The concept of being filled with the Holy Spirit has always intrigued me, but also baffled me a little bit. How, exactly, does it work? Is it just a matter of asking? (I've heard this.) Does it require gritting one's teeth and willing it to happen? Is it a mystical thing, where you are always listening for that still, small voice?
Here's what I think: it happens in the heart.
And here's what I mean by that:
My understanding of the heart in Scripture is the intersection of the emotions, mind, and will. Or what you desire, what you think, and what you intend. The Bible talks about the desires of the heart, pondering (thinking) in the heart, and the intent of the heart. When all of these are in sync, we are doing something with all of our heart. When God saved you, He gave you a new heart. What He created is a new capacity to be influenced by the Holy Spirit that was not there before He came to live in you.
He gives you hunger to know Him that wasn't there before. (Psalm 37:4)
He illuminates to your mind truths that you couldn't understand before. (1 Corinthians 2:10-16)
He empowers your will to do what you couldn't and wouldn't before. (Philippians 2:13)
To be filled with the Holy Spirit then is to
1. let Him control what you desire. Search your heart carefully for the desire that He plants there and follow Him.
2. let Him control what you think and believe. Choose the truth of His Word over lies of the enemy.
3. let Him control what you intend to do, your plans.
It gets noisy there in our heart with the voices of our flesh, the world, and the enemy of our souls. We have to be diligent to filter out all voices but His.
Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
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