Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life'. Following Jesus means obeying him, believing him, and experiencing. Living the right way (ethics) and believing the right things (doctrine) are both important, but they are not sufficient. Genuine Christianity includes an experiential dimenison.
Trying to obey Jesus without the active presence of the Holy Spirit is like trying to hoover your lounge without power. Jesus promised power to believers: 'You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you' (Acts 1:8).
The Greek word for power is dunamis, from which we get the word dynamite. It means the power and capacity to get something done. So in the Bible we read about three specific power capacities given to us by the Holy Spirit.
- Life: In 2 Peter 1:3 we read that 'His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life'. By the power of the Holy Spirit we live lives that are pleasing to God.
- Service: In 1 Corinthians 12:11 we read that ' All these [the gifts of service he has just described] are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills'. That is, the Holy Spirit gives us gifts, but not only gifts, the gifts are Spirit-empowered. Unlike some gifts we buy for our children, with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, 'batteries are included'.
- Witness: In Acts 1:8, Jesus linked power with witness: 'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses ...' We read again in Acts 4:31 that those who were filled with the Holy Spirit spoke God's word with boldness.
Many good benefits come from the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. How can you be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit?
1. Clean the house (I Corinthians 6:19). Do you really think the Holy Spirit is going to fill a life filled with junk? Seriously? (See also Ephesians 5:18).
2. Make Room (Romans 8:5, Colossians 3:2). If you want to be filled with God, prioritise God. Everything else will fall into place?
3. Ask (Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit doesn't come into your life through wishful thinking, but through focused pursuit. Ask the Father for what you want.
As Paul told the Ephesian Christians, 'keep being continually filled with the Holy Spirit'. Get filled with God. Then, the next time someone asks, 'How's it going?', you'll be able to say, 'Dynamite!'