Quench Not the Spirit : Intimacy with the Holy Spirit
Intimacy with the Holy Spirit is not just something we talk about in theological circles. It is something that every believer practices. It is actually a very serious matter because according to the Greek, it could become a salvation issue. The early church believed the presence of God was everything and without it, we have and are nothing.
The importance of the Holy Spirit is not just so we can speak in tongues and prophesy. We know that stuff is important according at Acts 19 but there is something deeper that God requires from us when it comes to the Holy Spirit. He wants to us have communion with Him and have a life committed to reliance on the presence of the Spirit.
The bible is very clear that just knowing the verses from the New Testament is not enough. We have to have reality of the words coming alive in our lives and spheres of influence.
Doctrine and experience are not at odds with each other, as if one had to pick either doctrine or experience. The truth is that they should go hand in hand. What we read about in Scripture is not simply for the purpose of acquiring more head knowledge. Rather, the Bible should become a blueprint and manual, fueling our expectation for what is possible in a life indwelt by God.
Awakened by the Holy Spirit
A little over a century ago, a group of hungry people on the outskirts of Topeka were praying and they were changed. They received tongues as the initial physical evidence but they got more that that; they got the revelation of Paraclete. The Spirit is not just the baptizer but He is our helper and even our advocate. The Spirit literally stands in the gap for us on our behalf.
According to Marius Nel from Northwest University,
In the process of responding to the Son, disciples discover that he has provided a divine agent that empowers them in this world. The Spirit will broker access to Jesus for believers, so that Jesus will continue to broker access to the Father and continue to be the ‘way’ to the Father.
This is important because many believers just see the Spirit as the mail man to deliver spiritual gifts and they do not understand that the Third Person of the trinity wants to get to know them and have intimacy with them personally as well as corporately.
The good news is we are much better in our pursuit of this reality today than we was a few decades. This is mainly due to some quality teaching on the subject. The most well known of them would be Good Morning, Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn.
Benny Hinn states,
We must be thirsty and hungering for Him, knowing that only He “satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness”. Unfortunately, we often try to fill that longing with substitutes.
People of Pentecost
As we commute with the Spirit, He will pour out and we will be filled with the Spirit,
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
This familiar passage is a promise that as we long for relationship with the Spirit, the anointing of God will come on us and we will walk in power. However, the authority to cast out devils and heal the sick comes from intimacy, not doctrine. We know this to be the case from the story of the man at the gate called Beautiful (Acts 3). Peter said, “What I have, I give you….” He had something more than a bible study.
We are called to walk in a spirit of union with the Spirit Man that where we go, the Kingdom of God is establish and mantifest to the people we come into contact with. Peter was so full of the Spirit that his shadow was ever anointed. That is a level of unity of heart that no one in modern times have reached. However, that should be the goal of every believer if we are being honest.
Forbid not tongues
One of the most important things that the Spirit gives the believer is their prayer language. This is what we commonly called praying in tongues. This where we recieve more from the Lord than we even realize. According to 1 Corinthians 14, the Holy Spirit prays through us what is referred to as, ” realms of mysteries.”
Corey Russell from the International House of Prayer says,
It is as behold with our mind’s eye the glory of the Lord living on the inside of us that we are transformed day by day into His image.
As we pray in tongues, the gateway is open deeper spiritual gifting like prophecy, speaking in tongues (different that praying in tongues), words of knowledge and discerning of spirits. While people can be used in these without praying in the Spirit often, it is rare that someone gives detailed prophetic words and does not praying in tongues daily. In fact, it is very rare!
It is also worth noting that when we pray in the Spirit, we are positioning ourselves from a place of expectation. We are raising a standard against the enemy. The bible tells us when He comes in like a flood; God will raise a standard against him. That word for standard is a flag of victory. When we contend in tongues, we are flying the victory!
The best part of having a prayer language is that anyone who desires to be filled can have it. God promised to give anyone who is thristy the water of Life and He promised anyone who wants to be filled with the Spirit will receive it!