What does being filled with the Spirit have to do with worship and worship leading? My goal with this, the first of a series of posts about the Holy Spirit and Worship, is to introduce the person of the Holy Spirit, and to look at how the experience of being "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" impacts our worship of Jesus. So, put aside what you may have heard or experienced, and let's let the Word of God shine His truth into our hearts and lives.
Who Is The Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity. He's present at the beginning of the Bible, moving and working even before anything had been created:
The Holy Spirit has a mind.
"And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God."
The Holy Spirit has a will.
1 Cor 12:11
”All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."
The Holy Spirit has emotions, such as love and joy.
"I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.”
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,"
The Holy Spirit comforts.
"Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers."
The Holy Spirit speaks.
"So, as the Holy Spirit says, Today, if you hear his voice...”
I Tim 4:1
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."
The Holy Spirit teaches.
1 Cor 2:13
"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words."
The Holy Spirit can be made to feel sorrow.
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
The Holy Spirit can be insulted.
"How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?"
The Holy Spirit can be resisted.
"You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!"
The Holy Spirit can be lied to.
"Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?”
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
In looking at the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, it's helpful to look at what Holy Spirit baptism is NOT:
1. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not necessary for salvation.
When a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, they are made new! The old has passed away and the new has come (2 Cor 5:17). From the accounts of Spirit baptism in Acts, we see that there was not a doubt about the salvation of those who were baptized in the Spirit.
(See Acts 8:16-17, Acts 19:4-6)
2. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a new idea.
From ancient times, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit has been predicted (prophesied).
3. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not only meant for a select few.
Acts 2:4-"ALL of them were filled with the Holy Spirit..."
Acts 2:17- "I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people."
Acts 4:31-"And the were ALL filled with the Holy Spirit..."
Acts 10:44-"...the Holy Spirit came on ALL who heard the message."
1 Cor 14:5-"I would like EVERY ONE of you to speak in tongues..."
4. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not meant to be a one-time thing, but rather a daily filling.
Ephesians 5:18 says,
"Do not get drunk with wine. That leads to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit."
We need to daily ask the Holy Spirit to come and take the reigns of our lives (if you're like me, you want to drive every now and then). When we are directed and led by the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can truly know the heart and mind of Christ and live our lives in a way that embraces the Spirit's power, instead of relying on our own. This needs to be a daily experience.
This is where we need to lay aside our preconceived notions of what being baptized (filled) in the Holy Spirit looks like. For some, the phrase "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" brings up thoughts or pictures of wild, uncontrolled, spiritual frenzy, but true baptism in the Holy Spirit can be as simple as a prayer of "Holy Spirit, come fill me this morning."-allowing the Holy Spirit into our lives, our schedules, our routines, our families to help us live and think and act in line with God's word, and being led through our days with the help of the Holy Spirit inside of us.
We've seen that the filling of the Holy Spirit is meant for all believers, that even though the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not necessary for salvation, the person of the Holy Spirit desires to work in and through us, giving us tools to effectively live our lives for Christ.
As worship leaders and worshipers, any opportunity to be more surrendered to Christ and less to ourselves is something we should jump at. Being filled and led by the Spirit is the ultimate goal in any worship setting-to speak the words we hear the Spirit saying, to lead with Godly confidence that comes from closeness with Christ, and to worship in the anointing and presence of God. Let's allow the Holy Spirit to change the way we think and act because of His work in our lives and in our churches.