Be “Being” Filled

By: Dr. Clark Armstrong

When I was nine years old, a tornado came to our town. I think of that anytime I hear the phrase “a mighty rushing wind,” as in the scriptural account of Pentecost. Pentecost was when the Holy Spirit of God was poured out upon the 120 believers gathered in the Upper Room. They were there awaiting the promised power of God to come on them in response to Jesus’ command to do so.

It did happen that day, and they were given power. What happens when the power of the Holy Spirit fills us?

*He gives us the power to stand and not fall. (Peter/Ephesians 6)

*He gives us the power to proclaim the good news. (Acts 2)

*He gives us the power to reflect Christ well. (Fruit of the Spirit/ 1 Thess. 1:6-7/2 Peter 1:3-9)

*He gives us the power to do the works of Christ in the world. (John 14:12)

*He gives us the power to endure to the end. (Phil. 1:19-30; 2 Cor. 6:3-10)

The wind at Pentecost represented the power of the Holy Spirit. But there were also tongues of fire that came to rest on each of their heads. The fire represented the cleansing, purifying work of the Holy Spirit. Other places in the New Testament refer to that as entire sanctification. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is the same as being entirely sanctified. And each believer needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit and sanctified wholly.

Dr. Jim Diehl, General Superintendent Emeritus of the Church of the Nazarene, teaches that there can be many fillings, yet there is only one cleansing work of the Holy Spirit in us. “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:8-9). When asked how there could be many fillings but one cleansing, Dr. Diehl simply answered, “Because I leak.”

Even the members of the early church needed fresh “renewings.” In the Upper Room, the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). Yet in chapter four, we read of their being filled again: “When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

Ephesians 5:18 instructs us not to be drunk with wine, but to be being filled with the Spirit. When I left one church that I had pastored for seven years, I asked the people if they could remember any of my sermons. They could only remember one entitled “One More Night with the Frogs.” When the plague of frogs came upon Egypt, Pharaoh pleaded with Moses to have God take them away. Moses says that God will do that and leaves up to him when he wants that to be done, to which Pharaoh answers, “Tomorrow.”

If frogs are in your beds, your ovens, everywhere—why wouldn’t the answer be “right now!” At the conclusion of the sermon, I had told the people how we are like Pharaoh. We have addictions, ungodly habits, or hidden sins that we know are no good for us. We know we need God’s help to remove them. Yet we answer “Tomorrow!” We want just one more night with our frogs.

The only reason that the people remembered that one sermon was because of how the Holy Spirit came upon our church at that moment. It had nothing to do with my powerful preaching. I had given them all plastic frogs at the start of the service as visual aids, and they all started spontaneously bringing their frogs to the front and leaving them at the altar. They were almost 100% falling on their knees and weeping and praying. The place was visibly shaken, the people were all filled afresh and anew with the Holy Spirit, and great confessions, testimonies and praises abounded.

Today in our world, we need another mighty outpouring of God upon our church and our world. We are gathered in prayer awaiting the revival of God for our times. Holy Spirit, rain down.

HOLY SPIRIT, RAIN DOWN

Hillsong Worship

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down

Oh, Comforter and Friend

How we need Your touch again

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down

Let Your power fall

Let Your voice be heard

Come and change our hearts

As we stand on Your word

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down

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