Risks of being Spirit-filled


Key Principle #3: SPIRIT-FILLED (part 2)

Acts 2:12-13
Risks of being Spirit-filled

        When God’s Spirit fills you, others who look at your life may become confused or perplexed by the difference He makes in your life (Acts 2:12). Others may mock you (2:13). But some will become convicted (verse 37) and even converted (verse 41).

        Speaking the Word of God will set you apart and may even intimidate others who are unsaved, or walking contrary to the ways of God. But for other believers, there’s no greater joy than being around a spirit-filled Christian and being a part of a spirit-filled church. If you don’t know for sure if your church is spirit-filled, then it probably isn’t! I’m not talking about a church which raises hands or sings great praise choruses, for that’s not the sign of a spirit-filled church in and of itself. The Biblical test of being spirit-filled is whether the Word and Works of God are present and evident and spoken of.

        Is your church constantly talking about the things of the world or are the members talking in ways that promote gossip, worldliness, materialism, money, politics, sports or entertainment? If it is the latter, then it probably isn’t a spirit-filled church. And the same goes for you and me. You see, the risk of being a spirit-filled Christian is that you’ll be different from the world and maybe even different than your church. You’ll want a church that influences the world, and not the other way around.

        It’s not easy to tell a pastor or fellow church member you wish they were more spirit-filled without coming across as judgmental, so I don’t suggest you do so unless you know you are being prompted by God. Simply live your life and follow God’s promptings. Stephen was spirit-filled, but also filled with indignation at the religious leaders and used his tongue to call them stiff-necked and rebellious. You may not get rocks thrown at you if you are spirit-filled and you are surrounded by religious people are not, but then again, you just might get a few rock-hard glares from stone-glazed eyes, peering down some steep-sloping noses. Don't say I didn't warn you!

        In a previous posting, I made a quote about people going across the globe but not going across the street to evangelize. I say that because it is certainly true of me and I say that to my shame. But I made that comment once while on a mission trip and three people heard what I said. One thought it was good, another got convicted, and a third got angry and gave me quite a tongue-lashing later on. Sometimes our tongues can be like throwing a rock into a pack of dogs: the one who barks is likely the one who got hit!

        If you want to be spirit-filled, you had better know your Bible. As mentioned earlier, spirit-filled is symbolized not with an ear or eye and blissfully not with a nose, but with a tongue. When God’s Spirit fills you, you better be prepared to speak and what you say better be true to the Bible. As we saw in Principle #2, during the fifty days leading up to Pentecost, Peter was saturating himself with the Scriptures, and those scrolls were not available at your handy-dandy corner Christian Bookstore in those days. When Peter used his tongue on the Day of Pentecost, he quoted Scripture by heart. Verses 17-21 from Acts 2 came from Joel. Verses 25-28 as well as 34-35 are from the Psalms, written by King David. Scripture memory is important in the life of a spirit-filled Christian.

        One morning, I was at the SonRise Breakfast, a weekly event in Tyler, Texas, and the guest speaker (who happened to be my pastor at the time) had slept in and forgot he was supposed to speak. Since I was on staff with him, they asked me if I had something to say, and I did and felt the infilling of the Holy Spirit as I spoke with power. Afterwards someone said he had heard me preach numerous times before, but this was the best he had ever heard me speak.

       Paul wrote to Timothy to always be ready to give a defense for your faith and to preach the word in season and out.  A spirit-filled person runs the risk of suddenly being used by the Holy Spirit and His infilling, but also may have the blessing of seeing 3,000 come to Christ, as Peter did.

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