This podcast covers Lesson 3 of Radical Acts Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
Spirit Filling—The Fruit of Living Dependently on the Lord
The filling of the Spirit
Spirit Baptism occurs once, at salvation, as the Holy Spirit connects us with Christ so that He is with us and in us. Every Christian is permanently indwelled by the Holy Spirit and added to the Body of Christ. You have all of Him, not part of Him.
After we are saved, the Holy Spirit living within us empowers us to live the kind of life our God desires for us to live. When we walk in submission to and dependence on the Spirit by faith daily, that leads to the filling of the Spirit.
The filling of the Spirit is not getting more of the Spirit inside of us. We have all of Him with His indwelling. It is also not something magical or mystical.
The filling of the Spirit is you choosing to be more influenced by God than by yourself or anything else.
Paul’s comparison of being filled with the Spirit to drunkenness is a metaphor (picture) of control. Both forces of these influencers are internal. What things take control of you from the inside? Ephesians 5:18
Being filled with wine refers to excessive intake of alcohol which fills your bloodstream and influences every area of your life as long as you consume it. Drunkenness results in ungodly behavior. That’s the fruit.
In the same way, when you trust and obey Jesus as His Word directs for you to do, the Holy Spirit will have more influence over every area of your life. Any Christian who allows the Spirit to influence and direct her thinking and behavior will experience His control as long as she yields her will to the Spirit. The results will be godly behavior. That’s the fruit.
Being filled with the Spirit is an ongoing choice and responsibility. We are to continually desire more of the Spirit’s control in our lives and choose to give Him more control in our lives. He responds by doing it!
Being filled with the Spirit is a privilege for every child of God. We don't earn it. God still chooses to do this to us based upon our responses to Him. It is a fruit of our dependence upon Him and yielding to His control in our lives.
The daily choice of yielding
Just like choosing to trust in Christ in the first place is a choice, staying dependent on Him after salvation is also a daily choice. Romans 12:1-2
To yield to God means to give Him the right-of-way in your life. You yield to God at salvation, then continually yield to His Spirit’s influence over your thoughts, attitudes, words, and deeds. Coming from your heart, you present your body as an act of worship. That’s yielding your body to God for His control and purpose.
Yield your mind to God by yielding to the Word of God. You yield your mind to God as you desire to know His truth through Bible reading and study of its teachings and truths.
Yield your will to the sovereignty of God and His will. This may include submitting to one particular truth or command in the Word that you don’t like. It may also include God bringing into your life situations or experiences that are not pleasant or desirable.
Your body, your mind, your emotions, and your will belong to Christ. Yielding those to God is living dependently on Him. The fruit of living dependently is Spirit filling and all the Christ-like behavior the Holy Spirit will produce in your life.
The fruit of yielding
The Christian life is to be a life of dependence on the living Christ. Human parents raise their children to be less dependent on them and more independent. But, God raises His children to be less independent and more dependent on Him.That is called dependent living.
When you choose daily to yield to the Spirit’s influence over your own self-dependence, the Holy Spirit fills you with Himself. “Walking by the Spirit” or “being filled with the Spirit” means having a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
But, our willingness to let the Spirit control and transform us requires us to recognize that we are weak to do anything of spiritual significance on our own. Your weakness makes room for His power. There will be fruit.
Developing a Sensitivity to the Spirit at Work
Some examples of the Spirit’s work in you that you might not have recognized:
Has someone explained something to you about the Bible, and you understood what he or she was saying? That’s the Spirit enabling you to understand.
Have you ever felt really loved by God? That’s the Spirit inside of you. It doesn’t come naturally.
Do you have a desire to please God with your life? That’s the Spirit inside of you. That doesn’t come naturally.
Have you ever started loving someone even more after you started praying for him or her? That’s definitely the Spirit.
Do you like to sing praises to God? Do you feel thankful to God for His goodness to you? That’s the Spirit filling your heart with praise and thanksgiving.
Have you ever had a huge problem and didn’t know what to ask God to do about it, but God took care of the problem anyway? That’s the Spirit living inside of you working to take care of your need before you even ask.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His Spirit’s transforming power. And say yes to a life of adventure with Him!
Until next time, I’m Melanie Newton. And, this is Series 7 of Satisfied.
Joyful Walk Bible Studies by Melanie Newton are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.