Being on my journey of FallingUpward this year has taught me a lot about my walk with Christ. One thing for sure, it’s shown me that you can start something having one mindset, but as you continue to walk in it you can end up with a different mindset. This has been true about my walk with God since 2009.
When I first gave my life to Christ, I started off with a sincere heart to do right and please God. I was naturally a “good” person. However I was so focused on “doing right” that no one initially explained to me the concept of relationship with Christ, and not just having a form of religion. So naturally as life hit I would often find myself in this back and forth with Christ, and it caused my life to run in the same cycle for years!!
I found myself wasting time because I was serving God from a selfish perspective. I only wanted to do right when it made me look good, but behind closed doors I was sinning, doing what I wanted to do. I was asking God to clean me up and heal me so that I could escape the pain I was experiencing, but I never was really asking him to deal with my heart.
Even as I grew with God and I thought I was getting stronger in my walk, my mindset about serving him and being “filled” with the Holy Spirit, still wasn’t Godly. In 2014 I started doing spoken word for my church and because I thought God had given me this gift, I thought finally my life would be on this track to what I thought was “spiritual stability.” But often times I found myself ministering through my poetry, but still leaving away feeling empty and still battling with the very things I thought God had delivered me from. I was praying to be “used” and to be “filled”, to do ministry, but I never really asked God to use that same power to help me live day to day.
And this can be a fine line for many Christians in their walk. If you’ve been walking with God for a while, you get comfortable and start doing ministry, using your gifts; it’s easy to think you’re filled and on track. Don’t get me wrong, it does take being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to operate in your gifting, but it also takes that same power for everyday living. We can’t ask God to fill us up for one and not the other.
My Pastor has done several messages about being filled with the Holy Spirit and WHY we want to be filled. The more he speaks on it, the more I really appreciate the true power of what God wants to do in our lives. Are we asking God to fill us so that we can work in our gifts and be ‘grand’ making a name for ourselves, or are we asking so that we can truly come to know the character and way of the Holy Spirit to help fulfill God’s true purpose in our lives.
Once upon a time I thought being filled with the Holy Spirit was a ‘big deal.’ In my mind I thought it was all about speaking in tongues, shouting and being able to really hear from God and get prophesy. But what I’ve come to know from experience, being filled with the Holy Spirit is making a lifestyle choice to be led by him and not by our flesh.
Have you ever noticed, that when Jesus performed a miracle, it was never this big show. He was always very humble about it and he simply was walking out what God had already put in him to do. He wasn’t trying to make a reputation, even when the people tried to crown him King before HIS time. He didn’t use the power to make himself great, but he always made sure to glorify the Father!
If we only want God to fill us when it’s time to do ministry so we can be known by man, then we take away his glory. We’ve missed the whole reason he wanted to use us in the first place. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is never about us. It’s literally about walking out HIS will day to day.
I encourage you to examine your walk and how sincere are you in your motives when you asked God to “fill” you up. I think about the popular son “Fill Me Up” by Casey J, and I wonder do we truly count up the cost of being filled. Do we really understand what being filled could look like?
Sometimes, being filled isn’t about being the one on the speaking platform in the spotlight, God may fill you up to send you to that one Ethiopian on the side of the road that everyone has overlooked, just like he did Philip in Acts8:26-40. Or he may fill you up to go heal the sight of a notorious Christian murder, like Aninias in Acts 19. Those two incidents are just as powerful as David killing Goliath or Moses parting the red sea. In either scenario the Holy Spirit is still present with his power. Don’t discount the small stuff God ask you to do, you truly never know.
When I really think about being filled with the Holy Spirit, I think about my upcoming missions trip and I try to prepare myself. As I go over there, I can’t have this grand miraculous idea in my head that ministering will be this big show. I have to remember that God has sent me to give him glory first and as long as I let that be my focus, I will allow the Holy Spirit to lead. The mission’s trip is not about me, and hyping myself up for all the “souls” I’m going to win for Christ. I’m going to serve in whatever capacity they need us in. I may not even be vocal while serving, I may speak a few words here and there; but even in that the power of the Holy Spirit is present.
This year, while focusing more on the love of God I have truly learned to make the choice to be led by the Holy Spirit and not just by my desires. He fills me up to do HIS will, not mine. When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead for the right reasons, not only do we make wiser choices, but we honor God.
I want to leave you with this thought about WHY God wants to fill us with the Holy Spirit:
Not even Jesus came to do his will, but he was filled to do the will of his father:
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
#FallingUpward…..to be continued