"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

The Overflowing Life Of The Holy Spirit

By Rich Carmicheal

    "…be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18).

    Jesus teaches that those who believe in Him and receive the Holy Spirit will have "streams of living water" flowing from within them (John 7:38-39). Is that true of you? Is God’s abundant life overflowing from your life? Would others say of you that you are "known to be full of the Spirit" (Acts 6:3)? Is your life filled with the joy of the Lord, the hope of the Lord, the love of the Lord, the power of the Lord and the glory of the Lord? Is there an anointing upon your life, so that your service is bearing much fruit for the Father’s glory?

    No matter how you answer such questions, the Lord certainly desires that your life from this point forward be filled with His Spirit. He knows that without the presence and work of the Spirit in our lives, we have no power to live a life pleasing to Him. He watched His people under the Old Covenant fail time and time again, and promised the day when He would put His Spirit in them to move them and give them the power to walk in His ways (Ezek. 36:27). On the day of Pentecost, He poured out His Spirit as He had promised: "In the last days…I will pour out My Spirit on all people…Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days…" (Acts 2:17-18; Joel 2:28-29).

    So the gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s idea, and He yearns for us to be filled with His Spirit. He gives the Spirit without limit (John 3:34), and pours Him out on us generously through Jesus Christ (Titus 3:5-6). Jesus stresses our Heavenly Father’s eagerness to share His Spirit by using this comparison: "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13).

    In light of how absolutely indispensable the Holy Spirit is for life and ministry, I invite you to consider with me some glorious truths about His Person and work. As you do so, I hope you will be drawn to seek the Lord for a greater fullness of the Spirit in your life.

He Is the Spirit of God

    The opening verses of the Bible reveal the fundamental truth that the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of God" (Gen. 1:2). That truth is echoed throughout the Bible with phrases such as "My Spirit" (Ezek. 36:27), "the Spirit of your Father" (Matt. 10:20), "the Spirit of the living God" (2 Cor. 3:3), "the Spirit of Christ" (Rom. 8:9) and "the Spirit of Jesus" (Acts 16:7). He is part of the Trinity and "goes out from the Father" (John 15:26). His presence in our lives means the presence of the Father and Son in our lives (John 14:16-18, 23). By Him we say that "Jesus is Lord" (1 Cor. 12:3), and by Him we cry, "Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15). As a Person of the Godhead, He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), insulted (Heb. 10:29), lied to (Acts 5:3), tested (Acts 5:9) and resisted (Acts 7:51). He is "the Spirit of grace" (Heb. 10:29) and "the Spirit of glory" (1 Pet. 4:14), and we are not to quench His fire (1 Thes. 5:19). Blasphemy against Him will not be forgiven (Matt. 12:31).

He Reveals the Lord and His Word

    The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth" who guides us into all truth (John 16:13). He reveals the Lord to us, including His Word, His will and His ways. He is sent by the Father in Jesus’ Name as a Counselor who teaches us (John 14:26). He "searches all things, even the deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10) and alone knows the thoughts of God. He helps us understand what God has freely given us (1 Cor. 2:11-12), and He brings glory to Christ by taking what is Christ’s and making it known to us (John 16:14-15). The person who has an ear can hear what the Spirit says (Rev. 2:7).

He Fills Us with the Life and Love of God

    He is "the Spirit of life" (Rom. 8:2), and He gives spiritual life to God’s people (John 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:6). Those who believe in Christ and receive the Spirit have "streams of living water" flowing from within them (John 7:38-39). His ministry is glorious (2 Cor. 3:8), and He works in our hearts to transform us into the likeness of the Lord with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor. 3:3, 17-18). His presence produces the life of God in us, and His fruit in our lives is "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal. 5:22). God pours out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5), and fills our lives with righteousness, peace and joy (Rom. 14:17; 1 Thes. 1:6). A mind set on the Spirit is "life and peace" (Rom. 8:6). When we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we reap eternal life (Gal. 6:8).

He Makes Us Holy

    He is the "Holy" Spirit and "the Spirit of holiness" (Rom. 1:4), and He makes us holy. God saves us "through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5) and He sanctifies us through the Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Thes. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2). The Spirit circumcises our hearts (Rom. 2:29), and sets us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2) so that we may "serve in the new way of the Spirit" (Rom. 7:6). People who do not have the Spirit "follow mere natural instincts, their own ungodly desires" (Jude 18-19), but when we live by the Spirit, we are able to put to death the misdeeds of the body (Rom. 8:13) and not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Gal. 5:16). God not only calls us to be sanctified and to live a holy life, He also gives us the power to do so through the presence of His Holy Spirit (1 Thes. 4:3-8). We can be holy because we are God’s temple with God’s Spirit dwelling in us (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19). "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Cor. 3:17).

He Empowers and Equips Us for Life and Ministry

    The Holy Spirit is full of God’s power, and we receive power when He comes upon us. He gives us power to witness (Acts 1:8) and to speak the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31). He gives power for good works (Acts 10:38), power for signs and miracles (Rom. 15:19), power for deliverance (Matt. 12:28; Phil. 1:19) and power for preaching (Mic. 3:8; 1 Cor. 2:4; 1 Thes. 1:5). God strengthens us with power through His Spirit in our inner being (Eph. 3:16), and by the Spirit’s power we overflow with hope and encouragement (Rom. 5:5; Acts 9:31).

    The Spirit also equips us with spiritual gifts for the common good (1 Cor. 12:3-11). He sets us apart and leads us into special ministry (Acts 13:2-3). He guides us in critical decisions, and opens and shuts doors for ministry (Acts 15:28; 16:7-12; 20:22-23).

    He also empowers our prayer life as we "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Eph. 6:18; Jude 20). When we do not know what we ought to pray, the Spirit Himself intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will (Rom. 8:26-27).

He Gives Us Assurance

    The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives also grants us assurance of our relationship with the Lord. We know that God lives in us because of the Spirit He gave us (1 John 3:24). His Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Rom. 8:16). Though the world does not accept the Spirit, and neither sees or knows Him, we know Him because He lives with us and is in us (John 14:17). We enjoy His fellowship (2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1), and by Him we have access through Christ to the Father (Eph. 2:18). The Spirit in our lives is a seal, marking us in Christ (Eph. 1:13), and a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance and what is to come (Eph. 1:14; 2 Cor. 1:22).

Be Filled at All Costs!

    Oh, what a glorious Person is the Holy Spirit, and what glorious ministry! His presence brings the very life of God into us, along with the power of God, the holiness of God, the truth of God, the light of God, the love of God, the joy of God, the hope of God and the glory of God. No wonder Paul exhorts us to "be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18).

    Do you sense the need for a greater fullness of the Holy Spirit in your life? Then seek the Lord wholeheartedly. Ask Him, and keep on asking Him, to be filled with His Spirit. The Father gives the Spirit to those who ask. Surrender every part of your life to the Lord. Confess your sins, turn away from them, and obey the Lord in all things. The Lord gives the Holy Spirit to those who repent (Acts 2:38) and obey Him (Acts 5:32). Trust the Lord to fill you with His Spirit. Sow to please the Spirit. Be led by the Spirit, live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit.

    "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" (John 7:37-38). Oh, for more of the life of God in us through the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit!