Do you ever find yourself desiring to be filled with God’s presence but are unsure of how to experience it? This past year, I have had several people ask me how they can experience God’s manifest presence because they don’t seem to have the same kind of encounters as people around them.
I’m not sure I have a one-size-fits-all answer, but I can share a few thoughts of how I have personally gained breakthrough in being filled with the Spirit.
But first, a few questions must be asked.
Do you believe God CAN fill with His presence? Do you believe He could even fill someone like YOU with His presence? Do you believe He is GOOD ENOUGH to do this for you? Do you believe that He WANTS to do this for you?
I have good news for you. HE WANTS THIS FOR YOU MORE THAN YOU DO!
If you can say yes to all of those questions, then you are ready to hear the answer I’ve been sharing with these people.
“… Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water‘” (John 7:37-38). (Verse 39 explains this living water is referring to the Holy Spirit.)
Guess what. Jesus is talking to YOU!
There are four components He is telling us we need if we want to be filled with the Holy Spirit:
1. Be thirsty. You have probably got this one covered if you are still reading this article. Are you desperate for more than your current experience? How thirsty and hungry are you for an encounter really? Desperation is what will drive you to God, ready to receive.
2. Come to Jesus. My guess is that you have already come to Him. So right now, come to Him in your thoughts and your faith of heart. Trust that He is closer than you think.
3. Drink. Now that might be the part you are struggling with. But let me encourage you. Drinking is easy! The only thing that makes it difficult is believing that it is difficult.
Pick up a glass of water and take a shot. What did you have to do but simply open your mouth and throat to allow it to flow in. You didn’t have to exert energy or force to get that water in. You simply had to open yourself and let it do its own work. Water always flows to the path of least resistance.
That’s what true faith does. It doesn’t have to exert energy to convince God to do something. It simply rests and opens itself up to allow the flow of God to pour itself in. Just as the throat is to the water, faith is the gateway to the inward flow of God’s presence.
4. Believe. Jesus said if you will believe, you will not only drink in the Holy Spirit like water, but His presence will fill you so much that He will overflow out of you like rivers! What starts as a sip becomes a river. That is called “increased encounter!”
It is so much easier than we make it. We need to stop thinking ourselves out of an encounter and believing our way into one. It is so easy to rationalize things too much from our heads that we forget to believe from our hearts. Faith isn’t rational. If it were, it wouldn’t be faith.
Where thirst (desperation) drives you to God, faith draws God to you. Does your level of faith to receive match up with your level of thirst?
Some of the people who I have been encouraging with this faith exercise have, over time, cultivated an increasing experience with His presence. They have become increasingly easier drinkers, increasingly more aware of Holy Spirit within them. Increase. You’ve got to celebrate the little to open way for the more.
Friend, don’t believe for a drink of His presence to happen to you sometime in the future. Believe that it is already happening to you as you drink in the present moment. Trust me. The more you do this with faith, the more you will increasingly encounter His manifest presence. Don’t try reason the minute touch of God as being some natural affect; trust that the supernatural is happening and will increase.
Jesus’s promise is that what begins as a refreshing drink will increase to an overflow of great manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Open wide and drink!