December 11 – Releasing the Holy Spirit

Yielding ourselves to God is a question of trust. We are questioning God’s integrity when we ask, “If I asked, and He filled me with His Holy Spirit, what would He do with my life and how would He manifest His presence in me?” We can trust God, because we know that He has our best interest at heart. Nothing but good can come from seeking God with all our heart. Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him (Jn. 7:37,38). Jesus was referring to the internal presence of the Holy Spirit who is waiting to be released. The Spirit-filled Christian is always joyful, prays continuously and is forever grateful (1 Thess. 5:16).

When Moses saw the burning bush, he was startled because the fire was not consuming the bush (Ex. 3:3). If the bush was burning because of the natural substance it was made of, it would have flamed out in seconds. It continued to burn because God was in the bush. The same is true for us. If we try to serve God by our own natural resources we will burn out. We don’t live our natural lives for God; He lives His eternal life through us. We serve God by His strength, not by our strength. Therefore, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire, do not treat prophecies with contempt” (1 Thess.5:19). God can choose to work supernaturally through anybody. He even spoke through Balaam’s donkey (Nu. 22:28).

When God works through us, He does not bypass our humanity nor trample on our personality. The Spirit-filled Christian is fully human and God works through the uniqueness of our personalities. We are fully alive and fully free to fulfill our potential, which can only be accomplished in Christ. Scripture admonishes us not to quench the Spirit or grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:30). It seems paradoxical, but letting God reign in our lives is the only way we can have self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit.

On the other hand, “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thess. 5:21,22), because there are many spiritual counterfeits in this world. Scripture admonishes us to avoid two extremes. First, have nothing to do with those who hold to a form of godliness but deny its power (2 Tim. 3:5). Second, avoid those who appear to be zealous for God but their zeal is not based on knowledge (Rom. 10:2). To be spiritually safe, we need to be knowledgeable of the truth and be spiritually discerning. If our motives are pure, we can yield ourselves to God and trust Him to work through us anyway He chooses. In so doing we release the Holy Spirit and manifest the presence of God within us.

Dr. Neil

For Spanish, see http://www.ficmm.org/blog