“I am filled with joy at His success” (John 3:29)
This is John the Baptizer being filled with joy when he heard of Jesus coming to baptize around the bend in the Jordan River where he was also baptizing. He is the one who said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). This was the cousin of Jesus who baptized with water, but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Scripture says that when you come to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord that you will receive the Holy Spirit. When you are born again there is a new you in the Holy Spirit. But are you filled?
When we start our Christian life God makes us new, He transforms us. Yet Romans 12:2 gives the admonition to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This is a process as being filled is in the future pluperfect tense, which means continually being filled. This implies that we can run on empty or be emptied. We do not lose the Holy Sprit, but we can grieve the Holy Spirit as Ephesians 4:30 warns us. So how do you do this? We grieve the Holy Spirit with our sins, which I imagine cover the Spirit of God with our filthy rags. This image makes me cringe, which is a good thing because it should be the last thing we want to do.
The Holy Spirit is God within us, the Counselor, Comforter and “Convictor.” Yes, the Spirit convicts of sin and causes us to repent and go the other way, the way of the cross. That is the way of holiness and righteousness. We can’t do this on our own, we need the perfecting power of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” This power within us brings us the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). This is the opposite of lusts of the flesh. This is the life controlled by the Spirit. It should grow as we grow in Christ. Just as John, we become less of us and more of Jesus. That is the purpose of life. He needs to be our center, our everything. That is separating the sheep from the goats indeed.
I like to describe this as a process like filling a jar with water. But first the jar is full of rocks or our sins (original self). As we take out our rocks, or purify ourselves through the sanctifying and perfecting power of the Holy Spirit, we can pour in more water. Water is the Holy Spirit, and the more we have the more power we possess. This power increases until we have no more of ourselves and all of Jesus and His Spirit. Get it, it is the process of The Pursuit of Holiness, the title of a book by Jerry Bridges on “Running such a way they we get the prize” (1Corinthians 9:24). This is running the race to personal holiness. This is not the “pursuit of happiness” that the Declaration of Independence declares as an inalienable right. It instead is a much richer and grander goal of life. It is the pursuit of God and His ways to holiness. God provides and we have a responsibility to pursue. It is a holy partnership.
In this partnership, we are convicted of our sins if we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We come to identify our issues like anger, selfishness and sloth or laziness. God hates these things and so should we. We need personal revival.
Psalm 80:18 (NKJV) prompts, “Revive us, and we will call upon Your name”. God is calling each of us to personal revival toward His holiness through His Holy Spirit. Yes, the world is falling into an immoral soup of political and fleshly correctness. This is not of God, but man. The revival can only start within each of us. Ask God to continue to fill you with His Holy Spirit that you might become more like Him. In Isaiah 6 the train of His robe filled the temple with glory. Ask God to fill you with His robe of glory, His Holy Spirit to overflowing.