We have been called to an incredible life of peace, happiness and abundance; a life that we can only fathom or find as we follow the Spirit of God. I call it Spirit-filled living. A realm where God, in us, teaches us, leads, empowers and expresses His love for humanity.
When I think of such a possibility I am at once overwhelmed with thankfulness for a God who has offered so much. But I am ignited with a hunger to know more of God. It is this very hope that causes me to understand why the Apostle Paul at the end of his life, after experiencing God in ways that were beyond expression was still saying, I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection (Phil 3:10).
With such a limitless promise, the hope, the hunger and the journey never ends. To follow such a call I’ve had to surrender my every preconceived idea about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I had to look to the word of God, the life of Jesus and to the voice of the Spirit within me to discover something that was beyond what I had seen or heard. It is impossible to totally avoid the memories of extremely emotional people, doing incredibly bizarre things and saying, “This is the Holy Spirit.” Like most people, they arrogantly proclaim, “If you have the Holy Spirit, you’ll do what I am doing.”
For years I asked the wrong questions about these extremely emotional, deeply religious, and sometimes offensive actions. Like most people I asked, “Were they really experiencing the Holy Spirit? And if so, why would He lead them to act so bizarre?” In time I asked a different question. “Is there a difference between what they are experiencing and how they express it?” That’s when I began to get to the truth and further away from judgment. I can only assume they were experiencing God. But how they chose to express their experience was their choice. The Holy Spirit never makes us act. We act as we believe we should.