How can I receive the Holy Spirit?
Everyday I get great questions from subscribers to this blog. I got this one this morning and realized I don’t think I have a blog post about it yet. So I took some time to share my thoughts. It got so long, it had to be post. Love to hear your thoughts as I know this isn’t everything the Bible has to say about the question “How Can I Receive the Holy Spirit?”
Thank you for your interesting story, my question is “How can I receive the Holy Spirit?”
That’s a great question. I personally believe every Christian has the Holy Spirit in them.
But that’s not the same as being filled with the Spirit. The filling of the Spirit referred to in Ephesians 4:30. We should be so completely yielded to the Holy Spirit and, in that sense, fill us. Jude 1:20 and 1 Corinthians. 14:4-5states that He dwells within every believer, but He can be grieved (Luke 11:9-13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)), and His activity within us can be quenched (1 Corinthians. 14:4-5). When we allow this to happen, we do not experience the fullness of the Spirit’s working and His power in and through us. To be filled with the Spirit implies freedom for Him to occupy every part of our lives, guiding us. Then His power can be exerted through us so that what we do is fruitful to God. The filling of the Spirit does not apply to outward acts alone; it also applies to the innermost thoughts and motives of our actions.
We need to define “What does it mean to receive the Holy Spirit?” before we can address the question “How can I receive the Holy Spirit?”
I was raised in a church culture that said, “To be filled with the Spirit you have to speak in tongues.” Problem was I saw that so misused. It became “If you didn’t have sin in your life you could speak in tongues.” If salvation can’t be earned, why do we think we can earn any other gift from God?
The church group I’ve been a part of as a pastor believes “The infilling of the Holy Spirit is an experience subsequent to salvation…with signs following.”
I was drawn to that because I can train people to prophecy, have words of knowledge, see healing and use almost every other gift without them ever having spoken in tongues.
I see more people speak in tongues when I approach it as a psychological misunderstanding rather than an issue of sin. You see most people think God basically possesses them if they are to truly speak in tongues. We’ve all heard stories of people who couldn’t speak English for days when the Spirit came on them. I could only speak in languages I never learned for a number of hours myself one time.
But the problem with those stories is they are held up as the ideal when they are in fact fairly rare. They do happen, but more often than not God uses what we give him. We need to move our mouth. We need to speak out the words forming in our minds. We need to risk playing the fool.
Now should we speak in tongues? YES! Not everyone is a “speaker of tongues”(the office) (Luke 11:9-13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)), But all are encouraged to pray in the Spirit to build ourselves up (Luke 11:9-13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)). When you’re alone in prayer, tongues can be the greatest gift because speaking in tongues builds you up (1 Corinthians. 14:4-5).
Does speaking in tongues mean you’re filled with the Spirit?
I don’t care about dogma. I’d rather see the fruit of the Spirit in all of us (Galatians 5:22-23) than the gifts of the Spirit used without love (1 Corinthians 13). The gifts are for today and for you and I and I really don’t like doing ministry without them.
I don’t know if that’s answering your question. I’ve found what keeps people from living in the supernatural is one of four things:
Ignorance – you didn’t know you could or how you could
Arrogance – you didn’t think you had to
Selfishness – you wanted to live a safe life
Pride – you didn’t want to look bad
All I can solve for you today is perhaps the ignorance.
So how can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”[/content_container]
1. Understand you’re Father is good and gives good gifts.
2. Act as if you are a child of God, not a servant, not a slave, not an orphan, not forsaken.
3. Keep asking. Keep searching. Keep knocking.
4. Eagerly desire the greater gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31; 14:1; 14:39).
5. Love God and let him love on you.
Hope that helps.