In our last couple of posts we’ve been discussing the impact of the Holy Spirit on a person life when He comes in power and glory. It effects a believer’s attitude; outlook; language; perspective; and so on . . .
Just look around at the people in your own church. There are many people who believe in Jesus. yet they don’t have any evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. I admit that when I see that, I want to say to the people, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” There is no sign of it. I’ve been in churches where it was so dull and dead that I could hardly bear it. I would sit in that sea of sterility and think to myself, “If the Apostle Paul were here, I think he would stand up and say, with puzzlement in his voice, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’“
The Holy Spirit is given when you exercise your belief in the Lord Jesus. That doesn’t stop with one act of believing. This is where we tend to get confused. We are to keep on believing in the Lord Jesus and manifest his power and vitality in our lives. It is this continual act of believing which releases the freshness of the Spirit in our lives. Paul says to the Colossians, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him,” (Colossians 2:6). “As you received him by an act of believing, keep on believing, walk in him, live in him, in order that you might demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit.” This is why, when some Jews came to him and asked, “What must we do to do the works of God?” Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you keep on believing in him whom he has sent,” (John 6:28-29).
So what are we doing wrong if there is no evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit in our own lives? What are we doing wrong if there is no evidence of any of the joy? What are we doing wrong if there’s no evidence of any of the Grace? What are we doing wrong if there is no evidence of any of the power?
What are you doing wrong? You don’t have to do anything! The problem is that you aren’t believing in him. You believed in him once, maybe twenty or thirty years ago, but that believing stopped. Now, there is no sense of expectancy; no fresh anticipation of his working in your life today. You tell me . . . What happened to that joy, peace, love, excitement? Well, what happened in your life to steal it all away from you?
I bet that if I asked any one of you individually, “Do you believe in Jesus?” most of you would say, “Yes! Absolutely!” Then I would have to ask this question: “Well, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” “Are the signs of the Spirit of God in your life?” “Is his presence, his power, his working, the freshness, the vitality, the enthusiasm, the excitement of the Spirit of God visible in your Christian life?”
If not, then you stopped believing in Jesus. That’s the reason. There must be this expectation of his working, because he makes himself available to us continually, moment by moment, to fulfill every demand life makes on us, as we expect him to do so. In Hebrews we are told that “when you need grace and mercy—Come! Come and ask for grace and mercy in your time of need.” That note of expectancy is the evidence, or the sign of faith which marks the difference between the sterility, the deadness, and the dullness of religiosity without the Spirit, and the fullness, the freshness, and the vigor and power of a Spirit-filled life.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Story of Acts