The Glory of Christ and His Church—Filled with the Spirit, Part 2
The aim of our life in Christ is to love Him, to walk faithfully with Him, and to “be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:18-21). To live a Spirit-filled life, you must be intentional to live in Christ and in the Spirit.
The precious blood of Christ pays the price for our sin and reconciles (or justifies) us with a Holy God. We are loved, forgiven, accepted, and adopted into God’s family. Such marvelous grace! But God’s grace is more than just reconciling us through Christ.
The essence of our new life in Christ is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In fact, it was the Spirit who places us into the body of Christ at new birth. Paul writes that we are “…baptized by one Spirit into one body…” (1 Cor. 12:13 NKJV).
The Father has restored our ability to live in Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. From our new life in Christ through the Spirit, we can learn to commune with God, live righteously, be empowered to operate in the gifts of the Spirit, and have power to be witnesses for Jesus.
Just as we no longer know Jesus according to the flesh (His humanity) but rather by the Spirit, we should see each other from this realm of life in the Spirit. Old things have passed away, all things have become new! Yes, we are becoming more and more like Christ, but we are now presently new creations in the Spirit.
This is why Paul reminded us that—as we live in the Spirit—we move, act, eat, drink, and do everything to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). This is the essence of being Spirit-filled. We live in constant awareness of God through our life in the Spirit.
This very life of Christ has been put within us and is moving within us; His life is perfect within! At new birth, you and I began a new life that will never end; the eternal one is from everlasting to everlasting and we have come into His life! While we are not perfect, God within us is. So, we are learning how to allow Him to be preeminent.
Consider this reality for the Christian: “No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God in a human spirit; it is an inner unconquerableness.” 
These words were penned by twentieth-century minister and writer, Oswald Chambers, in his classic devotional, The Utmost for His Highest.
Our new-birth reality is that our spirit is reborn by God’s Spirit who is at work to mold us into the image of God and to empower us beyond the trials and circumstances of life. Yes, we go through struggles and difficulties, but—as we learn to rely upon the Holy Spirit within—nothing can conquer us!
Practical steps for staying filled with the Spirit:
1.) Begin each day with a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18 NKJV)
‘Helper’ is from the Greek parakletos and means ‘comforter’, ‘counselor’, or ‘helper’. The Holy Spirit comforts and aids us in our Christian walk. The word another is from the Greek allos and means ‘one beside and just like’. In other words, Jesus is promising to send someone who is just like Him to help us in life. The Holy Spirit—co-eternal with the Father and the Son—is that person.
The Holy Spirit wants to envelop you in His presence daily. He really cares for you and wants to be your best friend. Our Christian life was meant to be an ongoing experience in the life of the Holy Spirit. Daily communion with the Holy Spirit should be normal!
Learn how to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. If you are new to this type of relationship, don’t just read your Bible; pray through your Bible. As you daily read the Word, stop, pause, reflect, and sense what God is trying to communicate to you. In time, you will begin to be confident in hearing His voice and being aware of His presence.
Ask Him questions, “Holy Spirit, what’s on your heart today? What are you trying to show me?” Then wait on Him—listen, watch, journal. I have discovered that my faith increases when I understand God’s revealed will in both His written Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
2.) Cultivate an awareness of the Holy Spirit during daily activities.
Paul tells us in Romans, “For as many as are led (agō: guide, function, spend time) by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom 8:14 NKJV). Ongoing, daily interaction with the Holy Spirit should be the norm for the follower of Christ. Learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit and not grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30).
Most of us want to live a victorious Christian life, but it is impossible to attain that goal without daily communion with the Holy Spirit. Communion with the Holy Spirit is the launching pad for a life of supernatural power and consistency.
Genuine Christianity, led by the Spirit, opens the mind to the potential of being completely transformed to think like Heaven—to have a Kingdom perspective. God is after something far more than our “good behavior,” although this is foundational. The Lord desires to mature each of us, and the Church, into the fullness of Christ, to function with a mindset that nothing is impossible with God!
Paul writes in his benediction to the Corinthians in his second epistle, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen” (2 Cor. 13:14 NKJV).
The word ‘communion’ is from the Greek koinōnía and means ‘fellowship’, ‘partnership’, or ‘to take responsibility for’. Other examples of this word can be found in Acts 2:42 “fellowship”; Luke 5:7 “partnership”; and Phil. 4:14 “responsibility for”. As we learn to commune or fellowship daily with the Holy Spirit, we will discover the joy of His fellowship, the power of His partnership, and the comfort of Him taking responsibility for us.
3.) Determine to walk in the Spirit and become more Christ-like.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Rom. 12:2 NIV)
Notice we are told not to conform to this world, but to be transformed by renewing our minds. The verse implies that our effort is required with the partnership of the Holy Spirit. Both God’s grace and our human effort are needed for our transformation and renewing of the mind.
It is through grace that believers are saved and empowered to live a new life in Christ, but grace is also the unmerited favor and empowerment God gives to believers to help them grow and change. However, human effort is also necessary, as believers must actively participate in the transformation process by engaging in spiritual disciplines, resisting temptation, and pursuing righteousness. Grace and human effort work together to bring about transformation in the life of a disciple.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:12-13 NIV)
Dallas Willard in his book, The Great Omission, explains a “process” of transformation within the Christian life. It does not come immediately upon salvation, but it takes “working out,” according to Philippians 2:12. This process Willard presents as a “golden triangle.”
This triangle includes three aspects of the transformation process: 1.) faithful acceptance of problems, 2.) interaction with the Spirit of God, and 3.) spiritual disciplines. Willard believed that all three parts are essential in the process of transformation; without one, they all fail.
The first part of the “golden triangle” is faithful acceptance of problems. Jesus tells His followers in John 16:33 that, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” To believe that the life of a Christian is without problems is to believe in a lie. We learn through trials and pain as we partner with Christ and allow Him to walk us through it and teach us what He wants to show us as we surrender to Him.
The second part of the triangle is interacting with the Spirit of God. Philippians 2:13 reminds the reader that, “it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose.” By partnering with the Spirit of God, who is already working within us, we are learning how He moves, speaks, and acts, therefore choosing a life of partnership with God.
Willard asserted that gifts of the Spirit and fruit of the Spirit serve God’s purpose as we partner with Him. He stated that these are the result of the presence of God’s activity in our lives, not our human reality. God is here; we choose to work with Him or ignore His leading or call upon us.
The third part of the triangle is the personal spiritual habits of the disciple. Jesus’ spiritual disciplines of solitude and study, service and secrecy, fasting and worship indicate that spiritual disciplines help us to set self aside and pursue God.
For example, Godly solitude is only possible when we reflect on the goodness of God; Godly study is only possible through the Spirit’s illumination; Godly service is only possible through a combination of the Father’s supernatural love and the Holy Spirit’s supernatural enabling gifts; fasting is only beneficial through the motivation of the Spirit; and true worship must be done in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Our spiritual health depends partially upon yielding to the working of the Holy Spirit through spiritual disciplines. Whether it includes worship, reading, praying, fasting, serving, silence, solitude, or any other Christian spiritual practice. It is not our will alone that changes us, but our response to God’s grace as we partner with Him in the process of transformation and growth in Christ.
4.) Learn how to remain in the Spirit.
“Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:19-20 CEB)
Notice, both horizontal and vertical relationships are occurring. Psalms (God’s Word, songs), hymns (written songs), and spiritual songs (spontaneous) to God and to other believers.
Paul is giving very practical steps as to how to stay filled with the Spirit. Thanksgiving and worship are key components to keep you in the Spirit, or aware of God’s presence.
We are to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4 NKJV). Those who are thankful enter the domain of the Lord, and as we learn how to move into higher praise, they will abide in His presence.
Worship changes the atmosphere around you. It removes the negativity from your thinking. Your focus is heavenward; you’re setting your mind on things above. Worship makes you aware of your elevated status in God—you’re seated with Christ!
Choose to develop a walk of daily communion with the Holy Spirit!
Allow the Holy Spirit to be all He wants to be in your life – your source of wisdom, power, and strength to launch you forth into victory.
Consider praying this prayer today:
Holy Spirit, I want to thank You for being my friend, helper, partner and for taking responsibility for me. I need Your friendship and partnership… I ask You to forgive me for the times that I haven’t fellowshipped with You. I promise from this day forward to commune with You and to consult You before making decisions. I invite You to come now and fill me afresh; let me know the joy of Your fellowship! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
For a deeper look at this topic, watch the Passion Church message “Filled with the Spirit Part 2”:
 Oswald Chambers, The Utmost for His Highest, April 14.