7 – When the Holy Spirit comes
“19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.[g] 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.” Ephesians 6:19 NIV
The other day I saw an MMA fighter (Sara McMann) being interviewed on TV. The host asked her about how she prepared for her fight. Her opponent was known for a certain arm bar, and so the question was asked, “have you worked on preparing to defend the arm bar?” She gave the interviewer an weird look and gave an answer that spoke volumes to me about spiritual warfare. She said, “I don’t train to not lose. I train to win!”
I believe that was a Word from the Lord to me. Don’t train to not lose. Train to win. We don’t contend and follow God to not lose to the enemy. We don’t contend to not go to hell. We contend to win. We contend to be overcomers, or as Paul says, “more than conquerors.” In the Bible, the disciples never contended to not go to hell, but always to advance the Kingdom of God on earth! They didn’t fight to not lose. They fought to win.
As we have studied angels, demons, and spiritual warfare, we must remember that we don’t train to not lose to the enemy. We train to win and overcome. As we train to win with the Holy Spirit, let’s take a quick look at what happened when the Spirit of God moved in the Old Testament and New Testament.
It is clear that when the Spirit of God came upon and filled people, the result was their speaking out the Word of God. In each instance
“25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.” Numbers 11:25 NIV
“2 When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him 3 and he spoke his message:
“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,” Numbers 24:2 NIV (emphasis mine)
“2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.” 2 Samuel 23:2 NIV (emphasis mine)
“20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’” 2 Chronicles 24:20 NIV (emphasis mine)
“30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples.”Nehemiah 9:30 NIV (emphasis mine)
“5 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me, and he told me to say: “This is what the Lord says: That is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind.”Ezekiel 11:5 NIV (emphasis mine)
Notice that in all of these verses, when the Spirit of God came upon a person, that person needed to speak out God’s message or prophesied the Word of God. They couldn’t contain it. In each situation we seen, the Spirit of God is associated with the spoken word. Whenever the Spirit of God came upon someone, they spoke forth the Words of God. Should we be any different? If we are Spirit Filled believers, we need to be bold in speaking forth the Word of God.
Well, maybe that was the Old Testament right? Maybe things were different in the New Testament. When we come to the New Testament, Luke describes people being filled with the Spirit on eight occasions. Let’s see if we can discover a is a pattern in the writings of Luke.
“15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.” Luke 1:15-16 NIV
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” Luke 1:41-42 NIV
“67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:” Luke 1:67 NIV
“4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:4 NIV
“8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!” Acts 4:8 NIV
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Acts 4:31 NIV
“17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.” Acts 9:17-20 NIV
When the Bible says things once, it is important to pay attention. When it says something repeatedly, we need to really pay close attention. In this case, we see a pattern of how the Holy Spirit works in both the Old and the New Testaments.
Did you notice that the pattern continues in the New Testament? When people are filled with the Holy Spirit, the result is that they begin to speak forth His Word. If you are like me, you may have said, “Well, I’ll share the Gospel when the Holy Spirit leads me.” These passages tell me that if I have the Holy Spirit residing in me, I should consider myself already led to share the Gospel. Apparently I don’t have to wait for a tingly feeling to go down my spine to share, nor do I have to wait for a special message or a comfortable time. If the Holy Spirit is residing in me, all I need to do is open my mouth and speaking about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God calls us not to be Christians so that the Devil and his demons won’t defeat us. He calls us to be Christians that speak forth His Word to a world in need. The filling of the Spirit of God is closely linked to a verbal proclamation of the Word of God and the revealing of God’s will to His people.
When the Spirit of God comes upon someone, they will speak out boldly for God. Let Your Holy Spirit come upon me Lord. Empower me to be bold. Empower me to be strong and of good courage. Open my mouth to speak forth the Word of God and to prophesy in Your name. Come upon me Lord that I would fear not, for my God is with me. Come upon me Lord. May I be filled with the Spirit of God and speak forth life from Your Word to those around me. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ, amen.