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Fanning the Flame

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. And don’t get drunk on wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting one to another in the fear of Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-21 CSB)

Question: Is being filled with the Holy Spirit an event, or is it a lifestyle? The answer is, “YES!.”

Biblically, there is only one word for Spirit, breath and wind—ruach in Hebrew, pneuma in Greek. The Holy Spirit comes upon us “as a mighty rushing wind” in the Baptism with the Holy Spirit and continues to blow in and through us following Spirit Baptism as we avail ourselves to the Wind of the Spirit!

The Event or experience of the Spirit/Wind is called the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is experiential, life-changing, and absolutely normal to the Christian life. Every Christian needs to experience a personal Pentecost…! Every Christian Church is to flow with the Breath of the Spirit as a Body in Divine Unity. Often the Spirit’s Breath opens our mouths to speaking in Tongues. Always the Wind Who is the Spirit changes us as He resuscitates us with the Breath of Heaven.

The Lifestyle of Being filled, and filled, and filled, and filled… as the text in Greek reads, is outlined well in the words of this passage. We should all:

  1. Teach one another in Word, Worship, and Spirit-led conversation and songs;

  2. Singing as in a Worshipful lifestyle, private and public;

  3. Giving Thanks to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus in ALL things; and

  4. Submitting to one another in Holy respect and awe for the Lord.

Being Baptized with the Holy Spirit is both an initial Experience and ongoing habits of Holiness that invite God’s Breath to blow in and on us, over and over and over and over and over and over and over, again…!

In our Church, I think we have done a good job of setting an expectation for the Experience—calling and inviting folks to be Baptized with the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus, as promised by the Father.

Perhaps, however, we have not done quite as good a job at calling each other to a lifestyle of teaching, worshiping, thanksgiving, and mutual submission. I suspect that last one may be the biggest hurdle of all, and yet it is obviously key to keeping our “sails” in the Wind!

In a culture that exalts self and belittles willing, humble submission, this last holy habit may seem difficult. Yet, I have seen repeatedly that without submission within a marriage—to a human spouse and/or to the Lord Himself—the Wind of God is replaced with the windy words of self-importance and self-divinity. We can’t teach, or worship, or give thanks, or be any kind of sail catching the Wind of God if we are unwilling to place the welfare of others above our own; unwilling to love others with the kind of Breath that loves and fills us…!

It’s time we are all filled and filled again as we receive the Lord’s Baptism for us and walk in a lifestyle that absolutely opens us as sails to catch the Wind who is the Spirit daily!!!

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