Recently, I was speaking with someone and they used a worn out cliche. At least for me, it was worn out. They said, “You either use it, or lose it.” Of course this little phrase may apply to many things. If you don’t use that banana in your fruit bowl within a few days, you will lose that banana. When I was a kid I received a transistor radio as a gift. I didn’t want to wear it out with over use. So I placed it in a safe place and eventually forgot about it. A few years later I rediscovered it. Unfortunately, the batteries had leaked and the radio was ruined. Had I used it regularly, those batteries would have been replaced when their power was depleted and I would not have lost the radio.

I was saved during the Charismatic Renewal. In those days, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was spreading like a Colorado wild fire during a drought. People were being filled with the Holy Spirit and signs and wonders were popping up everywhere. Whole churches were formed around this “new experience.” It wasn’t unusual to hear someone speak out in an unknown tongue in a public church meeting. An interpretation would follow and everyone in the church would know we had just received a message from the Holy Spirit. At times the Holy Spirit would take over a church service with extended worship, signs and wonders, and prophetic words. Often the pastor wouldn’t even have the opportunity to preach and we would all come away knowing we had been in the power of God that day.

Today’s church has gone full circle from the Charismatic Renewal. I feel we might be treating the Holy Spirit a bit like I treated my radio – we put him away and forgot about Him. It’s no longer fashionable to allow public tongues, singing in tongues, or prophetic utterances. And woe to the pastor that looses control of the public worship service – even if it is the Holy Spirit that wants to take over.

Perhaps we have grown up a bit since those days. Or maybe we have just become a little embarrassed by the Holy Spirit and His strange behaviors. Personally, I have come to believe it might be the other way around. Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit who has become embarrassed by our behavior. Perhaps it is time to ask the question: Have we quenched the Holy Spirit?

I do know this: We can ill afford to proclaim God’s love and grace without the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that confirms the presence of God. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that brings the benefits of God into this earthly realm. It’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit that allows us to function in kingdom authority with power and supernatural gifts.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the point of our salvation makes “Christ in you; the Hope of glory” a very personal and inward reality. But if that’s all you have then all you can do is wait for eternity.

The infilling of the Holy Spirit happens when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. It’s at the infilling of the Holy Spirit that we move from that inward personal reality to an outward kingdom expanding power that demonstrates our personal reality and creates new realities within our realm of influence. The infilling of the Holy Spirit enables the believer to function in kingdom principles. Kingdom principles are not just nice ideas; they are life changing, order bringing, devil defeating, and life giving dynamics. Because the infilling of the Holy Spirit is so powerful and so impacting, once filled neither we nor the world around us can remain the same – unless we quench the Spirit.

This is a call to the church – Engage the Holy Spirit afresh! Loose Him! Embrace Him! And get ready for Him to blow your religious mind!

 

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