by Seth Fawcet - I love the promise we are given in Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Often, we can merely interpret this verse as talking about our physical wellbeing and human prospects. The truth is that God did have a plan, and that plan was unveiled on the day of Pentecost, which was the birthing of the Church. God's will was happening; it was what Jesus had promised and what they were waiting for, even though they did not know what to expect.
Jesus had promised, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). Then they got the promise! "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." (Acts 2:4)
God wanted them filled with the Spirit so that they had the power to do what He trained them for and told them to do. He also knew that the Holy Spirit always gives hope and a future.
Then in Samaria the same thing happened as Peter spoke, “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as He had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said, ‘John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 11:15).
Nothing has changed. God wants us filled with the Spirit so we can do what He has asked us to do.
Paul was an expert on the Old Testament. He was trained by the best! In his writings we connect the promise of the Old Testament to the experience of the New Testament. When we read the epistles we are reading instruction and encouragement to people who had been birthed in revival, as we read in Acts, and were either drifting away or in danger of losing their revelation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. There are many examples of this. “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” (Gal 3:3)
Paul does point us to God's will for us – “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph 5:17-18)
Paul is saying you need to allow the Spirit to show you God in all His love, mercy, compassion, goodness and joy.
The same Paul who wrote Ephesians also wrote Colossians, so Paul knew what he was meaning in his prayer for them to have “the knowledge of God's will” (Col 1:9) - be filled with the Spirit! There is often the temptation to be content with a touch from God, and not hunger and thirst and receive the filling that Jesus promised.
There are some people who religiously speak of “wanting God's will for their life”. Here it is - get full of the Spirit; be a person who walks in the promised power.
God wants us filled with the Spirit so that we have the same power to represent Him to the world (witnesses) that the early Church had. Being full will mean we receive the power to fulfil Mark 16:15-18, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation…”
We receive the same power (anointing) that Jesus spoke of in Luke 4:18-19.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
That is why His will is, "be filled with the Spirit". Do not settle for only a touch of the Spirit, BE FILLED!