For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands…
Often, beliers become frustrated with their religion because what they practice does not produce the results that they expected. This is often true with those who look to my religious community for something better than what they were getting from their own religious culture. However, what we expect from the Holy Spirit must match watch God has said about the Holy Spirit if we are to avoid spiritual frustration and disappointment.
So, the question is, what difference does it make to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Before answering that question, I need to address two misconceptions. You don’t get filled with the Holy Spirit, you fill with the Holy Spirit. Second, the gift of the Holy Spirit isn’t about the emotional enrichment of the believer.
Paul said there are three characteristics that result from those who have “fanned into flame” the gift of the Holy Spirit. First, Spirit-filled believers gain the power to do things. A Spirit nurtured believer has the ability to identify something that needs to be done and to acquire the ability to meet those needs.
Second, the Spirit-filled believer loves people. Love motivates the believer to gain the ability to meet needs in a way that honors God.
Third, the Spirit-filled believer has the self-discipline needed to overcome fear and to persevere through difficulties that get in the way of doing good. Self-discipline is gained through training and through overcoming challenges.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is imparted to those who ask God for it. But that is only the beginning. It is similar to making a sports team. Getting on the team is only the start. Improving skills, playing with passion, and working as a team are necessary for success as a player. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is only the start. Recognizing needs, loving people, and doing what needs to be done are required for success as a Spirit-filled believer.