Ring – Ring
“Hello, this is BJ.” “I’m looking for a spirit filled agent to assist me. Are you him?” said the voice on the phone. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know how to respond. To buy some time, I said, “it depends upon what you mean by spirit.” My brain was racing across so many definitions of spirit. Did he want an agent with spirit? Like a cheerleader? “We’ve got spirit, yes we do, we’ve got spirit how ‘bout you?” Ok, yea. I’ve got spirit. No, that can’t be it. Maybe he was looking for a Christian? If so, I question his method. That is an odd way to put it. Why not just ask me if I am a believer? Because this man was looking for a specific kind of Christian. He didn’t want someone that was religious, or simply knew the right things to say. He was looking for someone whose life was shaped by the Holy Spirit. His follow up to my query was “are you continually full of the Holy Ghost, able to speak in tongues.” Hmmm…..now I have a problem. I have never spoken in tongues.
Since I have never spoken in tongues, I must reconcile what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Today, in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit fills the disciples. The result? You got it. They spoke in tongues. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Does my failure to speak in tounges mean that I do not have the Holy Spirit? No. It simply means that the Spirit has not needed to fill me in that way. He has, however, filled me in other ways. Galatians 5 provides additional evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
As I reflected on the conversation, I began to think about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Here are a few examples of how Jesus reflected the Spirit’s presence.
Love – Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Joy – Luke 10:21 (ESV) In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
Peace –Mark 4:39 (ESV) And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm
Patience – Jesus is incredibly patient with Thomas’ unbelief John 20:27 (ESV) Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
Kindness – Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls
Goodness – This is a great tribute to the goodness of Jesus https://youtu.be/ESmuG_5MOiw
Gentleness – Matthew 19:13-14 (ESV) Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Self-Control – Jesus is tempted by the Devil Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
Clearly, the Holy Spirit has powerful effects on our lives. I can see why the man on the phone wanted an agent that was filled with the Spirit. Thankfully, because Jesus went before us, these gifts are freely given to those that ask. What shall we do?
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:38-39 (ESV)