What Happens When You’re Filled with the Spirit

July 25, 2012 — 3 Comments

My kids and I get a kick out of the opening scene of Kung Pow.  After watching a baby in diapers fighting off a horde of bad guys, we laugh and quote the villain in his strange nasally voice.  

Oopen da mowth.

I can’t help think of those words as I write this blog.  According to the bible, the sign of the Spirit is an open mouth.

Well not just an open mouth but more specifically, a mouth opened in witness and praise.  Jesus says in Acts 1:8,

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…

And this is what we find in Luke’s Gospel and Acts (Luke’s sequel).  Those who are filled or receive or have the Holy Spirit come upon them OPEN THEIR MOUTHS.

  • Elizabeth exclaims in a loud voice. (Luke 1:42-43)
  • Zachariah prophecies. (Luke 1:67-79)
  • The 120 “speak in other tongues.” (Acts 2:4)
  • Peter testifies (Acts 4:8)
  • The believers “speak the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:31)
  • Cornelius and his household speak in tongues (Acts 10:44-46)
  • Paul curses Elymas (Acts 13:9)
  • The Ephesian disciples speak in tongues and prophesy (Acts 19:6)

And its the same in the Old Testament.

  • In Numbers, the 70 elders prophecy. (11:25)
  • And in 1 Samuel 19:23-24, Saul too prophesies.

It’s interesting that the Spirit’s filling is often compared to having too much to drink.  For instance,

  • When the crowds heard the disciples speaking in tongues on the day of Pentecost they thought they were drunk. (Acts 2:13-15).
  • And Instead of getting drunk, Paul instructs the Ephesians to be “filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)

How does inebriation compare with the Spirit?  

Once again its the open mouth.  A person who is drunk loses all inhebition to speak or even sing.  Think Karaoke bar.  But even before Karaoke, bars have always been a place of speaking and singing.

Note how Paul follows this call to be “filled with the Spirit.”

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20).

To speak and to sing praise to the Lord is to allow the Spirit to move in and through you.

Ok.  So if the filling of the Spirit is evidenced in the open mouth here’s what it’s not.

It not JUST tongues.  I for one speak in tongues.  And I believe those who speak in tongues have been filled with the Spirit.  But I also believe it’s simply wrong to reduce the Spirit’s filling to an “initial physical evidence.”  Can we as Pentecostals truly say that Billy Graham was not filled with the Spirit when we know the Spirit’s filling is empowerment for witness (Acts 1:8)?

It’s not JUST the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).  The fruits of the Spirit are most definetly connected with the Spirit’s filling.  But the fruit of the Spirit is an inward condition of the heart.  It’s not the outward manifestation – specifically the open mouth.

Has you’re mouth be opened in inexhaustible witness and praise?  If not, then wait, pray and seek.  If it has, is your mouth still open today?

What do you think?

Matthew Scott Miller

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