case there is no contentment
with sin but a there is a constant battle or struggle to be free and to walk
with God. Ask anyone who is a Christian and who struggles with an addiction of
any sort. They will tell you how God is real to them and can fill them at times
even though they are still struggling with their addiction. Too often, others
have judged individuals in this state thinking that there is no way a person
like this can be filled with the Spirit or be close with God. This is horribly
wrong! The opposite is true. The real truth of the matter is the Holy Spirit is
constantly bringing conviction in the heart (this is the struggle taking place)
and how we choose to deal with this conviction determines if our condition is a
struggle or a toleration of sin. Without the Spirit and His conviction, our heartbecomes hard through the deceitfulness of sin as told in the Hebrews passage! 

The stark contrast here in 1 John isthe person who is facing up to his sin and properly dealing with it compared to
the one who is denying, covering up, and just plain refusing to take
responsibility for their sins. 

We all commit sins from time to timeand we have all acknowledged that we are strugglingwith all of these hindrances; even some of us really struggle with habits of sin. But there is a differencebetween struggling and refusing toacknowledge and deal with your sin, and sinful habits. The difference between
the non-repentant and the repentant heart is this struggle we have. So in one
sense because we are all sinners, if we aren’t experiencing this struggle, the
chances are high that there is a non-repentant heart inside of us! 

9. Spiritual Bondage John 8:34; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 4:27; 6:10-13 

Now we face the last andfinal major hindrance to us being filled with the Spirit. In actuality this may
be the most revealing and frightening one of all. The last hindrance considers
what happens when we choose to not repent or constantly deal with these major
sins in our life; now we see the serious spiritual realities of what happens
when we allow sin to remain and begin to rule over us and how our lives can be
so damaged and disrupted by Satan, the enemy of our souls!  

We must face the reality of a spiritualdimension. We are not alone in this universe; there are angels and demons as
the scriptures indicate. There is a real enemy of our soul that is out to
steal, kill, and destroy us. We can do enough damage to ourselves by ourselves
but… as we give him a place, he can cause so much more damage! 

The verse in Ephesians4:27 gives us a huge insight into this matter. The Greek word used for “place”
in this verse is worth a close look. This word actually means “a measured out space.” This means thatthrough our refusal to deal with any sinful area in our life we are measuring
out a specific “place” in our mind and/or heart and, like building a small room
then locking the door, we are giving the devil the key. It becomes his property
and he takes ownership over that particular “space.” Until the “key” is removed
from him or the “deed” to that space is removed from him, he is able to have
free reign and course in that place. Unforgiveness toward a person is a good
example of this matter. We may have victory and peace in so much of our lives
but when it comes to thinking about that particular person, we are in bondage
to grief or anger or worse! The Holy Spirit cannot fill those areas controlled
by the enemy because the enemy has possession of that “place.” This is what
Paul is talking about when he says, “nor give a place to the devil.” 

These “places” of controland domination result from the long-term presence of the various hindrances we
have discussed and the refusal to deal with them. This is not about an occasional
sin or a fall from time to time. No, it takes time to measure out these
“places” and for the devil to move in and take control; control which we would
call a spiritual bondage. It is our soul (our mind and heart) that is the
passageway through which these bondages enter then establish their work in us.
An important fact to remember is that this normally happens slowly and can
possibly occur without much awareness on our part. That is a serious thought to

The Bible describesspiritual bondage in three different ways or venues. As mentioned earlier,
entire books have been written about each one of these and I would suggest you
examine some of these to further educate yourself about them. Here I want to
briefly identify and define them for you. 

(1) Demonized (1 Cor. 10:20, throughout the gospels) -Demons are very real spiritual personalities who attach themselves to usin particular areas to hold us down. This type of bondage must becast out

(2) Strongholds (2 Cor. 10:3-5) – These are currentmindsets, belief systems, and thought processes that holdus in. This type of bondage must be pulled down.  

(3) Gates of Hell (Matthew 16:13-19) – These are deepseated mindsets and belief systems that present themselves as barriersand blockades that hold us back. This type of bondage must be unlocked.This particular venue is the least well known and written about. I would refer
you to my book “Unlocking The Gates of Hell” by Paul T. Evans; Published by
Word Association Publishers February 20, 2002. You can always contact me for

A special note to keep inmind is that these bondages can have the same effect on a person as someone who
has been institutionalized for a long time... they create a false sense of
comfort and safety and a weakness or fear about moving out and being free! So
spiritual bondage left unchecked for a long time could present a real challenge
to deal with because of the discomfort and unknown results that occur when
freedom becomes a reality. 

In concluding thisportion of the teaching, it is vital to share a methodology to deal with these
hindrances. The seriousness of each one is obviously clear to our minds and the
desire to do something is crying out from deep within us. I have to say after
many years of helping people, I have found a wonderful method that I believe
the Holy Spirit has given to me to share with others. It is simple, biblically
oriented, and incredibly effective as reported by many people who have
incorporated this in their personal lives. It is a four-step method. 

First of all thehindrance(s) must be identified. Wecannot avoid or overlook or even “sugar-coat” the problem. We must see it for
what it is and call it out in our life. A warning here: This is not to be used
on others, just ourselves! 

Second, we mustunderstand the seriousness of thematter. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but
the end is the way of death.” Humility must be exercised not only in
identifying the hindrance(s) but also in considering how dangerous it is to our
spiritual life and being filled with the Spirit; which is absolutely necessary
to live the genuine Christian life. 

Third, we must have agenuine desire to remove thehindrance(s) from our life. I have to say that I have experienced in my own
life and witnessed in so many others, of coming to the place of number two but
when it really came down to a desire and hunger to change… becoming number one…
well… maybe not today. The Old Testament story of Moses and Pharaoh in dealing
with the plagues of Egypt illustrates this point. The plague of the frogs is to
the point. When Pharaoh called for Moses to get rid of the frogs, Moses asked
him when he wanted the frogs to be gone. Pharaoh says do it “tomorrow!” Oh no…“tomorrow?”…that means he wanted tospend one more night with the frogs! Our desire must be sincere and desperate.
We must not want to spend another night with the hindrance(s) affecting our
life and keeping us from the filling of the Spirit! 

Fourth, is the mostinteresting revelation for dealing with any of the hindrances. When you come to
this place and exercise this method, you will see positive outcomes every time,
guaranteed! It has two parts. First we need to surrender to the Holy Spirit. This is giving up and giving Himtotal control over our life. Second, we must take the hindrance(s) captive in Jesus name and nail it/them to the cross as wediscussed in the 5th Factor. This is to be done over and over againat each thought of the problem and every time it raises its ugly head to us.  

Paul tells us that our thoughts are to betaken into “captivity to the obedience of Christ.” In the Name of Jesus (under
His divine authority), we are to take thoughts and feelings captive and then we
are to nail them to the cross. Jesus has already “nailed” all our sins to the
cross. What we are doing in this method is just recognizing what Jesus has
already completed and bringing into our present reality the truth in agreeing
with the scripture that this is done! By verbally speaking this out, it brings
amazing results. Now please understand that this is an ongoing process and it
is actually aliening our soul with the truth in the scripture and thus it
releases the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish our freedom and forgiveness
in present reality. It is at this place where getting filled with the Spirit
becomes the easiest thing on earth! I have found this to be the most effective
way of dealing with these hindrances on a daily basis and God knows how much we
need to work on these areas. 

There is another plan or method that isworth providing here that may be of help to you too. This one comes straight
out of James Four and can be a valuable tool in helping others as well as
yourself. I will simply list the seven steps that James gives to us: 

1) Submit to God, surrender 

2) Resist the devil and he will flee 

3) Draw near to God (getting in His lap) 

4) Honestly deal with your sins Cleanse your hands... stopping sinful activities... andPurify your hearts... dealing with your motivations... This is about really
doing something about the sins in your life and heart, not just talking about

5) See this like God sees it. Take this serious enough to bringyou to sorrow, godly sorrow is seeing things like God sees themand really caring about it! 

6) Understand your place before God in humbling yourself in the sight of the Lord andHe will lift you up. This is about understanding your place before God which is
equal with everyone else! And the lifting up is what God does, not what we do! 

7) Stop gossiping and show love at all times.Don’t speak evil of others, this is judging and gossiping, love one another to
the best of your ability! 

Hindrances are real. They are dangerous and willhamper, obstruct and thwart us from the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is time
to take these matters seriously and deal with them appropriately, knowing the
Lord is for us at all times. The Holy Spirit will perform His ongoing works in
and through us in order for us to complete what He has designed for us. As we
surrender and seek to be filled with the Spirit on a daily basis, the world in
us and around us will be changed! 

IV. How to be filled with the Holy Spiritand maintain the filling fresh each day 

1. Isit God’s Will for me to be filled with the HolySpirit? 

The obvious answer tothis question can be clearly answered by looking at two verses of scripture
when considering the commands of both Jesus and the Apostle Paul in his
writings. First let’s consider the command of Jesus in Acts 1:4-8: 

Jesus refers to thefilling of the Holy Spirit as “ThePromise of the Father.” This is the promise that has been forgotten yet isabsolutely necessary to embody for Christian life. We find in this passage that
Jesus is not indicating in any way that the filling of the Spirit is to be an
option to choose for the Christian; it is a command directly from Him. Jesus
clearly declares that this filling is a requirement and absolutely necessary to
be His witnesses and to continue living the Christian life in this world.
Obviously, Jesus is providing clear understanding that it is God’s Will for us
to be filled with the Spirit. There is no doubt or potential for unclarity regarding
this matter. This is the promise of theFather and it is His command to us not to attempt anything in the Christianlife without it!  

Let’s now turn ourattention to the command of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:18. Paul’s words as
inspired by the Spirit are powerful and speak directly to an answer to the
question. The Greek verb “be filled”is found in the Imperative Mode inthe Greek. This is the modality of command. Again, Paul is not communicating
that being filled with the Spirit is an option but it is a command. In other
words, to not be filled would be to be living in sin! This is a serious matter
and Paul expresses just how important it is, agreeing with Jesus that being
filled is essential for the believer’s life. Considering these commands from
Jesus and from Paul, we can easily conclude that our answer must be a
resounding “Yes!” It is the will of God for all of us to be filled with the

2. IsGod really able to do this for me personally? 

It is amazing to me howmany Christians can easily accept that it is God’s will to be filled with the
Spirit, but somehow feel like God may not be able to do this for them
individually. This is not uncommon at all because there are many people I have
spoken to who feel like they are not good enough, or special enough, or know
enough, for God to be concerned and active in their lives. But the opposite is
true on all accounts. Every believer is good enough, special enough, and it
doesn’t matter what they do or do not know about God; that is simply because this
is God’s work to do - not ours. The merits of Christ and all that He has
already done is sufficient enough for each of us to receive from the Lord every
promise in the Bible… especially His promise that we can be filled with the
Spirit. There are two scriptural passages we need to look at and consider so as
to fully understand just how much God is desiring and able to accomplish this
on a continual basis in our lives: 1 John 5:14-15 and Luke 11:9-13. 

There has been a lotwritten about prayer and how to get your prayers answered. Some of the writings
are questionable and some are just untrue. But these verses in 1 John bring
clarity with assurance that one way to know for certain your prayers will be answered
is to pray “according to His will.” Accepting that the filling of the Holy
Spirit is God’s will for every Christian’s life places us in the position of
knowing with confidence that we willreceive this filling. It is His will for us. 

The passage in Luke isextraordinary to examine. The answer to the question of whether God is able to
fill us every time we ask is an easy thing to get as we look at these verses.
In fact, it is exciting for us to know that God is ready to fill us with His
Spirit “much more” than just about anything else we could ask for! Jesus makes
it perfectly clear how our Father is poised and ready to pour out His Spirit
upon us the very moment we ask. This passage has transformed my life in
understanding how much God wants and is ready to fill me with His Spirit. I do
not have to jump through hoops of fire, pray all night long, have emotional
waves of expression, or to do anything except to ask! 

3. Whatdo I need to do to be, being filled with the Holy Spirit? 

With all of that being said,why do so many miss being filled or feel as if it is allusive to them? What do
I need to do, to be filled with the Spirit? Please realize that this is the
work of the Lord and not so much our work. We simply need to place ourselves in
the right position in order for God to do His work in filling us. I want to
provide several thoughts that I believe can help to get us in that proper place
for when we ask; it will happen… every time. Follow along with me carefully… 

… You must have a full assuranceof personal salvation (John 3:16; 1John 5:10-13; Romans 10: 9-10). We can absolutely know we are saved. If you
have doubts or believe you are not saved (having the indwelling of the Holy
Spirit), then being filled with the Spirit isn’t an option. But as you gain
confidence you are saved, it is the next natural step to be asking to be filled
with the Spirit every day. 

You must have a genuineunderstanding of your own personal value with God, doing away with a“performance” mentality to make God love you more (Romans 5:8)! If you do not
think you have value with God, how could you ever consider that He would fill
you with His Spirit and enable you to do wonderful things for Him? This is not
about having an overinflated ego, it’s about coming to grips with the reality
of just how important you are to God andhow much He loves you! 

You must have a sincere desireto be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus says what we desire we will get
(Matthew 5:6). What is the real desire in your heart? An old holy man
responding to a question from one of his disciples about how to find God,
grabbed the young disciple’s head and held him underwater for an extended
period of time. After a while the old man released the boy and while choking
and gasping for air, he asked the old man, “What did that have to do with
finding God?” The holy man responded, “When you want to find God as much as you
wanted air to breathe, then you find God!” The desire to be filled with the
Holy Spirit must be in our hearts; not because of the desire of our spouse or
parent or even our friends, it must be our desire. 

Obviously you must havean honest and ongoing dealing with any of the hindrances that we spokeof earlier in this book (Galatians 2:20; 1 John 1:9). You cannot live a life
having no regard for the Lord, having barriers that grieve and quench the
Spirit and still expect to be filled. Now it is important to understand that
this is not about becoming perfect without sin or completely eliminating every
hindrance from your life, but it is about having an honest, ongoing attitude
desiring to deal with these matters whenever possible. 

At this point, you arenow in the position necessary for asking. All that is really required is to
simply surrender to the Lord(Galatians 2:20; Mark 8:34ff). Surrender is a huge word and it is all about
giving up your rights; to submit yourself to another. I have been told on
numerous occasions that when someone simply learns to choose to surrender each
day to the Lord, life takes on a deeper dimension in living for Christ! Surrender,
surrender, surrender! As you surrender, simply exercise your faith, believing God wants to fill youand is able to fill you… just “ask!” (Romans 10:17). God has said it, I believe
it, and that settles it! It is God’swill and He is able to do it! 

Please remember thatbeing filled with the Spirit is not necessarily tied to your emotions although
there may be some emotional experiences involved. Knowing what happens when
people get filled with the Spirit is important to understand 

Live outeach of these 12 Factors as much as possible in your daily life! 

Thestory is told of a very sinful man who, when attending the annual revival
meeting at a local Christian church, would fall on his knees during the alter
call and cry out to the Lord, “Lord, please fill me up!” Year after year this
would occur but not long after the meetings, he would return back to his sinful
lifestyle. On one occasion at the altar, as he was crying out once again, an
elderly woman who had watched this take place over and over again just couldn’t
stand for it any longer. She stood up and prayed quite loudly for all to hear,
“Oh Lord, don’t fill this man…because he leaks!” 

Thetruth of the matter is that we do leak! All of us leak in some form or fashion.
Our sinful nature must be crucified daily because it is alive and active within
us. The filling of the Spirit we experienced yesterday or last week just won’t
last long because we “leak.” Some of us leak in small gradual occurrences which
are hardly noticeable and others leak like a gusher! Regardless of how you get
empty, the fact remains we all leak and require subsequent and regular ongoing
fillings of the Spirit. Hopefully we don’t wait for annual meetings at the
church to ask for a fresh infilling. In fact, I would recommend that you not
wait for week’s end to seek another filling of the Spirit. If you are anything
like me, I need several fresh fillings every day! I would like to share with
you as we come to some closure seven important practices and truths I have
discovered through the years which, if employed in our daily lives, can assist
greatly in maintaining the filling of the Spirit for longer periods of time. I
would caution you to not think that all you need is one filling of the Spirit,
thinking instead that if you can follow these practices and truths you will
never need to be filled again. The scriptures we have carefully examined have
given us sufficient evidence that we need to repeat “being filled” on a regular
basis. I share these practices and truths to help you gain and maintain a
stronger and longer sense of being filled so you are not like a revolving door. 

1. Practicing Spiritual Breathing (1 John 1:9;James 4:7) 

Whenpracticing normal breathing, we inhale and exhale. Our inhaling is to get in
the good air and our exhaling is to get out the bad. In the spiritual sense,
exhaling has to do with confessing our sin (getting out) as soon as possible,
but there is more to this than just confessing our sin. Inhaling represents our
surrender once again and re-submitting our life to Christ and asking for the
Spirit to fill us again. 1 John 1:9 tells us that Jesus is waiting for us to
come to Him! We cannot just take the position of wanting forgiveness and yet continuing
to hold on to the control of our lives. Spiritual breathing is about confessing
sin and surrendering the control of our life back to God. This is a practice
that should become as regular and normal as our physical breathing to stay

2. Cultivate a Spirit of Humility (Philippians 2:5ff) 

Thepassage in Philippians 2:5ff is one of those high watermarks in the Bible. The example of humility that Christmodeled for us is specifically detailed in this passage. The purpose for Paul
writing this was to urge every believer to live in the same way. Pride is the
sin that caused the devil and many angels to lose their place in heaven and
pride is a dangerous sin in all of our lives also. Pride has a way of covering
itself up so we are the last to discover its presence and hold over us. Some
may never make that discovery. The point I’m making here is that seeking to
cultivate a spirit of humility in our lives will protect us from this danger.
Understand this is not simply an easy choice you can make. This can be hard
work and, like a farmer plows his field every year to begin the process of
re-planting, we must be willing to “plow” our hearts from time to time to
continue in cultivating this spirit of humility. 

3. Prepare For Spiritual Warfare (Ephesians 6:9ff) 

TheApostle Paul declares in this passage that we are at war with the devil and all
of spiritual darkness. In other words there are unseen forces that are in
opposition to us, especially if we pose a threat to them. A believer filled
with the Spirit is the greatest threat to the devil and his forces. A
Spirit-filled Christian has power, is impacting the world around them for God,
and is exercising the spiritual gifts that cause division and instill wreckage
in the kingdom of darkness. It would be foolish on our part to think the devil
and his kingdom will not mount up offensive activity against us in any form or
fashion he can think of to try derailing us and keeping us from being filled
with the Spirit. I do not share this to put fear in your hearts but only to
advise you so that when we experience his opposition in some way we can simply
say to ourselves, “I was expecting that!” Jesus promised us a long time ago
that the devil is defeated and can do us no harm. It is only through listening
to the devil’s lies that we might believe and become afraid or discouraged,
losing our way along the path we are walking. As Spirit-filled believers, we
are victorious at all times becauseit is Christ who gives us the victory and it is through His truth we are set
free and can remain in peace. 

Thewarfare will come from one or more of three areas: the world, the flesh, and the
devil. Always remember that God: is the victor, is in control of the universe,
and is for you! Keep your trust in God, stay focused on being filled with His
Spirit, Him demonstrating His love… you will witness the truth that the devil
is defeated and Jesus Christ is Lord! 

BeforeI leave this point, I would like to ask you a serious question. Are you a tool of the devil or a target of thedevil? I have come to the conclusion through many years of observation and
experience that Christians are either one or the other!!! The devil doesn’t
care who he uses to attack others. This may lead us to consider our potential
of not being filled with the Spirit because an unfilled Christian may more
easily be a tool in the devils handsto use against those who are Spirit-filled. If you feel his opposition against
you, obviously you are a target… and I guess we should rejoice in that because
we would be posing a definite threat to the devil. So, be a target and stand
strong, using the weapons of your warfare that are not of the flesh but that
are of God and made powerful through God! 

4. Practice Praise and Thanksgiving InEverything  

(1Thessalonians5:18; Ephesians 5:20; Romans 8:28) 

Thispractice is absolutely necessary to maintain the filling of the Spirit. The
moment we become critical or unthankful concerning matters in our life is the
moment we begin the slippery slope downward toward losing the filling of the
Spirit. God is God and there is no one like Him in all the universe! This means
that everything is under His control and He is working all things out for the
best possible outcomes. We too often see only from our own temporal or
self-centered perspectives and we can easily miss or misunderstand what God is
up to. In fact, there are many things going on that we haven’t a clue about or
understanding of what God is up to and we can only stand in faith, believing
the scriptures that declare God is in total charge of the universe. From the
perspective of eternity, our view will change and it may take our passing on to
heaven before it all makes sense, but in the mean time we must hold on to our
faith and trust in God’s ultimate and total control. Our human frailties and
weaknesses can lead us to respondfrom our hurt feelings or confusion and we lose the sense of thankfulness; but
that doesn’t change reality. God is still God! Learning and then practicing the
spirit of thankfulness in and for all things at all times will greatly enhance
our ability to remain filled with the Spirit! 

5. Fill Your Mind With God’s Word (John 15:7-8;Matthew 4:4) 

Jesusspoke and taught on numerous occasions that God’s word was vitally important,
believing this was the way of following Him and being His disciple. Jesus of
course was the “living word” among us and still is the perfect expression in
human terms of God’s word. Filling our mind on a regular basis with God’s word
will be quite supportive in maintaining the filling of the Spirit. An old man of
God told me a long time ago that the key to a Spirit-filled life is a
Word-filled life…and he was right! It is amazing to me, after so many years of
teaching and studying of God’s word, that a day can still come when I read a
verse or two and it jumps off the page with such powerful truth and application
for my life that I can almost say “I’ve never seen that verse before.” It is
always fresh and relevant. It goes without saying but I want to mention here
that Paul tells us the word of God is “the sword of the Spirit” that is to be
used in battling the wiles of the devil! 

6. Fellowship Properly With God’s People (Hebrews10:24-25) 

Fromthe early days of the Church as seen in the Book of Acts, God’s people having
fellowship together was important. The writer of Hebrews emphasizes in this
passage just how extremely vital this fellowship is in the last days. When a
Christian isolates themselves or becomes alone, experiencing little interaction
with other believers, it seems as if their ability to remain filled with the
Spirit becomes more difficult. There is some wonderful “thing” that occurs when
Christians are together in one accord; worshipping, praying, playing, and
serving the Lord together. When you consider the Great Commandment Jesus gave
us… to Love one another… you can’t even begin to live that unless you are in
fellowship with others. It is easily seen why the devil wants to cause people
to hurt each other. It is to facilitate his purpose of keeping people away from
one another. He knows how genuine fellowship is an essential practice for
maintaining the filling of the Spirit. 

7. Share Our Life, Resources, and FaithWith Others 

(Mark8:35; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:44-47; Acts 4:32-35) 

Jesussaid, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his
cross, and follow Me” Mark 8:35. Jim Elliot said, “A man is no fool to give
what he cannot keep… to gain what he cannot lose!” These are powerful and challenging words to every person who callshimself a Christian. We are commanded over and over again to share our time,
talents, and money in order to build the Kingdom of God here on the earth. God
wants us to be involved in the lives of others as much as possible as well as
doing all that we can to support His work both locally and globally. This is a part
of what “loving others” means and is crucial to maintain the filling of the
spirit. The early Christians modeled this way of life, believers through the
ages have sacrificed so much to continue this, and we are to follow their
patterns… continuing to do this through sharing our lives, resources, and faith
with others to build the Kingdom. Jesus is the ultimate example of giving
everything; and He continues to this day! The joy that comes with giving when
you are filled with the Spirit is something that will work to maintain that
filling in your life. 

Aswith any list, this is not exhaustive nor is it a sure guarantee that it will
accomplish all that it might do. But these are seven practices and truths that
I have found to be quite helpful in maintaining the filling of the Spirit. I am
thankful that no matter what, a simple turning to the Lord in sincere surrender
and simply asking for another filling will result in my (and yours too) fresh
empowering of the Spirit; that is promised by Jesus. Yes, it’s true… we do
leak…but He will be our everlasting fountain… an artesian well springing up to
fill us with the Spirit over and over again!