Practicing the Presence of God ó Continued... Barry's Video Blog...
Receiving the Holy Spirit - it is easier when you think of it as "drinking" from God
A practical look at Receiving the Holy Spirit
Speaking about our salvation, the Bible also says that, "We were all made to drink of one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:13). It also says, "...we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God..." (1 Cor. 2:12). The words "drink" and "receive" both refer to the same activity of welcoming God as He draws near to you.
Think of "drinking" and "receiving" the Holy Spirit as being the same thing. It is the person of the Holy Spirit whose presence we are receiving.
When you drink water in the physical realm, you open up and "receive" it into yourself. When you "drink" from earthly things, Jesus explained, "you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God (John 5:44b). Understanding what you re doing to "receive" from earthly sources is vital for practical understanding of how to "drink" from God.
On a sunny day, do you slow down enough to soak in the sun? On a cold day in winter, do you stand in the shower and let the water warm you down to the bone? "Drinking" the Spirit is similar. Nurture believing profoundly that you are coming or have actually come before the Lord, in all His glory. As you trust you are entering, think of your entrance as being something that is more real than the material reality around you. Then "drink" by letting yourself confidently trust that the Holy Spirit, being radiated at you, is intense enough to "soak" into you just like when you stand in the shower or stand outside in the warmth of the sun.
Think back. You can learn much from reliving a time when you drank deeply from some earthly thing or situation. Do you remember a time when you helped someone significantly? Or think back to when you overcame the obstacles and accomplished a major goal. Or it could be that you recognized a potential danger and your evasive actions prevented a serious accident. Do you remember a time when you felt strong or powerful? Do you like to get new "toys?" Chances are high that you already know how to "drink" from your possessions. Or think back to a time when you did something that made someone else feel good or laugh. Think back one of these times and let yourself relive the moment briefly.
Now let me ask a question. By reliving what you remember, do you sense yourself freely opening up inside and experiencing a sense of confidence or security? Observe yourself and take note of what it feels like inside to "open up." Then reapply what you learn to the Lord. Rather than having to settle for earthly experiences, enter the throne room, draw near to God, and open up to Him. Trust His grace. In doing so, God will flood you with the presence of the Holy Spirit as He comes to you from the fountain.
Keep in mind that God designed you to need Him. That means that your thirst for His presence will never go away. The good news is that He never stops being a fountain. Because of Godís provision you always have confident access into His presence. Just keep reassuring your heart with the scriptures so that you can stay confidentóand be sure to think about what you are receiving as being the person of the Holy Spirit.
A Very Important Principle for Receiving the Holy Spirit
One of the most important principles I can tell you at this point about learning to "drink" is that you donít shut yourself down inside when you catch yourself drinking from earthly things.
Rather than trying to improve yourself by self-directed condemnation take advantage of the fact that you are already "open" when you are drinking from earthly sources. Donít try to turn off the fact that you are already drinking. Admit your need for God right then and receive His forgiveness by letting Him wash you clean. Turn and trust you are facing toward the Lord and let yourself enjoy the radiance of God. Think about the intensity of each of the attributes of God being radiated from the fountain of God.
On Being "Open" to Receiving the Holy Spirit
Revelation 3:20 is often applied to unbelievers who need to receive Christ, but the context reveals it was written to Christians: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." When you enter the throne room, it is also important that you learn to set aside your self-protective shield and open up to God. Do this by reassuring yourself with the truth about God and your access into His presence. Reassure your heart that it is right and safe to trust Him. Otherwise, you wonít find freedom to allow Him to draw near to you.
On one hand, God is with us all the time. He will not abandon us (Heb. 13:5). Even so, I want to caution you against trying to "open up" to God simply because you believe He is always with you. The spiritual realm around us also includes demonic beings (Eph. 6:12). Before seeking to "open up" to God, trust that you are entering the throne room and coming before the Lord. Then, open up to God. Standing before the Lord will help protect you.
Once you have come to the place where you are able to trust you are before the Lord, do what King David did: "My soul clings to You..." (Ps. 63:8). Thank the Lord that He is close. Thrill yourself with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Trust Him as your security and you will find yourself clinging to Him before you realize what happened. Donít make the same mistake as Israel and Judah, "For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and...of Judah cling to Me,í declares the Lord, Ďthat they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen." (Jeremiah 13:11). You can cling to the Lord.
Stand open before the Lord, by reapplying what you do in the shower when you let the water warm you down to the bone. When you do, He will draw near to you. As you receive His presence, trust the Holy Spirit to be your strength. Think of Him that way, not your humanity. By this, you will be like a tree planted by water that flows directly from the sanctuary of God (Ezek. 47:1-12).
See Appendix A in the back of the Heart-training for exercises that help for being open to God and receive the Holy Spirit. They are the same exercises that I use when I teach people how to be open to God and receive inner healing.
(If you are new to this website, it gives practical explanation and tools for repentance that helps you to receive and live in the presence of the Holy Spirit 24 hours-a-day. The repentance that this website teaches about will help to increase your spiritual sensitivity so that you are able to apply the practical principles that you read about here.)
I am praying for the Lord's abundant blessing on your efforts to direct your heart toward Him.
Come and Drink ó Continued...
(C) Barry Hall 1999
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