Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field,and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.(Isaiah32:15)
Stagnation can be one of the most painful experiences in life. The dryness,inactivity, and unproductivity of our wilderness experiences can be one of the most challenging things to handle in life. Many of us are actually bored with the lack of results we are having to deal with in our christian walk today. The truth is, we all long for a difference and a tangible change.
WHO IS THE DIFFERENCE MAKER?
A major encouragement for me in the bid to reverse the negatives of my life is derived from God himself. Like us, God was saddled with the responsibility of reversing the negatives of the world he had created.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the SPIRIT OF GOD was hovering over the face of the waters.(Genesis1:1-3).
Do you know what it means to be faced with a formless life, a formless career,a formless marriage,a formless enterprise? This formlessness was a challenge God was familiar with in genesis. The second challenge was the challenge of emptiness. Emptiness could come in the form of a barren bank account, a childless marriage, a deserted ministry or even a business devoid of customers. The third challenge God faced was the challenge of entrenched darkness. The darkness wasn’t only on the surface,it was also upon the deep. Have your ever encountered a situation like this? Where the problem you are confronting isn’t just on the surface of your life, but the problematic roots run deep into every internal section of your existence? This my friend, was God’s wilderness experience and what was his solution? What was the difference maker?What was the game changer?… Verse two tells us that it was the SPIRIT OF GOD.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD;A SPIRIT OF CHANGE.
The Spirit of God is first the custodian of environmental changes. In Genesis1:2, the word “moved” in the phrase “the spirit of God moved”,comes from a hebrew word that means to brood upon a thing,the way a hen broods upon her eggs to hatch her chicks. The implication is that our cosmos as we know it, was hatched by the Spirit of God. Our entire environment is a product of the incubation of the Spirit of God. Thus, if all it took to bring about our entire world was the Spirit of God,it won’t take more than the incubation of God’s Spirit to bring about that change you are believing God for in your environment. Through the Spirit of God,we can achieve the contemporary societal transformation that our world demands.
You send forth your Spirit,they are created;And you renew the face of the earth.(Psalms104:30).
Secondly, the Spirit of God is an agent of personal transformation. This is evidenced by the sharp contrast in Peter’s personality on the day of pentecost,after he had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter whose personality was so timid that he couldn’t defend Christ before a little girl,stood up before over three thousand people to proclaim Jesus to them boldly. We know they were in fact more than 3000 because only that number responded to his bold preaching. In spite of our temperamental weaknesses, the spirit of God can strengthen us personally to take advantage of the opportunities that life presents to us. No longer can we hide under the excuse of personality deficiencies because we have the molder of all human personality in the Holy Spirit.
Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you,and you will prophesy with them and be turned into ANOTHER MAN(1Samuel10:6).
Thirdly The Spirit of God is the Architect of Spiritual transformation.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding, as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,just as by the Spirit of the Lord.(2Corinthians3:18).
The above scripture suggests that the Spirit of God is the channel of all spiritual transformation. He is also the glory of the father that we observe in a mirror for our change. He is the model of our change,the image of our change as well as the instrument of our change. The word translated “power” in Acts I:8, comes from the greek word that means miraculous power,force or the strength it takes to effect changes. All lasting changes are born of the Spirit of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.(John3:6).
THE FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT.
Since the Spirit of God is the difference maker,we want to consider the impact and evidences of the fullness of God’s spirit. Understanding this will motivate us to desire to be full of the Spirit at all times. This will be a person by person study of the individuals in the new testament who were considered full of God’s Spirit. Since God is no respecter of persons,the differences the Holy Ghost accomplished in their lives yesterday, can equally be accomplished in our lives today.
We also intend to move beyond the doctrine that tongues alone are the primary and principal evidence of the in filling of the Holy Spirit. Though speaking in tongues is vital,we must acknowledge that several people whom the scripture acknowledged as filled with the Spirit,did not necessarily speak in tongues. This will be made apparent as we go on in this study.
THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S SPIRIT GENERATES JOY.
For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord,and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink;and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost,even from his mother’s womb.(Luke1:15).
For,Lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears,the babe leaped in my womb for JOY.(Luke1:44)
And the disciples were filled with JOY,and with the Holy Ghost.(Acts13:52)
The above scripture suggests that it is possible for an entity to be filled with the Spirit even before birth. Of course this becomes a challenge to most of us who believe and teach that tongues are the initial sign of the in filling of the Holy Spirit. Could John the baptist have spoken in tongues in his mother’s womb? Not likely. Scripture however asserts that he was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.
The first implication of this fact is that the unborn fetus is valuable in the sight of God. Life in God begins far before the baby is born into this world. The proponents and perpetrators of abortion must realize that they might be tampering with the agenda of God for the earth and that of the child. Abortion is more than taking away human life, it is tampering with divine plan. Perhaps the degradation of our world is a function of the several divine assignments and solutions that we have truncated through abortion.
The womb of a woman is a sacred entity and sanctuary. Scripture is clear about the several things that can take place in the womb. Let us evaluate some of them. A person can be filled with the Spirit of God,from the mother’s womb(Luke1:14). A person can be separated and called from the mother’s womb(Galatians1:15). A person can be known,sanctified and ordained from the womb(Jeremiah1:5). This is why abortion isn’t just a crime against humanity,it is a crime against divinity. Those of us who are guilty of it should repent for interfering with the fore knowledge, the fore sanctification and the fore ordination of God.
Secondarily,the doctrine that tongues are the initial evidence of the in filling of the Holy Ghost has had a divisive effect on the body of Christ. Those of us who speak in tongues have regarded our brothers who don’t as not been filled with the Spirit,while does who don’t speak consider us as being charismatically choatic. I see no need for this civil war in the church,because the scriptures contains examples of both classes of believers. Those who got filled without any record of speaking in tongues,as well as those who got filled and spoke with tongues. I believe both of them were documented in the new testament so as to foster,acceptance and unity among different members of the body of Christ. We should stop the bickering and work towards fulfilling Jesus’s last wishes of unity upon the earth.
If John the baptist could not speak in tongues,what then was the impact and outward evidence of his fullness, the answer is JOY UNSPEAKABLE FULL OF Glory. Our foundation scripture tells us that he leaped for Joy. This should not surprise us since the spirit of God is the angel of his presence. If in his presence there is fullness of Joy,we can say that, the angel of his presence must be the angel of Joy. This means that the Holy Spirit is meant to alter our emotional state by imparting Joy to our hearts. Depression and disillusionment shouldn’t be a problem as we grow in the Holy Ghost’s fullness. This joy then is meant to be our strength,therefore the fullness of the Spirit in our lives should bring about the dual forces of strength and joy in our lives.
THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S SPIRIT ACTIVATES THE PROPHETIC.
And it came to pass,that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary,the babe leaped in her womb;and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice,and said,Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me…. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord(Luke1:41-45)
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost and PROPHESIED…(Luke1:67)
The first thing that struck me was how the common greeting of Mary who had been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit got Elisabeth filled with the Holy
Spirit, even to the womb. This is an amazing challenge to the contemporary ushers and greeters of the church today. If we would dare be overshadowed by the Spirit of God,even the simple things we do, will get everyone who relates to us full of the Spirit of God. Little activities will generate huge impact,if we dare to be filled by God’s spirit.
The outcome of both Zachariah and Elisabeth’s fullness was automatic prophecies. Elisabeth’s prophecy not only recognized the pregnant status of Mary,but she accurately discerned that she was the mother of her Lord. Her prophecy also served as a confirmation and encouragement for Mary,of the things spoken unto her by the Lord. Oh how we need such prophetic accuracy in our day to day dealings. The reality of God would be undeniable in people’s lives. Few would have been a victim of the confusion that hunt many in our generation. Many would have willingly submitted to the Lord without struggle.
But if all prophesy,and there come in one that believeth not or one unlearned,he is CONVINCED of all,he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God,and report that God is in you of a truth.(1Corinthians14:24-25)
What the above scripture is saying is that it won’t be difficult to convince people about the reality of God when a strong prophetic anointing is in operation. May the Lord restore this prophetic authority and intensity to his church again in these last days.
To operate in the prophetic one must understand the dynamics of prophecy.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.(2Peter1:21).
The first thing to note is that prophecy is never a fabrication of man’s will. The second is that the impurity of the vessel can corrupt the accuracy of the prophetic word. The third point is that the prophecy proceeded as the holy men were moved by the Spirit of God. The word “moved” there in the greek comes from a greek word that means to bear,carry,drive,driven,rushing all just to mention but a few. The essence of that word is to propel. Prophecies were propelled by the Holy Ghost. If one is therefore to be moved by the Spirit,a cup of the spirit can’t do that. One will need to be full of the spirit, to be inspired by the spirit. Prophecy is there fore inspired utterance based upon the fullness of the Spirit of God. The fuller we are of the spirit,the more inspired and accurate our prophecies will be.
The purpose of prophecy is edification,exhortation and comfort.(1Corinthians14:3) This means that as we are filled with the Spirit of God and yield to his gifts of prophecy,we also become through him,agents of edification,exhortation and comfort in our generation. Isn’t that wonderful? Lives,homes,ministries as well as organizations could be built up as we prophesy. I see those days coming to pass in the present day church.
THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S SPIRIT IMPARTS BOLDNESS.
Then Peter FILLED with the Holy Ghost said unto them,Ye rulers of the people,and the elders of Israel…Now when they saw the BOLDNESS of Peter and John and percieved that they were unlearned and ignorant men,they marvelled and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.(Acts4:8-13).
And when they had prayed,the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,and they spake the word of God with BOLDNESS (Acts4:31).
Timidity is not a kingdom virtue. In fact the bible boldly declares that if we are walking in the spirit of fear,God didn’t give it to us(2Timothy1:7). In other words our God, disowned fear,I think it will be a wise thing to follow in his footsteps. This is coupled with the fact that, the fearful and unbelieving,shall have their part in the lake of fire(Revelation21:8). To now crown it all, fear is Satan’s master key to bondage.(Hebrews2:15)
Just as faith is central to God’s ability in our lives,fear is central to satan’s ability in our lives. The only cure for fear is boldness and that boldness can not be mentally worked up,it has to be spiritually imparted to us by the Holy Ghost himself,though fellowship with him. It is this boldness that God confirms in us,with signs and wonders, when we speak of him(Acts14:3). This boldness is bestowed as we are filled with God’s spirit on a daily basis. This Spirit generated boldness is also a key to walking in our recompense and reward.(Hebrew10:35)
THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S SPIRIT GENERATES REVELATIONS.
And Ananias went his way,and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said,Brother Saul,the Lord,even Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest,hath sent me,that thou mightest receive thy SIGHT AND BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales and he received sight forthwith and arose and was baptized.(Acts9:17-18)
And he,being full of the Holy Ghost,looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God,and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said,Behold I see the heavens opened…(Acts7:55-56).
This is wonderful. In the lives of both Peter and Stephen. The fullness of the Spirit gave them uncommon visions and revelations. In the Joel 2:28 prophecy old men were meant to dream dreams and the young men were meant to see visions as a result of the fullness of God’s spirit. If indeed we are filled with the spirit today,where are the dreams and visions that were promised?
The remarkable fact is that our leadership in the world depends exclusive on our ability to see what the world cannot see,for if the blind leads the blind they are both headed for a ditch(Luke6:39). Our confidence in the day of conflict also depends on what we can see.(2Kings6:17). It is time for us to cry out for the fullness of the Spirit that will bestow upon us the visions that will alter the state of our civilization for good.
THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S SPIRIT RELEASES JUDGEMENT.
Then Saul,(Who is called Paul) filled with the Holy Ghost,set his eyes on him, And Said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief,thou child of the devil,thou enemy of all righteousness will thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold,the hand of the Lord is upon thee,and thou shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by hand.(Acts13:9-11)
But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord,and of Judgment and of might to declare unto Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.(Micah3:8)
No matter how noble our intentions are for God in life,we will most likely have to deal with staggering opposition that require the judgment of God. How then do we usher in the Judgmental hand of God? The above scripture tells us that the fullness of God’s spirit can usher in the Judgmental hand of the Lord in the affairs of our lives. Notice the immediacy of execution when Paul was full of the Spirit.
You too have endured that situation for too long. It is time to move that mountain out of your way immediately by the Judgmental dimension of the Spirit of God. Zechariah4:6 teaches us that spiritual mountains do not respond to power or might. They only respond to the authority of the Spirit. It is time to wait upon the Lord,until we sense his movement and fullness,then we like the gods we are, can begin speak faith filled words to change our circumstances. You will be shocked at the speed of execution,because it is the spirit that quickens(John6:63). It is time for results.
THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S SPIRIT TURNS MANY TO THE LORD.
For he was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith and much people was added unto the lord.(Acts11:24)
For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost,even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.(Luke1:15,16)
Finally,it will take the fullness of God’s spirit to win men to the lord. Our logical arguments are powerless,if we aren’t full of the Holy Spirit. The letter killeth,but only the Spirit can quicken and make alive. If Jesus is not glorified,the spirit can not be given(John7:39). Jesus said,And if I be lifted up from the earth,will draw all men unto me.(John12:32). Who then draws all men to him? The answer is the Holy Spirit. As Jesus is glorified,the Spirit is released,and as the Spirit of God is released, men are drawn to the person of the Lord.
More than ever before,we must desire an oceanic dimension of the Holy Spirit to fill us, as well as our world. The impact of the Holy Spirit on us in joy,in judgment,in boldness,in revelations,in prophecies,in tongues and tangible transformation of individuals into the image of Christ,is bound to alter our civilization for good. May the glory of the Holy Spirit, the difference maker, fill our world,as the waters cover the seas in Jesus precious name.