Step 3: The Christian and the Holy Spirit

Why So Few Christians Are Filled with the Holy Spirit

by Bill Bright

Through the centuries, many of Christ's followers have been ordinary people. Nothing spectacular ever happened to them or through them. Then, as happened to Peter on the day of Pentecost when he was filled with the Holy Spirit, their lives were dramatically changed.

No longer ordinary or average, they became men and women of God -- bold in faith and instruments of God's power.

Today, the same Holy Spirit with His life-changing power, is available to each of us. Yet, tragically, multitudes of Christians go through life without ever experiencing the abundant and fruitful life that Christ promised to all who trust Him.

In this lesson, you will examine the reasons so few Christians have experienced the infilling of the Spirit. And you will have the opportunity to consider any barriers you may have erected between yourself and God. I urge you to mediate and reflect on how they may apply to your own life.


The Heart's Battlefield

  1. How does Paul describe himself in Romans 7:19-24? How does this description make you feel?
  2. In your own words, explain why so many Christians are unhappy, according to Galatians 5:16-17.


Why the Battle Is Often Lost

  1. According to each of the following verses, give one reason so few Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 29:25, Luke 9:26)
  2. What is another barrier between you and the Lord that keeps you from being filled with the Spirit? (Psalm 66:18) What else can divert you from being filled with the Spirit? (I John 2:15-17) 
  3. Lack of trust in God will also keep you from being filled with the Holy Spirit. Read John 3:16, Romans 8:32, and I John 3:16. Describe how these verses help you trust God fully.

Basically, the reason most Christians are not filled with the Holy Spirit is that they are unwilling to surrender their wills to God.



Life Application

  1. Examine the diagram above and write any of those, or other barriers you are aware of between yourself and God.
  2. Prayerfully consider, then answer this question: "Am I willing to surrender my will to God?"
  3. If you are, pray this prayer with all of your heart to turn your life over to God.

Dear Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against you. I thank you that you have forgiven my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me. I now invite you to again take your place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as you commanded me to be filled. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank you for taking control of my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.

Next: How Can You Be Filled With The Holy Spirit?

Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.