Jesus promised His followers an inner flow of the Holy Spirit. He said: “Out of your inner most being shall flow rivers of living water.” This is not just theology, theory, or doctrine, but an actual, ongoing experience.
Believers have amazing spiritual potential. The very Spirit of God can flow like rivers through our hearts releasing a flood of the fruit (the character) and the gifts (the power) of the Spirit.
So how do we begin to realize that spiritual potential in our daily lives? Paul gives us two keys. He says: “Stir up the gift that is within you,” and “Quench not the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit will flow freely from within us if we stir Him up, and don’t hold Him back. So how do we do those two things? Here are some practical suggestions:
* Surrender. Give your will to God. Lay down your opinions, your way, and your desires and begin to follow and obey Him, even in “little” things.
* Quit wrongful thoughts and behaviors. Sin stifles the Spirit. Stop all known wrongdoing. Ask God to show you any moral problems in your life that you are unaware of and stop those, too.
* Promptly obey any stirrings of the Spirit. When you sense the Spirit nudging you to say or do something, do it right away, regardless of any feared consequences. Follow the words of Jesus’ mother, Mary. She said: “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
* Regularly read the Bible devotionally. Read it every day like you would read a love letter from the person you love the most (not dutifully as if it was a textbook). Begin by focusing on the New Testament. When you read a command, get up and actually do what it tells you to.
* Hang out with people who know how to humbly flow in the Spirit. If you know (or know of) anybody who regularly steps out of the box and acts like Jesus, spend time with her/him. The flow of the Spirit is more caught than taught. Also you can hang with Holy Spirit flow-ers through their books. Read the writings of the church fathers, the Catholic mystics, the early Protestant missionaries, the Orthodox monks of the Philokalia, the early Methodists, the early Anabaptists, the early Quakers, the early Pentecostals. A great many of those people knew how to flow in the Spirit.
* If you live in Nashville, come and experience Spirit-led, participatory church where people are free to share testimonies, Scriptures, encouragement, one-on-one ministry, prayer requests, and gifts of the Spirit, as prompted by God at The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center, 225 Berry Street, Nashville, 37207 on Sundays at 10:45am.
Check out my new book, Beyond Church — An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible — Ekklesia; available at Amazon.