31055 Spirit-filled Lifestyle

The adventure of living with Jesus is a life controlled (guided and empowered) by the Holy Spirit. This is a Spirit-filled life.

At the moment you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are spiritually born again, and the Holy Spirit is given to you as God’s promise of all that is and will be yours in Christ.

The Holy Spirit dwells in you and is the source of your new life in Christ (John 7:37-39). What makes you unique and different as a Christian is the Holy Spirit in you. You live by the Spirit.

Being Filled with the Spirit

Every believer in Christ is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but being filled with the Spirit is an act of faith and is not automatic.

Many Christians are not aware of the Holy Spirit or the commandment to be filled with Him. Apart from Him and His enabling, it is impossible for Christians to live a life pleasing to God. In our own effort, we will also live a life that is devoid of His love and power.

To be filled with the Holy Spirit is an act of faith in three steps:

  1. Desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  2. Confess your sins.
  3. Ask and believe that He is guiding and empowering you.

1. Desire

As a Christian, you have a deep desire to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You want to please God as His beloved child. Knowing that it is impossible to live a Christian life with your own strength and effort, you want the Holy Spirit to control you.

Desiring the fullness of the Holy Spirit to guide and empower you earnestly with the right attitude is important.

The right attitude is one of humility to submit yourself under the authority of Jesus Christ and “to present your bodies as a sacrifice—alive, holy, and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1).

2. Confess

Confess your sin to the Lord as the Holy Spirit reveals to you (Psalm 139:23–24).

To confess means to agree with God.

By confessing your sins, you are not asking God to forgive you for your sins but agreeing with God that what you have done is a sin and that you view it as offensive and repulsive as God sees it. You agree with God to turn away from it.

Then, give thanks to God that He has already forgiven your sin because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

3. Ask and Believe

Because it is a command of the Lord (Ephesians 5:18), we can trust God for his promise that “whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14) and believe that the Holy Spirit fills us.

Simply ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and believe that He has answered your request. You are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith.

Now that you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you can go about your everyday life.

One of the surest ways to know that you are being filled with the Holy Spirit is that you are living in faith. In everything you say and do, you are doing it as to the Lord (Colossians 3:23), and you keep His commandments (John 14:21).

Because you are guided and empowered by the Spirit, you want to be mindful of His presence within you throughout the day. Even with your mundane tasks, you can turn to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help you. He will often speak to you as your own thoughts, ideas, and images in your mind. A Scripture verse may come to your mind. They are usually a still and small whisper.

It will take time and practice to learn to discern His voice within you. One important rule to remember when you are trying to discern if what you have in your mind is from the Holy Spirit. The voice of the Holy Spirit will NEVER contradict the Word of God.

The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth, draw you closer to Jesus Christ, and help you obey the Father.

This is why it is critical that Christians are students of God’s Word. The more you become familiar with the Bible, the more clearly you will hear the Holy Spirit. The more you obey the Word, the more He will speak to you.

Walk by the Spirit

Now, “if we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). When we are in step with the Holy Spirit, our life results in purpose, power, peace, and hope. To keep in step with the Spirit is to remain filled by the Spirit moment by moment. It is like a ballroom dance. In it, a man takes the lead, and a woman follows. She must attentively follow his lead in every step.

You can cultivate a Spirit-filled lifestyle in which you habitually trust Jesus and submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Word of God. This is also the way to experience spiritual growth and transformation in your life. One of the key Biblical concepts to help you keep in step with the Spirit is called spiritual breathing.

It is a practice of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure.

If you sin by committing a deliberate act of disobedience, or when the Holy Spirit points out a sin in your life, practice spiritual breathing. 

Exhale by Confession

To confess in the New Testament means “to agree with” or “to say along with”. So, confession is more than acknowledging your sins. It means to agree with God on everything he has to say about anything.

First, you agree with God that what you have just done – name it specifically to God – is indeed a sin out of your willful disobedience.

Second, you give thanks and praise, by faith, to God for his forgiveness through Christ’s death on the cross.  

Third, you repent. To repent in the New Testament means to “change one’s mind”. It is more than saying or even feeling sorry. By repenting, you change your mind, heart, action, and attitude. Instead of depending on your own strength to please the Lord in all respects (Colossians 1:10), you choose to depend on the Holy Spirit. 

Inhale by Faith

Then you inhale by surrendering the control of your life to Christ and appropriate by faith the fullness (influence) of the Spirit in your life to direct and empower you. It also means embracing God’s truth instead of false or sinful beliefs of the flesh and adopting Christ-like thoughts, actions, feeling, or attitudes instead of carnal ones.

Even though every believer in Jesus is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all believers are filled (influenced) by the Holy Spirit. That is why God through the Apostle Paul commands us to be filled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). 

“And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

According to the promise in the above verses, God always answers our requests that are according to his will. Because being filled by the Spirit is God’s command, he will certainly answer you if you ask to be filled by the Spirit.

A Spirit-filled life is not a problem-free life. Jesus was the perfect example of a Spirit-filled person. If even Jesus faced misunderstanding, oppositions, persecutions, and other challenges of life, Spirit-filled believers are not free from the problems of life.

There are two types of problems we face. Some difficulties in life are created by our own selfish actions. Spirit-filled individuals will be able to avoid these problems. The second type of difficulty is simply the result of living in this fallen world. Spiritual persons can face these challenges with peace and confidence in God and His goodness, depending solely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Walking in the Spirit with spiritual breathing can be summarized by the words of the Apostle Paul:

“I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)