First Things @ First
In America, many continue on a maddening pace of getting more. More monetarily. More materially. More family. More friends. More exposure. More influence. More medals. More toys. More tools. Some even long for more time to satisfy the insatiable craving for more.
There are those who pursue more religion, as well. Some desire more of the Spirit and often find themselves frustrated in the process. God's Word doesn't instruct us anywhere of the possibility of getting more of the Spirit. There is no second or third or fourth event of a person gaining more of the Spirit. Believers have all the Spirit they will ever have or need at the time of their new birth. The Holy Spirit does not come partially upon a person nor does He come by stages of commitment. That is some of the false teaching of today being promoted from within the Church.
O.S. Hawkins reminds us that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a one-time experience while the filling of the Spirit is an on-going experience. Simply put the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs when a sinner accepts the free pardon of sin by grace through faith in Christ alone. The believer at that point has the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) because the Spirit of God comes to dwell in the soul of the believer. In consecrating the redeemed of God for the purpose of God, the believer then is to be being filled continually with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).In other words, the believer is to operate daily 'under the influence' of the Holy Spirit.
The difference in the two is that with the first the believer has God eternally. The latter reveals that God has the believer entirely.
Being baptized with the Spirit is the inflow of God's power unto salvation. Being filled with the Spirit is the outflow of surrender to His will and service in His work. Neither have anything to do with personal gain or glory! Both are for His glory!
So long as human beings are consumed with getting more for themselves instead of giving more of themselves, their lives will remain more conflicted and less consecrated.
Think on this truth--"God has promised to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
J. Hudson Taylor is quoted as saying--"Depend on it. God's work done God's way will never lack God's supply." That statement speaks of every provision necessary, both internally and externally to accomplish the assignment of delivering the good news of the gospel.
There are more than enough resources available to accomplish His purpose in us and through us. Question is, will there be sufficient desire from within to release ourselves to God sufficiently to meet His designs for personal, purposeful, and powerful ministry?
The answer lies within each of us today and sooner or later the evidence will be revealed.
Are you following the Lord on a 'more' or 'less' basis? More of Him, less of you?
John the Baptist said, "He must increase, I must decrease (John 3:30). That is the only way to live each day in the year of our Lord, 2021.
I trust we will in the power of Jesus' name!