Summary: The reason why many in the body of Christ are complacent and don’t pursue to seek to receive the Holy Spirit knowing that He is going to shake them up and even rattle them so hard ... they miss out on the unbelievable empowerment and joy of the Lord.
Opening illustration: The story is told of an elderly woman named Norena, who lived in southern Florida. When a hurricane hit that area, her home was one of many that was severely damaged. Norena received an insurance settlement, and the repair work began. However, when the money ran out, so did the contractor, leaving an unfinished home with no electricity. Norena lived in her dark, unfinished home - without power - for fifteen (15) years.
You see, my brothers and sisters, the astonishing part of this story is that the hurricane was not Katrina but Andrew - a hurricane which struck in 1992. She had no heat in her home when the winter chills settled over southern Florida. She had no air conditioning when the mercury climbed into the 90’s and the humidity clung to 100 percent. She did not have one hot shower. Without money to finish the repairs, Norena just got by with a small lamp and a single burner.
Her neighbors did not seem to notice the absence of power in her home. Acting on a tip, one day, the mayor of the Miami-Dade area got involved. It only took a few hours of work by electrical contractor, Kent Crook, to return power to Norena’s house. CBS News reported that Norena planned to let the water get really hot, and then take her first "bubble bath" in a decade and a half. "It’s hard to describe having [the electricity]...to switch on," Norena told reporters, "It’s overwhelming."
Tell me, "How many Christian true believers have been living their entire lives without ever knowing what it is like to have the overwhelming Power of the Holy Spirit operating within them?" To be quite frank, I believe that some of us have had that Power turned off for so long, that we would not even recognize it if it came back to us!
Let us turn to Acts chapter 8 and catch with the story where God provides the NT church with a new power ~ ‘The infilling of the Holy Spirit.’ This gives a completely new dimension and empowerment to the church.
Introduction: (There is no set formula) to be baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit as defined by Scripture does not mean that you do not have the Holy Spirit. If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you already have the Spirit dwelling within you!
The phrase "receive the Holy Spirit" in Acts 8: 15, 17, 19; Acts 10: 47 and Acts 19: 2 refer to the empowering operation of the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8: 15, however, it depicts the inward justifying and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
Further, it does not mean getting more of the Holy Spirit; rather it is a matter of letting the Holy Spirit have more of you. Recall Thomas Smail’s summary:
There are obviously endless differences in maturity and effectiveness among Christians, but they are not differences of this kind. All of Christ and all of the Spirit is offered to all Christians, and withheld from none, as the great gift of God’s grace, and the differences arise not between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in regard to the Spirit, but solely from the degree to which Christians have entered into enjoyment of the inheritance that belongs to all of them and possessed the possessions that are for all in Christ.
Most of us only give Christ a little space of our lives and a grudging ascent of our wills. D.L. Moody once said, "What could God accomplish with a man or a woman who has fully surrendered his or her will to God?"
The Principles for Receiving and Growing in the Infilling with the Holy Spirit Are Basically the Same as Growing in Depth of Relationship with Jesus Christ
These are given as guidelines; there is no set formula! God is sovereign! These principles represent our human attempt at cooperation in God’s purposes and submission to God’s will. Growing in having the Holy Spirit upon for power is simply a matter of being in love with Jesus, asking for the equipping of the Holy Spirit, receiving in faith, and stepping out in obedience.
When / How do we receive the Holy Spirit?
The apostle Paul clearly taught that we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. First Corinthians 12: 13 declares, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” Romans 8: 9 tells us that if a person does not possess the Holy Spirit, he or she does not belong to Christ: “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Ephesians 1: 13-14 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for all those who believe: “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession - to the praise of his glory.”