The past weeks we've been allowing the Lord to work really hard in us to uproot those stubborn weeds of self and flesh. We've talked about strongholds and sin, some we were aware of and some that we didn't even know were hiding in us. We finished this uprooting by a lesson on the spirit of Jezebel. We learned who she was and if any of her was in us. We decided we wanted no characteristics of that spirit in us and opted for a quiet and gentle spirit instead. :)
This week we decided to put our studying into action. We learned 4 steps to being filled with the Holy Spirit. But before we could jump in we heeded a WARNING! (These 4 steps are not a magic spell to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you cannot manipulate God. These are merely some ways to get our hearts emptied and readied to make room for the King.)
1. Humble your self- "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" Jas 4:6 We must realize that He is the vine and we are the branches apart from him we can bear no fruit in fact apart from Him we can do nothing. John 15:4-8
2. Deny your self and crucify the flesh-2 Cor. 5:15 If self is reigning on the throne of our hearts the Holy Spirit can't. So we must die to self...Gal 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me..." Luke 9:23-25 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me...."
3. Confess your sins and lay down your burdens- The fact is if something is already full it can't be filled. If we are already so full of our own junk the Holy Spirit doesn't have room to fully expand. So we lay it all down burdens and sins...1John 1:9 "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." We mustn't be afraid to confess our sins...1 John 2:1 "...But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ the Righteous One." Jesus speaks for us and desires our freedom and that's what confession gives us! And not just our sins but Jesus even cares about our worries...1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your cares on Him, for he cares for you" Can you believe that! He dies for us, speaks for us and cares for us!
4. Ask - Now that your empty simply ask your loving Father to be filled with Him. Luke 11:11-13 "Which of you Fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those ask him!" Just ask him...he wants you to be filled with the Spirit more than you want to be filled Spirit...because if you really are do you know who gets the glory...He does!
Now, all this being said we don't earn being filled with Spirit, its a grace, a gift...that is why they are called spiritual gifts. These step aren't a magical spell to make it happen, they are to make your heart right. If you want to be filled with Spirit so that you can be awesome and thought much of then you won't be filled, because self is still on the throne. But if you know you need to be filled to bring the Father you love any glory at all, then you will be filled, because Jesus is on the throne of your heart and He always seeks the Fathers glory.
Brendi is an amazing leader in our group and has channeled her passionate spirit into a God glorifying gift. She's artsy, musical, theatrical, hysterical, and about as athletic as her older sister ;)
For her scripture she chose Proverbs 2:1-5
"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding and if you look for it as silver and search for it as for hidden treasure then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God."
Brendi said, "This verse means a lot to me because I remember a lot of people pointing me towards every which way, and never being sure which arrow to trust. The Lord spoke to me in verses like this telling me "This is the one true way". He has given me definite direction and promise, and I will be forever grateful.