A Spirit-Filled Heart
July 4, 2016
      A-Christians-Heart-A-Spirit-Filled-Heart-Dennis-Lee

A Christian’s Heart

“A Spirit-Filled Heart”

There really isn’t any one quality that supersedes other qualities when it comes to what should be in a Christian’s heart. But if there was one, this would be it, and that’s because it’s the Holy Spirit that directs the flow of our lives.

The Apostle Paul said,

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit is the choreographer who designs, arranges, and directs the flow not only our lives, but also the ministry flow of the church. This is because the Holy Spirit transcends our own ability and empowers us by transforming our inability.

A great example is Jesus’ disciples who were hiding out behind closed doors. But on the Day of Pentecost the disciples were endued with heavenly power, Holy Spirit power, and they changed the world.

Further, who else can clean up our hearts the way Jesus cleaned out the temple. Jesus said He was going to send the Holy Spirit, describing Him as another helper like unto Himself, John 14:14:16.

So just as Jesus cleansed the temple of the money changers and those who sold the sacrifices, Matthew 21:13, the Holy Spirit can kick out and cleanse whatever is defiling God’s temple within us.

Paul asked,

“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV)

So within every believer is God’s holy temple, the temple of the Holy Spirit, therefore we really need to have Spirit-filled hearts.

Let’s take a look at what some of the aspects are of having a Spirit-filled heart.

1.A Heart Set on Fire

While we say we’d like to be set on fire by God, the truth is that we fear it. And that’s natural. Just like when we smell smoke, see flames, and feel the heat of fire, there’s something inside that makes us want to run.

Instead of running away from the Holy Spirit, and running away from God’s plan and purpose for our lives, we need to start fanning them to flame and start getting set ablaze by God, because fire not only melts wax, it also hardens steel.

And that’s exactly what Holy Spirit fire does in our lives. Holy Spirit fire burns away the impurities of our lives while at the same time toughens up our faith.

There are several things that work in our favor when we allow Holy Spirit fire to engulf our hearts.

The first is that Holy Spirit fire

a. Directs us

We see a similar fire engulfing a bush back in the Old Testament through which the Lord directed Moses in setting free the Hebrew people from over 400 years of bondage to the Egyptians.

“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.” (Exodus 3:2 NKJV)

While the fire engulfed the bush it didn’t consume it, that is, it didn’t harm the bush, which brings me to the next point, and that is Holy Spirit fire

b. Delivers Us

“When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:2b NKJV)

The story of Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego comes to mind. When Nebuchadnezzar tossed them into the fiery furnace when they refused to bow to His image, it says the fire burned off the ropes that bound them, but it didn’t harm them. In fact, when they emerged they didn’t even smell like smoke.

It was through the fire they were delivered, which brings me to the third point is that Holy Spirit fire

c. Protects Us

Speaking of His protection the Lord said,

“‘And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.’” (Zechariah 2:5 NIV)

It was God’s holy fire that protected the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt. It was the pillar of cloud and fire that set itself between the Egyptians and the Jews at the Red Sea, keeping the Egyptians at bay until God opened a way and allowed the Israelites to cross over.

In the same way Holy Spirit fire protects us from those forces that want to invade our lives. The Bible says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

And this leads me to my last point and that is Holy Spirit fire

d. Empowers Us

After Jesus death, burial, and resurrection, and before He ascended into heaven He said to the disciples,

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NKJV)

When the day of Pentecost came they were all together praying when all of a sudden the Holy Spirit burst into the room.

Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:2-4a NKJV)

We’ll look more at this in our third aspect of a Spirit-filled heart. But for now, let’s look at the second aspect of having a Spirit-filled heart.

2. A Heart Filled to Overflowing

How do we receive the filling of the Holy Spirit? How can we overflow with His power?

It all starts when we come to believe in Jesus Christ. Again, going back to what Paul said,

Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Jesus paid the price with His life.

When we come into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, what Jesus Himself described as being born again, John 3:3, then our spirit becomes the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. It’s at this time we are filled but not necessarily overflowing.

We see this in the life of the disciples. After Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, He appeared to them in His glorified body.

Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21)

But Jesus didn’t send them out into the world alone. He breathed on them and said,

Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22)

Yet this wasn’t the complete filling to overflowing. There was more to come.

Jesus said,

“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

Endued means to endow, or provide completely with a quality or ability. It means to be completely enveloped, and so Jesus is saying He wanted them to be clothed completely in Holy Spirit power.

For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5)

Jesus makes it clear there’s another filling, an additional anointing of the Holy Spirit referred to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit where they would receive His power.

The word baptism means to be completely immersed.

And so with these two words, “endued,” and “baptized”, it’s as if the Lord is saying, “I want you to be completely immersed and enveloped in the Holy Spirit so His power will overflow every area of your life.”

As they gathered on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled them to overflowing. There was a sound from heaven like a mighty rushing wind. There appeared tongues of fire hovering over each one, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:1-6)

What we often fail to notice, however, is that they had already been filled with the Holy Spirit when they first believed. Remember, right after the resurrection Jesus breathed on them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” While they were filled, they weren’t overflowing. This came later at the Day of Pentecost through what Jesus called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In addition to this, throughout the life of the church the disciples received additional fillings to empower them, such as when they were praying after being warned by the Jewish authority not to speak any more in the name of Jesus. The house where they were praying was shaken, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they went out boldly went out proclaiming Jesus and the gospel message. Acts 4:31.

The reason we need the continual filling and overflowing power of the Holy Spirit is because without it, all these steps and transformational principles we talk about on Sunday mornings and in Bible studies won’t work. We’re trying to put spiritual principles into practice using natural techniques.

In Galatians 3:3 Paul said, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

We cannot be effective without the filling and overflowing power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. It’s a necessity if we’re going to live an effective godly life in an ungodly world. It’s a necessity to regain that fire so we can make a difference for Christ in our lives, in our families, and in our community.

And so a Spirit-filled heart is a heart that is set on fire and is filled to overflowing.

Lastly, a Spirit-filled heart is

3. A Heart Empowered

To have a Spirit-filled heart is to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be able to accomplish what we could never accomplish on our own.

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” (Ephesians 3:16 NKJV)

Within every believer there is tremendous power.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)

It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that enables believers to walk upon the narrow road, confess and turn away from their sins, and to live in spiritual victory. The power of the Holy Spirit is the power to stop living for the world and all its enticements, and start living for God.

There are two direct ways the Holy Spirit empowers us

a. Empowers Our Prayers

Having our hearts filled and overflowing with Holy Spirit empowers our prayer life allowing us to enter into the presence of God in ways we never imagined.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit helps our weakness when it comes to prayer life because we naturally don’t know how to pray, or what we should be praying for.

Being the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit knows the mind and will of the Father and Jesus toward us. Therefore He can effectively intercede on our behalf empowering us to seek the Father and Jesus to an even greater extent then we already are!

The Holy Spirit empowers our hearts with the faith to believe. This is something we desperately need because many of us don’t feel as if our prayers are making it up to heaven or being effective.

We read the Bible about the prayer life of great men and women of faith, but when we compare our prayer experience it doesn’t seem to measure up. So we feel disillusioned, disheartened, and just want to give up.

This is where the Holy Spirit helps. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to continue praying and believing God and His promises more than the circumstances we find ourselves in.

b. Empowers Our Witness

The Holy Spirit empowers us to effectively share our faith.

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NKJV)

On the Day of Pentecost as they gathered together praying, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, and it says that they began to speak in different tongues, that is, languages they didn’t know but those who were listening understood.

They said, “How is it that each of us hears them in our native language…we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2:8, 11 NKJV)

Here’s a bunch of people who were afraid for their lives, hiding out from the authorities when all of a sudden the fire of God, the Holy Sprit came down and filling them to overflowing and empowering them to fulfill the Great Commission.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to share our faith, boldly proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ to this lost and dying world. This is witnessed throughout the book of Acts especially in the formation of the church, and in the life of revivals throughout the world.

Conclusion

As we look at these various qualities in this series on a Christian heart, qualities that should be a part of our lives, this one quality of having a heart that is Spirit filled and empowered is probably the most important of them all, and that’s because a Spirit-filled heart allows us to be forgiving, courageous, obedient, and faithful, filled with integrity, grace, hope, and praise. A Spirit-filled heart also allows us to be those servants and wounded healers to everyone we come in contact with.

And so today, let’s be a church with Spirit-filled hearts; hearts that are filled to overflowing, set on fire, and empowered to be exactly what God calls us to be and the type of hearts that that are going to make a difference in our community and in this world.









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