Summary: How do we know it is really the Holy Spirit? Why doesn’t God always answer? Did Jesus promise the Baptism? This study looks at these questions and the evidence that a person has been filled.
I highly recommend first reading, ’What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?’ This is Part 2 of the message is builds upon what was covered in part 1.
How do I get filled?
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
Not only is being filled with the Spirit offered to all, but it is God’s will that we be filled and we are commanded to be filled. Yet very few people will ever experience this power. Before we go into the ‘how-tos’, let’s look at the warnings Jesus gave on ‘how not to’. Look at Matthew 6:
6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
7 "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
The ‘heathen’ are those who do not know God. The world seeks many formulas to reach God or to get power. They are all deception. The heathen that Jesus was specifically referring to were those religions that thought that repetition would provide power. A vain repetition is something that is repeated over and over. Don’t mistake this for repeating a request to God. When we are earnestly seeking an answer from God, we may ask Him many times before we get an answer. A vain repetition is to chant something over and over thinking the ‘formula’ will have power. Many cults work themselves into trances by repeating a ‘special’ phrase over and over until they fall down and they reach a euphoric, blissful state of mind. The power really isn’t in the phrase, but in the self-hypnosis that usually results when the mind is focused on a phrase and repeated continually. This can even be a ‘Christian’ phrase or word. For example, some people teach that you must focus on, and continue chanting ‘Jesus’ until you are filled. It may be true that you will hit ‘euphoria’, but that isn’t the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus said, don’t use vain repetitions, how can we expect to be filled by His power by using what He clearly warned us not to do? Be very weary of anyone who encourages chanting – even if they call it prayer. Euphoric self-hypnosis is not of God. Satan will gladly use blissful illusions as a distraction to sway people away from the true power of God.
A Thirst for God
The next natural question is, ‘how’? There must first be a hunger and thirst for God. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” Every great evangelist and theologian with this testimony has one thing in common – they all had that hunger for righteousness. They thirsted after God and could not be satisfied with anything less than God. King David had this desire for God when he wrote, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”(Psalm 42). It is not the longing for feelings or emotions that drive us to where God is calling, it is the thirst for God Himself. If I am longing to be filled so that I can have joy and euphoria, I will surely be led the wrong path. It is a pursuit of God, not a pursuit of personal benefit. I hunger to do His will to be satisfied, not my own will. Jesus said that His food was to do the will of the Father and finish His work (John 4:34).
Nothing has changed; we still find our satisfaction in the center of God’s will. Every testimony of great men who found this power from God has had the same direction and focus. They all wanted to do God’s will. They didn’t want glory, they wanted to glorify God. They wanted special power for special service. They wanted to lose their lives for the sake of being completely used for God’s will. The evidence of the Holy Spirit is seen in their lives. They lived holy; they proclaimed the truth of God’s word; they called men to repentance and pointed to the risen Savior, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit does not point people to seek the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will not point to Himself, but to Jesus Christ. The Spirit of truth will not speak of His own authority, but point to the authority of Christ.