Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Knowing whether you’re filled with the Holy Spirit is important. Being baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5 and 8), filled with the Holy Spirit Acts 2:4), empowered for service by God (Acts 1:8) for the Christian, is vitally important. This empowering experience is the difference between life or abundant life, getting by or getting ahead, mediocrity or exceptionality, being of little effect or victoriously effective, being weak or powerful in the Christian life. There’s something different and distinguishable between a Christian and a Christian filled with or empowered by the Holy Spirt. “For as yet He (the Holy Spirit) had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:16).

To be a Christian is to enter a new eternal spiritual state of life. It’s a wonderful new life and I by no means mean to belittle or degrade our salvation in any way. But there is a life of sanctification lived out in service to God that is subsequent to our initial salvation. As is often the case with our gracious Creator, He has still more, much more for us to experience (e.g., Romans 5:17). If being born again through faith in Christ is running on regular gas, the one filled with the Spirit is like running on high octane.

We might also say the Spirit filled life is similar to the difference between a car with an empty gas tank and a car filled with gas. Standing still both look the same. Starting the ignition and stepping on the gas exposes the difference between the two. Too many Christians are running on empty. Too many Christians are satisfied with filling the pews, sitting in a seat, or shifted into park. It’s in service that the difference is exposed. One version lets you down, the other gets you where you want to go. One leaves you in the pit, the other not only gets you in the race, but gets you in the lead. Which are you?

How do you know if you’re filled with the Spirit? Ever run out of gas? I have and it’s not fun. Some people let the gas gauge hover on empty. That warning light that shows you’ll soon be out of gas is no concern to them. They just drive on with not a care in the world, until they’re out of gas. Then, as the fumes evaporate, just before stalling, the car running on empty violently bucks and lurches and comes to an empty halt. The same is true with running out of the power of the Holy Spirit, you buck at God’s word and lurch in your relationships and presumptuously come to a standstill. It can be rough running on empty with the Holy Spirit.

You won’t know if you’re filled with the Spirit until you turn the ignition on and step on the gas. Some are satisfied with coasting, but that only works going downhill. If you want to get over the common hills or maneuver the inevitable mountains of life, you need to be filled, with the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NKJV) – 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

The only way you win and glorify God is by the power of the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit is knowing how to run, gives you self-control, obtains an imperishable crown, and helps you knock out your foe. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is being qualified for service to the Lord.

Being filled with the Spirit is a step of faith that involves purifying the heart before God. God offers this empowerment to every born-again Christian. The Bible says regarding this empowering work of God that He “made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:9). The early disciples testified a willingness to obey the Lord was involved in this internal work saying, “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32). Seek Him for the faith and ability to obey that suits us for His empowerment.

Now someone will slyly try to throw a monkey wrench into my illustrations by saying, “I run an electric car.” But even electric cars need recharging! (Extension cords only reach so far.) Which reminds us we need to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). We leak, we expend energy, we wear down and need refueling. Be ye being filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit.

No matter your power source, the fact remains, Jesus wouldn’t let His disciples in the boxing ring of life or race of the world without the power of the Spirit. Jesus said, “but wait for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). He said when you have that you’ll be “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). We need to obey His command.

It is Jesus who does this work in us. Go to Jesus for your empowering. “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). Jesus gave us a Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). The only way we can fulfill it is with the power He provides.

So get out of the pew, arise from your seat, jump out of your pit, fuel up, fill up, get up, get in the race and power on in the Spirit. Jesus is waiting and rooting you on. Let’s serve our Lord in the power of the Spirit in every hair pin turn and Mulsanne straight in this race of life, all fifteen rounds and final seconds of every fight. In the end we’ll receive our trophy, our championship belt, our crown of life and then lay it at our Savior’s feet. For His glory, be filled with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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