The believer’s free will volition determines which side wins in his life. It is here that we must separate the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit. The indwelling is simply His residing in the body, and is not dependent on our volitional decisions; the filling is His influence over the soul and is dependent on the believer’s decision to rebound. When the believer sins and operates without the Holy Spirit’s guidance, he allows the old sin nature to control his soul. These are called “grieving” and “quenching” the Holy Spirit and will be described fully later on in this book. It is important to recognize that we can lose the filling of the Spirit, but we never lose His indwelling presence, ROM 8:9. Therefore, we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit, EPH 5:18, GAL 5:16, but we are never commanded to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit; the indwelling Spirit is our permanent possession.
JOH 14:16“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.”
Even if the believer is negative toward doctrine, he is still indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but His power is not operational in the believer’s life apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit.
It is only the believer with positive volition that can ever move forward in the spiritual life. He understands the command to be filled with the Spirit; he understands the need to combine that power with the study of the Word of God. This is the believer walking the narrow road to spiritual maturity. This is the winner, the one who will hear the Lord say, “Well done My good and faithful servant.” The indwelling of the Holy Spirit demonstrates the principle of victory over the old sin nature, while the filling of the Holy Spirit is the function of that victory. Therefore, while the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is permanent, the filling of the Spirit fluctuates due to the trends of the old sin nature and the function of our volition (free will) toward those trends. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit takes place in the body of the believer; the filling of the Holy Spirit takes place in the soul of the believer. Since the filling of the Holy Spirit is functional, it is the means of executing the objectives of the Christian way of life.
What the Filling of the Spirit is Not
As believers we must be able to distinguish between spirituality and all the spiritual counterfeits of Satan. Some of these include changing one’s personality, asceticism, human good (works), ecstatics, and emotion.
Spirituality has nothing to do with the type of personality an individual has. There are spiritual men and women all over the world with a multitude of personalities. Some are quiet, some are loud; some like fancy dress, some could care less about fashion. The point is that human characteristics and mannerisms have nothing to do with the Christian way of life. All that matters is how the believer has adjusted his life to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Does he allow himself to be filled with His power or does he try to go it alone imitating superficial human personality and attributes.
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