Christ said to His disciples, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19, New International Version 1984). The primary purpose for which you are filled with the Holy Spirit is to make you a witness for Christ through the holy life that you live and the empowered words you speak.
Some time ago, I had the privilege of speaking at a seminar on evangelism in Dallas, Texas. My topic was on the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit in order to be effective and fruitful in our witness for Christ.
After I had spoken, a woman shared with me her great concern for her father-in-law. She said, “My father-in-law lives with my husband and me. I have prayed for him for many years, but he is not a Christian. He is getting along in years, and I fear that he will die without Christ. Will you help me?”
I asked her, “Are you a Spirit-filled Christian?” She said, “Yes. This morning, at the conclusion of your message, I claimed by faith the fullness of God’s Spirit.”
“That is really wonderful!” I exclaimed. “Now, this is what I want you to do. Go home and prepare your father-in-law a delicious lunch. While he is eating, read to him from this little booklet.” I showed her the Four Spiritual Laws booklet. “This booklet contains the distilled essence of the gospel and all that one really needs to know in order to receive Christ,” I said. “After you have read it to him, ask him if he would like to receive Christ as his Savior and Lord.”
She said, “You really think he will listen?”
“Yes,” I said. “God’s Holy Spirit will lead and empower you.”
Later that afternoon, she called me. She was so excited she could hardly express herself.
She told me how she had followed my instructions. As her father-in-law ate his lunch, she read to him the Four Spiritual Laws booklet. He listened intently, and when she finished reading, she asked him if he would like to receive Christ. And he said, “Of course I would.”
So they bowed together, and he opened his heart to Christ and became a child of God.
This dear woman, who had prayed for her father-in-law and witnessed to him for years, discovered that it is God the Holy Spirit who makes the difference in witnessing.
Remember our Lord’s final words to His disciples, and through them to you, “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, NIV 1984).
The greatest spiritual awakening since Pentecost has, in my opinion, already begun. Millions of Christians are discovering this great source of power which altered the course of history and turned a wicked Roman Empire upside down. That same power, the power of the Holy Spirit, is being released through the lives of believing and obedient Christians in our generation to turn our world around and accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our generation.
According to our many surveys, you can be sure that most of your Christian friends will want to know how they too can be filled with the Holy Spirit. So I would like to suggest that, within the next 24 hours, you tell at least one other person about how God has filled you with His Spirit.
Telling another person will give tangible expression to your decision to claim the fullness of the Spirit by faith. And by telling someone else how you were filled with the Holy Spirit, you may help them understand how they too can enjoy the abundant life promised by our Lord through the filling of the Holy Spirit.
You can continue to “breathe spiritually” for the rest of your life. “Exhale” by confessing your sins whenever you become aware that you are grieving the Spirit, and “inhale” by appropriating the power of the Holy Spirit by faith as an act of your will. Through spiritual breathing, you can live an abundant, joyful, fruitful life for the glory of our great God and Savior.
Remember, “How You Can Be Filled With the Holy Spirit” is a transferable concept. You can master it by reading it six times; then pass it on to others as our Lord commands us in Matthew 28:20 (Living Bible): “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” The apostle Paul encouraged us to do the same: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2, NIV 1984).
© 1999 Bill Bright, © 2009 Bright Media Foundation and Campus Crusade for Christ International. All rights reserved. Adapted from Bill Bright, “How You Can Be Filled With The Holy Spirit,” Transferable Concept 3 (Peachtree City, GA; Cru).
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