And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
We have covered some ground in our discussion of revival and the need for revival in the New Testament churches. We have truly had some fascinating discussions, and I hope they continue. What conclusions have we reached? Let’s sum up quickly.
The need for revival in the Old Testament time was constant in the sense of habitual falling away, repentance, and restoration. This seemingly in large part was because the Holy Spirit was not permanently in either the Israelites or individual believers.
We have concluded that at on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was given once and for all to the church and at some subsequent point all believers began to be indwelt with the Holy Spirit upon their salvation. Seemingly this removed the constant need for revival and restoration.
We also concluded that, for some reason, we still seem to face the need for periodic repentance and restoration; we seem to still need revival. How can this be?
Let me say right up front, this will not be a major theological dissertation, as I am not a theologian. My choice of words may not meet the agreement of everyone, and that is just fine and dandy. I think we will all get the gist of the discussion, though.
Let’s look quickly at some scripture that supports the assertion that we are each indwelt with the Holy Spirit at salvation and permanently:
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
But yet a case can be made that, even though the Holy spirit is in us, we are not always filled with Him. Huh?, you say…how can that be so? Well, again I must go to a commenter who has really great words to describe what we are talking about here, Julie over at Light and Life again:
” I think of the Holy Spirit in me as an eternal flame, sometimes it blazes hot and sometimes it barely smolders. When it smolders I get on my knees and refuel it. The fire is always there, but if it I don’t stoke it, I end up just blowing smoke.”
We could stop right there, as the point is finely made, but I like to write so I will keep going for just a bit. The fire is always there…but we have to stoke it. The Holy Spirit is always there, but we have to allow Him to fill us. Basically we have to be so yielded to the Holy Spirit that He can fully possess us, and in that way fill us.
What are the keys to the filling of the Holy Spirit? What stokes the embers? What fans the flames of the Spirit? What causes the flames to die out? Why do we smolder? Stay tuned!