“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him”. (Romans 8:9 ESV)
If we believe and trust that all who believe in Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit then it should be a reasonable progression to explore what that ‘indwelling’ actually means in the life of the believer.
It is reasonable to assume that this ‘indwelling’ must have some effect upon the believer. We are not redeemed to remain ineffective or unmoved by our redemption. As Israel was supposed to be a light to the gentiles, the believer is called to be a light in the darkness of this world and to those who dwell in that darkness.
This does not happen of its own accord but by, and through, the Holy Spirit who brings forth in each person the gifts and abilities best suited to the ministry to which God has called them. This does not happen without the obedience and desire of the believer to partake in the fulness of God’s blessing and equipping.
Paul uses the example of the body to illustrate how a diversity of parts of the body work together for the good of the whole. (1 Cor. 12:12-26). He also shows that, as differing body parts have differing degrees of exposure, not all gifts are evident as others yet are still necessary. However, all gifts are assigned according to the sovereignty of God.
Instead of fretting over the distribution of the gifts and how they may, or may not, match our opinion about how it should have happened, would not time be better spent in building up and encouraging the gifts that are evident so that the body can be strengthened and able to take its place in the furtherance of the Great Commission?
When the sovereignty of God is honoured then the in the use and development of these gifts and talents there is unity in the midst of diversity.
Do we trust God enough to be able to accept whatever gift or talent he may bestow upon us?
When ‘infilled with the Holy Spirit:
Do we get just the basics and then we ‘customize’ by prayer and asking God as requested or required? Rather like buying the basic car and then downloading the apps as required.
Or do we received the Holy Spirit in all fulness and glory and then we manifest the gifts and abilities that God wants to bring forth in us? Would this be like buying the best equipped model of car with all the ‘bells and whistles’ and then we and then we use whichever ones we need according to our purpose?
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. … On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
(1 Corinthians 12:18-20, 22-25 ESV)
What father among you, if his son asks for[a] a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13 ESV)
“If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you. (John 14:15-17 ESV).
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)
God speaks through a variety of means. In the present God primarily speaks by the Holy Spirit, through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.
– Henry Blackaby
The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.
– A. W. Tozer