I’m holding a book here in my hand that God used to really challenge, and I believe shape, my life and my ministry. It’s an old book, this edition of it is, and it’s a book that I got early on in the ministry, maybe just a year or two after I began to preach.
I was introduced to this book by Curtis Hutson, listening to him preach on an MP3, and maybe it’s a CD back in those days, I don’t remember, but I listened to him preach and he said that this book really challenged him. And it’s a book that tells of the experiences of different Christians and their moments where they undoubtedly were filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
It’s a book that challenges us of the promise, the privilege, and the great need, really, of being a Spirit-filled Christian. There are stories in here of George Whitefield and Peter Cartwright and John Wesley, men like D.L. Moody listed in here, and here’s George Fox and others, Billy Bray, the coal miner. There are men in here like Christmas Evans, and that powerful preacher had just one eye and just the power of God upon their life. And it’s a record of how God used these men, though they were different with different deliveries, different styles, ran in different circles, but they were all filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
And listen, as a Christian, I’m glad God is an equal opportunity filler, if you will. If you are saved, you should be, ought to be, can be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. There is such power, and it’s untapped, sadly, in the Holy Spirit of God. The book of Acts would be a thin book if it wasn’t for the power of God.
And I want to challenge you. I remember spending, literally, not just moments, but hours in the basement office that I had in West Virginia, our first home together. I remember spending time in that basement, begging God for His power, asking God to let me be a preacher, to use me, and to fill me, and to stir my heart, and give me an out-of-the-ordinary kind of an ability to reach souls for my generation. And I can testify and say there’s been instances where I believe God did that. Some days I fell far short and still do, but I want to be Spirit-filled.
How do you get Spirit-filled? Empty yourself of self. Confess your sin. Get as right with God as you know how, and beg God and say, “Lord, here I am as a tool to be used in your service. Fill me with the Holy Spirit of God. I want to be Spirit-filled.”
You’re going to have to spend some time in prayer. You don’t get filled with the Spirit of God by making one trip to an altar. You can start the process, but you’re going to have to continually and daily die to self. Lay yourself on an altar. Present yourself as a living sacrifice to God. Decrease. Let the Lord increase.
But I’m begging you, preacher, missionary, evangelist, Christian, get a hunger for the Holy Spirit of God, the power, not some fake, not some phony, not some fabricated, false, you know, experience. No, I’m talking about the real McCoy, the genuine article, the power of God. My how we need it.
God will speak to you through prayer, through the Word of God, but we need His filling. We need the power of God on our life. I want to challenge you to get alone today in a private place and beg God for fresh oil. Well, I hope this has been a challenge and it helps your Christian life today.