Why would a Christian seek the power of the Holy Spirit?
God has a purpose for us to be filled with the Spirit. In Acts 4:31 it says “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” In this verse, Luke is most certainly speaking of the disciples being used by God for a purpose. Their purpose was to proclaim the word of God.
What is your motivation in wanting to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Some may think that the filling is all about enjoyment of this life here on earth; they seek self-enjoyment. Some may look for the Spirit to give them an emotional experience, the Holy Spirit may seem like a sensation that will make them superior to others in their sphere. Maybe some just need help; they are encountering a problem and they are seeking a way out of their difficulty.
In short, people want the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit for all kinds of reasons.
Billy Graham says it could be yes, yes, yes to the three reasons above. The Holy Spirit can bring joy into your life. The Holy Spirit can bring a truly emotional experience into your life and the Holy Spirit may indeed give you direction about how to come out of troubles in life, but there is one purpose that overrides all the others.
We are given the Holy Spirit to glorify God.
Graham says it in his own words: “the purpose of filling is that those who are filled may glorify Christ.”
There is a well-worn expression in Christian circles and it fits right here; living a life for Christ is a life where there is “more of Him and less of me.” It is stated in Isaiah: “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called in My Name, whom I created for My Glory.” In John 16:14 Jesus says “He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.” The Holy Spirit does not draw attention to Himself but to Christ. Jesus says “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me” [John 15: 26].
Graham says this is one of the tests of the Christian life. Is Christ becoming more and more evident in life? Are you seeing more of Christ in a person’s life and less of them, aka “more of Him, less of me”? John Piper, in his intensely personal book Don’t Waste Your Life, speaks of this regarding the purpose of a Christian’s life. He says “God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes Him look more like the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that He really is.”
Here is another well-worn Christian expression that is meant to express the idea that actions can speak louder than words. “The only Bible that many people will ever see is your life.” In other words, you speak volumes when you live your Christian life in front of others. Piper says that if we have a true passion for glorifying God, we will enjoy life and display His supreme excellence in all spheres of life. “The mark of God-enthralled joy is to overflow and expand by extending itself into the hearts of others. We are meant to image forth in the world what He [God] is really like” [Piper, 33].
Graham says it another way: “We need the filling of the Holy Spirit so that we may glorify Christ…by trusting, loving and obeying Him.” Jesus said “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” [Matthew 5:16]. Paul says this permeates all areas of life “Whether, then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”
We have come full circle now. Initially my question was “Why would a Christian seek the power of the Holy Spirit?”
Graham provides an answer that is elegantly simple, that is much beyond self-enjoyment, experience-seeking or problem-solving.
Here it is: “Because only in the power of the Spirit can we live a life that glorifies God.”
We can’t do it on our own, with the energy of our own flesh.
Glorifying God takes a special power.
Holy Spirit power.