“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).
I had something unusual happen to me several years ago when I was invited to speak at a large gathering of college students. Actually I misread the crowd because of the passionate worship that preceded my message. I spoke about the power of renewal in my life and how I had become complacent over the years of ministry and how I needed a fresh work of the Spirit in my life. Shortly after the message began, several students left the meeting literally shouting out slogans about nazis and Hitler. I guess what made matters worse, these were actually some of the organizers of the meeting. Needless to say, the meeting scheduled for the next night was canceled. What was the point of contention? These precious students believed that there was no second work of grace; to them,what I was describing had to be demonic. Actually, the book of Acts is very clear about this. There were multiple fillings of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the apostles. Here is how R. T. Kendall describes it in his book Holy Fire.
“This event was some time after Pentecost, possibly weeks later. It shows that the same people who were filled on the Day of Pentecost were filled again—and were thus enabled to speak with renewed power. What happened was this. A forty-year-old man who had never walked was suddenly and miraculously healed by Peter and John. Everybody in Jerusalem knew who this crippled man was. After thousands saw him “walking and praising God,” Peter (again) took advantage of this opportunity to preach the gospel. At least two thousand were converted as a result (Acts 3:1–4:4). Instead of the elders and teachers of the Law being thrilled, they were indignant. They warned Peter and the other disciples “to speak no longer to anyone in this name” (Acts 4:17). Peter and John reported this to the disciples who began to pray. It is an amazing prayer. (See Acts 4:24–30.) This is when the place was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
My point is this. What happened once can happen twice. Or three times. Many times. This is why Paul wrote, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). We need to be filled—again and again.”
I have come to the conclusion that all of us need to be filled with the Spirit on a daily basis. Our world is too dangerous, our faith is too precious, and temptations are a constant threat. Only the power of the Spirit in our lives can equip us for the challenges we all face on a daily basis. As a pastor I also need continual fillings. Actually real ministry comes from the overflow of the Spirit in our lives. We must drink if we want to have anything to pour out.