As we begin to see the darkness come over our land and persecution confront the church in ways unimaginable just a generation ago, it is well past time for each of us to understand and embrace the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit like never before. As Apollo Creed said to Rocky to shake him from his fear, “There is no tomorrow!”
And Apollo was right. There is no tomorrow. The time for spiritual preparation is today. Actually, it should have been yesterday, or last week. We cannot put the time for fervency towards our Lord off any longer. The well-worn excuses about family responsibilities, career advancement, and the general business of life seem trite at best, and will mean nothing when persecution comes. And it will come. Most assuredly, it will come. The Scriptures promise persecution.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution – 2 Timothy 3:12
That is, of course, unless you aren’t particularly interested in living godly in Christ. Then you may be pretty safe, right until the time you take the mark on your hand or forehead. But that’s another issue for another time.
The key to living a life of assurance and confidence in Him is learning how to remain filled with the Holy Spirit. And before you can remain filled, you have to be filled in the first place. This is what this message talks about.
We talk about some steps you can take to prepare yourself for His filling. They are as follows:
First, you must desire to live a life that will please the Lord.
Second, be willing to surrender your life totally and irrevocably to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Third, confess every known sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and experience the cleansing and forgiveness that God promises in 1 John 1:9.
Fourth, ask Him, by faith, to fill you with the Holy Spirit. You can pray something like this:
Dear Father, I need You.
I hunger and thirst for a more vital relationship with You. I admit that I have been in control of my life. And, as a result, I have sinned against You. Thank You for forgiving my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now confess and turn from my sins and surrender the control of my life to the Lord Jesus. By faith, I invite You to fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled. You promised to fill me if I ask according to Your will. I pray this in the authority of the name of Jesus Christ.
To demonstrate my faith, I now thank You for filling me with Your Holy Spirit and for taking control of my life. Amen.
But that’s not the end.
You will need to understand the basis of God’s filling, and it has nothing to do with the amount of time you spend praying or the people who lay hands on you. The basis is on the command (Eph. 5:18) and promise (1 John 5:14-15) of God. And the filling of the Holy Spirit is given to you the same way you received salvation, by faith.
But there is so much more about all this that we cannot do it justice in this simple summary. To find out more, you will need to keep listening.