79: A Call to be Filled with the Holy Spirit


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What You'll Discover in this Episode:


A Call To Be Filled With The Spirit


Those who are counseling, formally or informally, and those who are being counseled need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. But what does it mean to be "filled"? 


Being filled means the inner person is flooded and permeated by the presence and activity and work of the Holy Spirit. You are filled with the Holy Spirit and not just born again because there is a critical distinction between being filled and being born again. 


You simply cannot counsel God's way if you're not born again and if you're not in God's family. When you are born again, you would want to counsel by the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. Ministering less than the fullness of the Holy Spirit would be less than what God intended. This is why we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.


In our Christian way, we’re called toward a way of living where we are designed to be being filled day in and day out.  We’ll have moments where we really appreciate a moment or an event or a crisis experience with God, but the direction is to a way of life.


Be always filled with the Holy Spirit! Let your innermost heart be open to, hungry for just the flooding, filling, overflowing work of the presence of God characteristically.

Resources:


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  • Kyle Fox says:

    In John 16, during the discourse in the upper room, Jesus said; “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (NKVJ, John 16:7).
    With this verse in mind, it is foolish for us to consider the work of giving and receiving counsel without the Holy Spirit. If we had Jesus, physically present, in our church, we would certainly call on Him to help us as we do the important work of giving and receiving counsel. We would doubtless ask Him to join us in every one of these difficult conversations we have. If Jesus says that it is to our advantage that He goes so that He would send the Holy Spirit, then how much more should we desire the Holy Spirit to take center stage in the discipleship and counseling ministry.

    As Pastor Jeff said, we need to have a hunger for the Holy Spirit within the ministry of giving and receiving counsel. As we rely on Him, we are leaning less and less on our own understanding. After all, only God knows the heart of man. We may think we have the right answer for a given problem, but God certainly does. If we rely on our own understanding, we may miss the whole point, if we rely on the Holy Spirit, He will accomplish His will in our lives.

    • harry e innerst says:

      Right Kyle. If He is the one to guide us into all truth, who else could we rely on. He will give us insight that no one else could give because He knows us all perfectly.

    • Abigail G Burt says:

      This is an excellent observation Kyle. Today, people pick and choose the verses they want so they can create there own religion. So many people skip over these kinds of verse because they are scared, don’t understand, or do not want to face the reality that is the truth of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit was sent to help us, and he can do so more effectively living within each of us than Jesus was able to accomplish in His physical form while on earth. We must trust that He knows and wants what is best for us.

  • harry e innerst says:

    When I came to Christ forty years ago, I bought into the secessionist view of the Holy Spirit and the gifts. Even back then I had a number of experiences that I could not explain where I was just overwhelmed to the point of tears. Each time it was the beginning of a new empowerment for me to do things that God was calling me to do. I didn’t understand it since I was taught that when I got saved, I got all of the Holy Spirit I was going to get. Ten years ago when I came to Calvary Chapel, I was introduced to the teaching of continuance and things became very clear. For so long I thought that the filling had to be evidenced by some outward sign, like tongues, or flames of fire, etc. Now I understand that the only evidence that is necessary for the filling of the Holy Spirit is the empowerment to use my gifts to do what God has set before me to get done. I am reminding myself to ask for His filling to finish this course.

    • Michelle R says:

      Hi Harry, What a great testimony on how the Holy Spirit has grown you in his knowledge and wisdom. This a great example that the Holy Spirit is not chaotic but a spirit of peace. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Blessings

    • David Bowman says:

      Harry, thanks for sharing your personal experience. I grew up with great emphasis placed upon the Spirit, however, it was mainly centered upon vocal gifts (tongues, prophecy, interpretation of tongues). There were “tarrying” services where we would cry out for God to fill us with the outward evidence. I remember as a young man crying out for this gift, but I only desired it because I didn’t want to be a “have-not”. Today, after spending over 10 years at my local Calvary Chapel, I understand that the Spirit wasn’t given to separate us but to allow us to cooperate with God in His ministry to the lives of others. As I prepare to teach for my senior pastor this weekend, I am seeking the Lord for His Holy Spirit to fully empower me to boldly, accurately, and obediently proclaim His Word.

  • Audra Downs says:

    “Be, being filled with the Holy Spirit”. Ephesians 5:18 has been thrumming through my brain a lot these past few weeks so I am pleased that Pastor Jeff spoke on this verse today.

    I was brought up in a fundamental, exclusive fellowship that taught Calvinism. There was a real lack of any teaching on the Holy Spirit so I was ignorant about the Holy Spirit for a long time. Once my spiritual eyes were opened to the truth of the Holy Spirit and my need to be filled with Him continually, my life did begin to radically change. Up until that point I had been a lukewarm Christian. I was missing the mark and was frustrated because I knew I was missing the mark somehow.
    I have a personal testimony on how a life can be changed so radically by feeding on the Word, being in prayer with the Lord and asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

    I am loving this teaching on the Holy Spirit because it is affirming what God is teaching me in my own study time. I want to keep being filled and overflowing so that my life is a testament of God and not myself. Having a deeper understanding of this teaching has helped me tremendously in counseling because the core principle is that the Holy Spirit does the work in a person’s heart. It is not my job to convict but to take whoever I am counseling to the Word and allow the truth of the Bible to convict their hearts.

    • Kayla Tracy says:

      Praise the Lord for your testimony, I will pray over you to be filled with His Spirit, that in your studies, the Lord will continue to shine His Truth into your heart!
      I can relate to what you have shared in my own personal ways: “frustrated . . . I knew I was missing the mark . . . a lukewarm Christian . . . life can be changed so radically by feeding on the Word . . .” just a great reminder of how I was dead in my sins and was changed by the conviction of the Holy Spirit in my life to seek Him and His Truth. I pray the Holy Spirit would speak through me and His Word to those around me, as a counselor and a friend, and a follower of Christ. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jason Corbett says:

    The idea that there is a critical distinction between being born again by the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit is an issue that has divided some in Evangelicalism for a long time. I have heard it said by some who have a differing view than mine that “they got all the Holy Spirit they were ever going to need when they were saved.” I actually don’t disagree with the statement but would add to it that Paul’s words in the book of Ephesians and other accounts in Scripture seem to imply that we need to be praying to be filled daily so that we are flooded, permeated by the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we are ministering to others. If this is in fact a need, which I believe that it is, then we would be selling others short when we attempt to minster to them and have not taken the time to pray for the helper to come upon us again for the purposes of counseling Gods way.

    • harry e innerst says:

      Good points Jason. Although I firmly believe in this teaching, I have a favorite teacher that always blesses me even though he is a cessationist. I find that when people who truly want a close walk with Christ, but differ in some of the what, where, when, and how much, mechanics of all this are really not that far apart. We can still have fellowship and be blessed by someone who sees things a little different than we do.

      • Michelle R says:

        I agree with you, Jason. If we could receive and be filled more of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis to guide us in our daily walk and ministry’s why won’t we? To be able to receive the resource to abundance is how can do life that blesses our Heavenly Father and the body of Christ. How sad it is to know that others are content to have the bare minimum. 🙁 Thanks for sharing!

  • Rebekah Gasparovich says:

    In Biblical counseling it is absolutely necessary to rely on the Holy Spirit and not our own knowledge. God, who is all-knowing, is the one who needs to do the counseling. He can offer so much more help than any person can. Without the continual filling of the Holy Spirit it is impossible to counsel according to the will of God. Even on days when it seems like I have it all together I have to remind myself that I still need the Holy Spirit. It is so easy to rely on my own strength, especially when I feel confident in a certain area, but God can accomplish abundantly more than I ever could on my own.

    • Michelle R says:

      Hi Rebekah, I can totally relate to you on how there are times I think I have all the answers and that I’m confident in knowing the word of God, but I get that gentle nudge that my pride is surfacing and I need to check myself. And Im thankful that the Holy Spirit is there to protect me and those who I counsel, by not letting my knowledge but His knowledge come through. Thank you for honesty. Blessings 🙂

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      Relying on my own strengths has gotten me in trouble more times than I want to remember, so I totally understand that. Being full of the Spirit is something i have to request of daily in prayer, I don’t want to act or speak without an abundance of His presences, as you said, He can do much more than anything my knowledge will. Thank you for that reminder.

    • Kayla Tracy says:

      Amen to that! I often go about my day forgetting to spend any time with Jesus, and then I am not filled with His Spirit. I am learning more and more that it is the Holy Spirit that works God’s will through my life, and not my own efforts to do what is right. Without the Spirit leading me, I cannot please God, and that is a hard pill to swallow as someone who lives fairly independently. Thank you for the statement that God can accomplish way more than I can on my own, that is a beautiful message to seek God. Thank you for sharing!

    • David Bowman says:

      Rebekah, this statement is so true, “It is so easy to rely on my own strength, especially when I feel confident in a certain area, but God can accomplish abundantly more than I ever could on my own.” 1 Cor. 8:1 reminds us that knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. Our diligent study can be a double-edged sword, causing us to depend on our wealth of knowledge or hours researching. One plants, another waters, but God brings the increase. The Holy Spirit does the convicting, transforming, and saving. In seeking to constantly be filled with the Spirit, we are acknowledging our overall weakness and need for His ministry.

    • Jocelyn Padilla says:

      Hi Rebekah,

      I can also related with reminding myself I need the power of the Spirit. The flesh gets tricky but we relay on our strength, and we look on think why isn’t this working. Acknowledging God in all do when counseling and in our daily live is refreshing and we know He is in it.

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      I do agree in Biblical counseling it is absolutely necessary to rely on the Holy Spirit and not our own knowledge. when we depend on ourselves and our knowledge sometimes it can lead to khaos or some times what we perceive as truth could be wrong. When we rely on the Spirit, we are relying on God who is all knowing and speaks truth.

  • Michelle R says:

    Often times I forget about how important it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This podcast was a great reminder that even though the receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we receive salvation, we also need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in order to be effective followers and disciples of Christ. When reading John 16:7, the words of Jesus telling his disciples the importance of the Holy Spirit and how importance and crucial it is in their future ministry is powerful. The Holy Spirit is the only way for myself and others that are seeking to do the calling in our lives whether it be biblical counseling, pastoral, teaching, children’s ministry to have the wisdom and knowledge to help those who are seeking God’s healing and restoration in their lives.

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      Amen. I agree, this podcast was an awesome reminder of the empowerment that we receive through His Spirit. I can’t even imagine taking this class without said empowerment. I recognize it is not by my power or my might that I can handle a full time job, husband, kids, grandkids, home duties, ministry, and school…..most definitely it is by His spirit. And I am sure we can all say the same. Great comment.

    • David Bowman says:

      Michelle, I also benefited from this great reminder. I have a tendency to focus on my biblical studies without asking, seeking, or knocking for the moment-by-moment infilling of the Holy Spirit. I need His active ministry in my life. When I am filled with Him, the commandments of the Lord are not burdensome. We can serve and endure in a greater capacity because we are not solely relying upon our limited human resources.

  • KEVIN THATCHER says:

    Pastor Jeff I enjoyed how you explained to be filled with the Spirit is to be on a continuous basis. Indeed, there has been abuse of almost everything of God in one form or another during the centuries. However, that should be an encouragement for myself and the church, to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11, to study the word of God daily. Pastor Chuck always said to be in the middle of the road is safe to be on the edges is dangerous.

    I have been thinking about is this for a while, I believe the Holy Spirit is and has been underutilized and under estimated in the church for decades ever since the debacle with the televangelists. Could this be one of the reasons why the church in biblical counseling has allowed the world to creep into its domain?

    Ephesians 5:18 is essential for the Christian’s life today, “to be filled with the Spirit”. Why do we need to be filled with the Spirit of God? I believe the answer is found in the three previous verses. Ephesians 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, Maranatha!

    • Kyle Fox says:

      Hey Kevin,
      That’s good pointing out the context of Eph 5:18, these days we live in are evil, our culture is anti God, now more than ever we need to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit, walking like we’re on a tightrope, making sure that every step is guided by God. This will help ensure we don’t fall, but not only that, we will be used effectively for His kingdom.

    • Abigail G Burt says:

      I also enjoyed his explanation of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Often today we feel that the Spirits presence is a special occasion, that it is not something that happens all the time. While this is true, I believe it is mostly our fault, because we are shutting the Holy Spirit out by not making Him a regular part of our lives. The distance we feel from the Spirit is a distance we create.

  • Ericka Tapia says:

    I love that Pastor Jeff clarified that being full of the Spirit is a way of life. I feel like so many of us are selective or want the Spirit to come only when he is summoned. I know that’s how I treated Him when I didn’t fully understand the importance or the role of the Holy spirit in my life. I know the Holy Spirits role is not always taught correctly and that is a huge mistake because we are walking around misguided, man-guided and completely confused. Last week in talking to my mother in law about false doctrine she told me, “well you are telling me this but the priest says this and he is a scholar of the word, and when I read it I understand something different, who am I supposed to believe?” The level of frustration in her voice made me stop, remind myself that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to convict. I then explained to her that she has the truth within her because the Spirit of truth will guide her and reveal to her God’s truth, that helped her obtain the peace she so much needed and helped me open my eyes to the need to ALWAYS be full of the Spirit so I may be full of compassion, that I may always act in love and boldness for Jesus.

    • Kyle Fox says:

      Hello Erica,

      As you explained to your mother in law how the Holy Spirit is able to to lead her into all truth, the pressure is really off of our backs, as though we thought we were the ones responsible for letting people into all truth. Yes, we want to give good, godly, biblical counsel, but we can rest assured that God is the one in control, so we really need to rely on Him.

  • Kayla Tracy says:

    Where do I stand on the topic of the Holy Spirit?: I believe the Holy Spirit is of God and from God as a messenger, a helper, and a healer. John 16:7,13-15, 14:16-17,26, Romans 8:9-11,26. I like the translation mentioned “be always being filled”; it stands out as a great reminder for me to continuously seek and talk with Jesus. Do not let knowledge or wisdom overcome my need for Christ and the Holly Spirit (“The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:41), is something that came to me during this podcast. I can get excited about my knowledge, and I need to be careful that I don’t let that knowledge separate me from the reality of my need of Christ and the Holy Spirit to work in me and give me life. As a counselor, I want the people I share with to be convicted about their situations, but it is not for me to convict, but the Holy Spirit Who will convict them. John 16:8-9 is a promise I can hold onto and remember, that it is the power of the Holy Spirit working to change someone’s heart and life, as I am simply a servant, a messenger – if you will – of God’s word and the Gospel concerning Jesus Christ. It is not I who can save someone from death, but the Spirit of God.

    • Caleb Franks says:

      I relate to your mention of Matthew 26:41. I look back at my life, and I see a lot of times where my knowledge was simply not enough because I lacked the courage to communicate that knowledge. It was because my flesh was weak, even though the Spirit was pushing me to offer counsel. Being filled with the Holy Spirit has given me that strength and boldness to simply be the servant and messenger of truth.

  • David Bowman says:

    Today’s western culture has a world of information at its fingertips. The difference between those who know and those who do not know is merely a few taps or swipes away. This access to information has benefited the Church in many ways. We have access to the Scriptures in a multitude of translations with reference works preserved in digital form. We all can become biblical scholars with enough time and the right technology, at least it would seem so.

    However, this abundance of knowledge and information has in many ways placed extreme emphasis on biblical scholarship at the expense of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The call to “study to show thyself approved” seems at odds with the command to “be always being filled with the Holy Spirit”. The trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Bible has become a “safe place” for many of those turned off by charismatic excesses and abuses (a great many Reformed and Calvinistic in theology).

    Nevertheless, we are called to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to walk as believers. This makes the exclusion or minimizing of His active ministry counter-intuitive to both biblical counselor and counselee. Without the Spirit, we will fulfill the lusts of the flesh, counsel according to human wisdom, and lack boldness in proclaiming the Gospel.

    • Caleb Franks says:

      I am glad you mentioned this, David, because I see this a lot as well. Especially on social media platforms like Youtube, Christians will air out their divisions and demands for conformity in front of the whole world. Reformed theology is known for creating division amongst the brethren; perhaps much of that is caused by the cessationist view that Pastor Jeff mentioned in the podcast.

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    Being filled with the Spirit always, is something I used to overlook at times, especially when I was confident in what I was dealing with or if it was something I thought i knew, but in reality relying on myself only lead to confusion. I am really starting to understand the importance of being filled with spirit not only for guidance, and wisdom but also for boldness to speak the truth of the scriptures and resurrection of Jesus Christ. with love and compassion, relying on my own view can get me in trouble. Only God is the perfect counselor, and we are His instrument He uses to get the Word out by the work of the Holy Spirit working in us, by us being filled of the Spirit. To many times it’s so easy to overlook that important tool., but that is the only way to get the right message out is by being filled with the Spirit,

    • Rebekah Gasparovich says:

      So many times I would also rely on my own knowledge and like you said Margret, it would often lead to confusion. As much as I want to be independent and do things on my own, that is not what God wants us to do. He wants us to be entirely dependent upon Him. I agree that, “Only God is the perfect counselor, and we are His instrument…” Only He can provide the counsel we desperately desire.

    • Melinda Evans says:

      Amen, Margaret. I too have found myself getting lost in knowledge and experience while serving. I agree, I am also growing in the importance of the Holy Spirit empowering us to speak in boldness the truth of scripture and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have become more aware of opportunities missed which for me is good, because I’m taking in the need to pray more about my daily interactions with others. I don’t want to get in the way of what the Lord wants to do in their life as well as mine. Thank you for sharing.

  • Caleb Franks says:

    In both the podcast and CCU courses, the emphasis pastor Jeff has placed on the role and importance of the Holy Spirit is much needed and appreciated. Something that stood out to me in this podcast was the exposition of chapter sixteen in John. The NIV translates verse eight with the words “He [the Holy Spirit] will prove the world to be in the wrong.” I think this pairs well with pastor Jeff’s teaching because a lot of counseling is that “noutheteo” or confrontation which we have been learning about. Confrontation primarily deals with proving human conceptions of sin, righteousness, and judgment to be wrong; and to instead replace them with God’s view on these topics. So, logically, there really is no true counseling apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. How much more then I should be filled with the Spirit like pastor Jeff has instructed me. The mega importance of “be being filled always” with the Spirit really shines bright. I definitely notice that I see my sin more clearly when I am in prayer and fellowship with the Lord. These are the times when I am walking with the power to really bring those words of wisdom and comfort to the lives of my church family. Also, I notice that my love for others–and, more importantly, my desire to help others–is the strongest when I am walking in the Spirit. Perhaps I am wrong in this, but I think that love and yearning that comes from the Spirit is what produces the most fruitful counsel.

    • Audra Downs says:

      You are right Caleb, as we abide in Christ, the Holy Spirit is filling us and what comes out of us will be the fruits of the Spirit which the result will be actively showing love to those around us. More of you Lord and way less of me!!
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Abigail G Burt says:

    When I was very young, probably a toddler, our church was facing a problem. They needed a building, but God wasn’t providing. Finally, one day they got an offer. It was a good deal, but the pastor wanted to make sure it was God’s will. Even though they had been searching for a very long time, He knew that the building would do them no good if it was not part of Gods plan for them. So the pastor called together all the elders, which included my dad, and asked them to pray about the building. My father went home and went into the bedroom with my mom. Sitting together, he explained the issue and they began to pray together. As they prayed, suddenly a clear and audible voice spoke to them. After it was gone my father asked my mom if she had heard it as well, and when she nodded yes, he had her quickly get a piece of paper to each write down what they had heard. “I love you. You may have the building, but it is not my first/best choice.” I put the words first and best together because it was here that what they heard differed. When I asked my dad what Gods voice sounded like he said the best way he could describe it was a waterfall. With each word that was spoken, thousands of others sounded at the same time that were synonymous or enforced the meaning of the word that was spoken. Some of the words were quieter, while others were very loud. They simply wrote down the words that sounded the loudest to them. Neither one of them was wrong in there interpretation. Gods speech was just so vast. Just because we don’t always understand the way God speaks to us does not mean it is any less valid. The way God spoke to them was somehow beyond their comprehension and comprehendible all at the same time. Gods speech is directed towards each individual so they can best understand what He is saying. How much more so is the Holy Spirit able to speak to each of us personally. Just because we do not always understand the vast mysteries of the Spirits presence in our lives, doesn’t mean God made the Spirit impossible to understand. When we search the Scripture, we will find everything we NEED to know about the Holy Spirit. Anything else we understand is just an added blessing. All that still remains a mystery is just another reason to be awestruck by God’s omniscience.

    • Jocelyn Padilla says:

      Hello Abigail,

      What a testimony on hearing the voice of God. “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”Ephesians 5:17. God invites us to understand His will for our live is and His purpose for the Earth.
      Being filled with Spirit is also seeing and hearing the supernatural. The world will never see the Supernatural work of God. To the world, that was a crazy decision but us it’s being obedient to the word of God.

  • Jocelyn Padilla says:

    This podcast was great! The Holy Spirit is almost the forgotten God in some churches. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do the work of the ministry of Biblical Counseling. As scriptures says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” in Romans 8:26. The Holy Spirit is always there for us and the glory of God.

    I have never read any of the books from Jay Adams. I did read his wikipedia about his stance on counseling. I love Bob Hoekstra stance of counseling. He explains that in biblical counseling we need the Holy Spirit to understand if the person needs confrontation of sin or the grace of the God and often times both.

    When we are filled with the Spirit, He gives us direction and guidance. He even gives us understanding of the will of God.

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