Day Five: Not too far for a filling

Psalm 139:7-10 NIV
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

The Holy Spirit can meet us powerfully at any time and any place. We never go beyond the reach of his Spirit. This is good news. Do you feel distant? Are you in the depths or the far side of the sea? He is there. Turn to God and let his Holy Spirit fill you right where you are. Let him give you new hope and new strength. Let his perfect love abolish every fear.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, fill me once again with your Holy Spirit, right where I am. Renew my faith. Renew my strength. Fill me to overflowing as I turn back to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture (Click here).

– ES

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Day Four: Taste and see that the Lord is good

Acts 19:5-6 NIVthey were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

“Whilst all Christians have the Holy Spirit, there is more to experience. We use the word experience deliberately. Whenever the Spirit is poured out in the book of Acts it is obvious. People don’t logically infer that they have the Spirit; they know they have received the Spirit and they can clearly see the effects. These effects include… speaking in tongues (2:4; 10:46; 19:6), praising the mighty works of God (2:11; 10:46), prophesying (19:6), being given extraordinary boldness and power to witness (1:8; 6:10; 9:17, 22), obedience to God (5:32), and the working of miracles, signs and wonders (6:8; 13:9–11).”
[Mike Pilavachi and Andy Croft, Everyday Supernatural: Living a Spirit-Led Life without Being Weird, 32-33]

Receiving the Holy Spirit is an act of faith, but it is not only an act of faith. Being filled can at times, also be an experience. Let’s be open to all the ways God can be experienced as we worship, pray, and seek the Lord.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, I want more of you. Help me to experience you and to know your loving presence in a fresh and powerful way. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Open your heart to the Spirit’s work as you worship to “Over My Head” by Bethel (Click here).

– ES

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Day Three: Go check your inbox

Acts 19:1b-2 NIVThere he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

“After all, they were disciples, presumably meaning at least that they intended to be part of the kingdom-of-God movement which John the Baptist had launched, and they had been baptized.” [N.T. Wright, Acts for Everyone (Part Two), 110]

These disciples wanted to follow God. And in a sense, they had done everything they knew they could do to be part of the kingdom of God. But something was missing. The news about Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit was delayed. But once this caught up with them, everything changed.

Like the disciples in Acts 19, sometimes we can feel like parts of our lives missed the fact that Jesus changed everything. But take heart, for even today, even right now, the good news can catch up with us in a powerful way.

Let’s pray: Father in heaven, we know everything has changed in Jesus Christ. Let your good news impact new areas in me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Get caught up in the good news as you worship to the song “The Same Jesus” by Matt Redman (Click here).

– ES

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Day Two: Persistence For Power

Luke 11:9-10, 13 NLTAnd so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.

Recall what Justin said about his wife, Brooke, in their testimony video. “She began to pray for me (I didn’t know) in the closet. She was praying for me to truly encounter God and receive the Holy Spirit.” Brooke then responds, “That’s right. So we prayed, about four years of prayer.”

Think about that. Four years of prayer. Brooke really wanted her husband Justin to experience the Holy Spirit like she had. God in his timing opened the door at the appropriate moment and Justin had a radical encounter with the Holy Spirit. It utterly transformed him. When we seek a powerful filling of the Spirit for ourselves or for others, let us persevere in prayer and not lose heart. God will surely breakthrough in his perfect timing.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we know there is so much more we are to experience. We continue to ask for a radical filling of the Spirit for ourselves and for those you’ve placed upon our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let the Spirit stir up supernatural faith, hope, and love in you as you worship to the song “Do It Again” by Elevation Worship (Click here).

– ES

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Day One: Overcoming our Ephesus

1 John 4:4b NIVthe one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Acts 19:1a NIVWhile Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.

“Everything we know about Ephesus indicates that it was a place where not only social and civic power, but also religious and spiritual power, were concentrated. Perhaps that, too, is why Luke has begun his account of Paul’s work there with a story about a fresh outpouring of the spirit. There must be nothing second-hand about the spirit’s power when you are faced with the powers of the world.” [N.T. Wright, Acts for Everyone (Part Two), 113]

The disciples who did not know the Holy Spirit were found in Ephesus. No doubt God sent Paul to these individuals to help them receive the Holy Spirit. When living in a world full of all kinds of opposition, there is no substitute for the powerful filling and refilling of the Holy Spirit. Our power is not found in self-will or human strategies. Our power must come from the Holy Spirit himself who is greater than the world.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we find ourselves living among power structures that oppose your people and your kingdom. Let us be radically filled with your Holy Spirit once again, that we may live for the glory of your name in every circumstance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let the Spirit fill you as you worship to the song “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)” by Upper Room (Click here).

– ES

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Day Five: Led by His Outlook

Psalm 25:12-13 (NIV)
12 Who, then, are those who fear the LORD?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.

“By sharing God’s outlook I mean that you must adopt God’s priorities. In doing so you will become more concerned about making an upright decision rather than a right decision; you will be more concerned about righteousness than about geography and about sanctity more than salary.” [John White, The Fight, p159]

There is a direct correlation between the “fear of the LORD” and how well we navigate decision making in life. When we adopt God’s priorities, our agendas become less about prospering ourselves and more about glorifying God. This change in focus does not mean that we are shortchanged in any way. On the contrary, God’s blessing is released, for those who live this way “will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land.” May we delight in God’s ways more than anything.

Let’s worship to “No One But You” (click here) by Hillsong.

Let’s pray: Father in heaven, let me adopt your priorities over my own. As I yield my agendas for yours, may I be led into decisions that give life to my family and those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-ES

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Day Four: Time for the Mountainside

Luke 6:12-13 (NIV)
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:

“Take courage, then, when you have a tough decision to make. Someone who cares deeply for you already knows what he wants you to do. He takes delight in having fellowship with you and wants the very circumstances you face to draw you closer to him.” [John White, The Fight, p162]

All of us face tough decisions to make in life. How do we handle those times? We read in the Scriptures that Jesus often separated himself at night to pray during those occasions. Our difficult decisions are not meant to be times of paralyzing fear and anxiety. Rather, they can be opportunities to draw near to God in a unique way. May we powerfully experience God’s love and care for us as we surrender every difficult decision in prayer before him.

Let’s worship to “One Thing” (click here) by Hillsong.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, you know the tough decisions for me ahead. Let me not fear such times. Instead, let me be drawn into your love and care like never before as I surrender to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-ES

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Day Three: In Step

Galatians 5:25 (NLT)
25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

“As you mature, both the kind of relationship you have with God and the type of guidance you will require of him will change. You will grow more loving and trusting. You will more often know, without needing to ask, what he would have you do, because you will know him and the manner of his thoughts.” [John White, The Fight, p. 143]

Life is a constant stream of decision making. Of course, there are the big decisions we make that require weeks or months of prayerful consideration. But there are also many small decisions that demand an immediate response. We may not have the luxury of hours of prayer. Living by the Spirit is essential to guiding us at every decision point, big and small. As we grow in relationship with God, the more aligned we are in our immediate decision making. Let’s grow deeper in God that we may live well.

Let’s worship to “Holy Spirit” (click here) by Jesus Culture.

Let’s pray: Father, let me grow in relationship with you. May I know your thoughts and follow the leading of your Spirit in every area of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-ES

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Day Two: I See You

Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)
4 Show me your ways, LORD,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

“The more you understand of him, the more real the companionship will be and the more likely you are to keep in step with him in the direction he is taking you.” [John White, The Fight, p. 147]

Have you ever driven as a group of cars to get somewhere together? There are times we get separated because the traffic lights turn on at the wrong time. Sometimes other cars get between us. However, we always find each other once again because we have a common destination. When we’ve adopted the will of God, we will find ourselves in his presence because we’re traveling to the same direction. Our personal decisions begin to naturally align with his will. Let’s be renewed in God’s ways once again.

Let’s worship to “In Over My Head” (click here) by Bethel Music.

Let’s pray: Father, show me your ways. Let me delight in your plans and your will once again, that I may find myself walking with you today in every decision. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-ES

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Day One: The Good Shepherd

John 10:10, 11, 14-15 (NIV)
My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
“I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,  just as my Father knows me and I know the Father.

While we may be fixated on asking what is the “right” decision for me, God is focused on who we are becoming and leading us to spiritual maturity. He cares about the whole of our lives being right, and us making an upright decision more than the outcome/result of the decision itself, which we tend to focus on so much more.

Our God is the good shepherd. He sacrificed his life for us. He cares for us, protects us and leads us to the places of blessing. He goes ahead of us. He knows his own sheep. He knows our fears, tendencies, our needs, our gifts, and purpose. He wants to give us a rich and satisfying life – a life full of eternal purpose and significance, a life blessed by God. Today, let’s decide to stay close to our good shepherd and follow him closely.

Let’s pray: Father, thank you that you are our good shepherd who goes before us. I want to stay close to you. Help me to hear your voice and be ready to obey and follow you today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Psalm 23 – Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy” (click here) by Shane & Shane.

– ES

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