There is a difference between the indwelling of The Holy Spirit, and the empowerment of The Holy Spirit!
There is a difference between His inward workings and His outward manifestations.
We receive His indwelling at salvation; we must receive His empowerment for service!
Under the old covenant, we saw the visible hand of God coming upon His servants, who knew little if any about the heart behind the hand!
Sampson, for example, knew the power of the hand of God upon him, but knew nothing about the power of the heart of God within him. For had he known the heart of God, he would not only have had physical might, but spiritual might to overcome sin.
The new covenant introduces the power of God’s heart through the indwelling of The Holy Spirit AND the power of God’s hand through the empowerment of The Holy Spirit.
We see the hand of God through The Father; we see the heart of God through The Son; we see the hand AND heart of God working in sync through The Holy Spirit.
The person of Christ the Son dwells invisibly within; the person of God the Father dwells visibly upon; the person of The Holy Spirit makes both happen!
In Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, as our example of what it looks like to be both filled with AND dwelt upon by The Holy Spirit.
Essentially, Christ was the physical manifestation of God’s hand moved by God’s heart through God’s spirit.
The Holy Spirit, then, is the acting Agent of God which Animates His power AND character in the life of the believer.
What, then, are we to do in order that we might receive not only the person but the power of the Holy Spirit? Here is what Jesus said…
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? -Luke 11:13
But, you say, “I received The Spirit when I was saved!” I know you have His presence, but have you received His authoritative power which animates you to live as Christ would live?
“No!”, you say, “But who can?” Jesus plainly teaches that anyone who asks CAN, for Jesus teaches not to ask for the Holy Spirit in part, but in whole!
We do not ask for a person just for him to sit idle in our lives. Furthermore, we do not ask for the Holy Spirit just to have His company. We ask for the Holy Spirit because we seek His Active power in our lives!!
He came not to simply keep company; He came to take over!
So I ask you, have you RECEIVED the Holy Spirit in His fullest capacity, or do you prefer an empty form of Godliness without the form being filled with the animating power of God?
What Christian can truly claim to be Christ-like who settles for His inactive presence in their lives? Friends, do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God!!
“But,” you say, “God will not use me, for I sin too much!” But look at the text again…
If ye then, BEING EVIL, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? -Luke 11:13
He knows our evil condition outside of His aid, which is the very reason we need HIM!!
The biggest hindrance to the filling and empowerment of The Spirit is the disbelief that one is qualified to receive His power.
But, we receive His power the same as we receive salvation… by grace and through faith.
Jesus’ blood is the qualifier, and His grace the enabler.
Think of it this way; Reinhard Bonnke once said, “The power of the Holy Spirit does not come as a reward. Power is not a trophy at the end of a marathon. We need power at the start if we are to run the marathon for God. We may be disgraceful, perhaps stumbling in our walk, but that makes it so necessary for us to receive the Holy Spirit. He is not given on condition that we are perfect. He is given because we are not perfect. He has come because we need Him – for the best and for the worst of us.”
So I will leave you with one more verse to meditate upon today…
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. -Acts 1:8
I believe that the believer is to pray to receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit to COME UPON them, so that the works of God through Christ can be accomplished. It is here and only here that we will see again the mighty works of God which can turn the whole world upside down for Jesus!
Pastor Gary Caudill