What Does Filled With the Spirit Feel Like?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Tom Butler, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    After reading the thread on the Holy Spirit, started by awaken, I thought I'd throw this out for discussion without derailing his thread.

    So, here are the questions for discussion:

    Have any of you ever been filled with the Spirit?

    How did you know?

    What did it feel like?

    Were there any outward manifestations of it?

    Was this filling connected to any event (revival, church service, etc)?


    Now, this: I am a soloist. Sometimes, when I am singing, I become aware that I am singing better than I'm capable of doing. I'm hitting notes that are normally a stretch; the hearers respond with tears, with various responses ("Amen, Hallelujah"), sometimes raised hands, sometimes applause. Sometimes it happens when the choir sings.

    My own reaction is "wow, the Holy Spirit is moving in this place."

    Is this merely emotion brought on by music, or can this be a real pouring out of His Spirit?

    Thoughts and comments appreciated.
     
  2. webdog

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    One time pops out at me. After a wife's relatives funeral many of her family gathered back at the house. They are mainly catholic with my wife, her 2 cousins and myself as the only believers in the room. One relative (devout catholic) started a conversation and it went from there. She kept asking questions in a skeptical manner, and I swear the 4 of us were working together in perfect harmony, even finishing each others sentences. You could literally feel the Spirit within working in an exciting, heart racing manner...I've never encountered anything like it before.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    Yes. We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. We do this by inviting the Spirit to work in us as we obey the commands of Jesus.

    Initially, we know it by faith, but then we see that the Spirit is giving us grace to keep the commands of Jesus and move away from the sinful habits that entangle us. We see actual changes in our lifestyles and attitudes.

    I wouldn't say there is any particular feeling to being filled with the Spirit. However, I think you are actually referring to being empowered by the Spirit in ministry - where the Spirit endows you with power and giftedness for a certain situation/moment. Those times I often "feel" confident, joyful and filled with wonder because I know that God is about to do something in our midst - even if it is going to be a word of correction. This is usually associated with a well-known spiritual gift in one of Paul's lists, but not always.

    Often there is a sense of God's holiness in the room - something of a spiritual heaviness or majesty - where everything is laid bare in an emotional sense. I don't mean that everyone is crying - not at all - but that honesty is required. If one cannot be honest, then one knows they should not dare speak.

    The filling of the Spirit should be an everyday thing. The manifest power of the Spirit using you and the gifts you have been given may not happen every day but happens in connection with ministry to others - whether one on one or in corporate settings of worship and ministry.

    I have most often experienced the manifest holy presence of God in corporate worship - once for a few minutes at a chapel service at Southwestern Seminary in 1995, at a small worship service at a church men's retreat in 2005, and probably half a dozen times at my home church during a period of true revival (not a series of intense meetings, but over the course of nearly 24 months where we saw God have mercy on our congregation and glorify Himself among us).

    All that being said, I don't think we should seek an experience or feeling or use that as a qualifier as to whether or not the Spirit is working. When Jesus was on the mountaintop and was transfigured before the three disciples, Peter offered to build shelters for Jesus, Moses and Elijah so they would never have to leave. That obviously was not God's plan. I think we need to appreciate and cherish those times when God pulls back the curtain and we understand that we are in the presence of God (as we are all the time anyway), but He hides Himself to an extent so that He does not overwhelm us with His majesty so that we can become the kind of people He is calling us to be by obeying the commands of Jesus, serving others, and making disciples.

    Sounds like the Spirit is using you to bring glory to God and bless His people.

    Music is such a powerful thing and can draw up all kinds of emotions. I would venture that God is using you and the Spirit is truly working among His people there, but I wouldn't necessarily use the phrase "pouring out of His Spirit." In the New Testament, the pouring of the of the Spirit seems to be used for life-changing turning points in the church.

    And something else to think about: people tend to confuse emotions and emotionalism with the work of the Spirit. Since emotions are a God-given part of who we are, it is natural that there will be emotional effects when the Spirit deals with us. But a truer barometer of the Spirit at work is repentance and faith - not just conversion, but a realigning of our lives to live more obediently to the commands of Jesus.

    One of the tragedies of the Christian life is that when someone has a profound spiritual experience, instead of benefitting from it and moving forward, all to often the focus turns into seeking a repetition of that experience. Jesus had this trouble with the crowds seeking after him to see healings or get miraculously feed instead of focusing on His teaching. In my opinion, that's one of the main reasons we don't see many public miracles today. Instead of people having faith in Jesus and following His commands, too many people (me included) would easily get distracted by the miracles.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Yes, you have described it well.

    You know your words have special power and meaning because they are ultimately not you words at all. It is like power going out of you, capable of providing both blessing and judgement.

    It is one of the reasons I can share my faith confidently when opportunities present themselves. I know that the Spirit has already prepare them to hear and that He is about to give me the appropriate words to say.

    Great testimony brother!
     
  5. awaken

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    That was more on a personal level...
    In a church service I can feel his presence. I can not explain it...
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    awaken mentioned in his post that he had been filled with the Spirit because he asked for it in faith.

    Have any others of you received it for the asking?

    Did some of you find that the filling came as a unilateral sovereign act of God?

    Is filling something that can be "worked up" as well as sovereignly "poured out."

    I really appreciate your comments so far. What I'm seeing is that the Holy Spirit will not be put in a box.
     
  7. webdog

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    Well, I didn't ask for it :) And from the accounts in Scripture they didn't ask for it either, He empowered them as He saw fit. I guess we can ask for it, but like any petition to God it is not guaranteed.
     
  8. DiamondLady

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    No one need ASK for the filling, it is given at the moment of salvation. It's not some supernatural hocus pocus, pop me on the forehead and I'll fall on the floor and speak in tongues show. The Holy Spirit is within every Christian always. It is a COMPLETE sovereign act of God. The Holy Spirit is sent to be our comforter, our nudger, our still small voice.

    Being filled with the Holy Spirit is NOT, as some imagine, evidenced in waving your hands during a song service but rather more of that small tugging on your heart during the message when something resonates inside, and you know that message is for you.

    DOES the Holy Spirit use our gifts and talents to bless others? I believe so, yes. Can a Christian feel the Holy Spirit moving in a worship service? Absolutely, yes. We can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to move among us, that God's Will be accomplished.
     
  9. webdog

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    I think some are confusing being indwelt with the Holy Spirit with being filled by the Spirit for a particular task..
     
  10. Skandelon

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    It's a peace that surpasses understanding. Indescribable.

    It would be somewhat comparable to a seeing person trying to describe the colors of a beautiful sunrise to someone born blind. You can try, but it will pale in comparison to experiencing it for yourself.
     
    #10 Skandelon, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2012
  11. Tom Butler

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    I think you may be right. Would you flesh this out a bit more?

    Seems to me indwelling is permanent for a believer, but there can be multiple fillings.

    While you're at it, would you comment on the difference between indwelling, filling, and the baptism of the HS?
     
  12. DiamondLady

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    I think some are trying to make it separate things and it's not. God gives us ALL we'll ever need at the moment we're saved. WE grow in understanding. WE grow in knowledge. WE grow in understanding our gifts and how to use them. There's no extra dosage given. We have all we need from moment one.

    I'd love to see an example of where you feel someone was filled by the Spirit for a particular task in scripture.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    there are no real "feelings" when I am filled by the Holy Spirit, but do see those times as when its easier to witness with boldness and conviction, to be able to read with clearer focus/understanding the bible, and to be able to live more like the lord wants me too, as its almost like walking in the Spirit allows me to see things as jesus does, and to strive to live for Him better!
     
  14. Baptist Believer

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    All believers are indwelt by the Spirit (Romans 8:9).

    We are instructed to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). This seems to indicate that this is something we need to seek and it needs to be maintained. We are filled with the Spirit when we obey the commands of Jesus and receive the Spirit's assistance/empowerment (grace) to do the things Jesus has called us to do.

    Baptism in the Spirit is simply the Spirit's power coming upon us in such as way that we are supernaturally empowered in specific ministries. It is a temporary, as needed, thing where we are used by God for His purposes. We do not need to seek baptism (immersion) in the Holy Spirit for it happens according to the will of God.

    The manifestation of being filled with the Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. No particular spiritual gift is associated with the general ministry of the Spirit or baptism in the Spirit (including tongues).
     
  15. Aaron

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    It is joy unspeakable and full of glory. It's most powerful manifestation? One singing praises in the midst of poignant suffering and tribulation.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    Very well said. I may steal that. :applause:
     
  17. Baptist Believer

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    Acts 6:3-5 for one...
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Baptist Believer cited the selection of the seven in Acts 6. One of the criteria was that they be full of the Spirit.

    This may be a small distinction, but could there be a difference between being "filled" with the Spirit and being "full" of the Spirit.

    Here's why I ask. The references to being filled seem to suggest that the filling is associated with a situation or task, such as preaching or healing, and thus comes and goes.

    But, being full of the Holy Spirit seems to suggest that it's an ongoing characteristic.

    Comments?
     
  19. awaken

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    Isn't the Holy Spirit the filling? Isn't this the gift? "...Ye shall receive THE GIFT of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38.

    I see salvation is a gift. Healing is a gift. And the Holy Ghost is a Gift. We can receive one as we do the others, right?
     
  20. DiamondLady

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    Doesn't fit....they were to search out men ALREADY filled with the Holy Spirit, not filled for one purpose.
     

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