The Spirit Filled Life: A promise for all
Often stories in the Old Testament focus on individuals being filled with the Holy Spirit for a particular time and a particular task. But there’s a growing hope through the Old Testament expressed through lives, prayers and prophecies that one day the Spirit will be for everyone, everywhere, all the time!
We find Moses in the book of Exodus, wishing this very thing; that everyone would receive the Spirit of God. That is also God’s generous desire for everyone. We see the start of this happen in Acts 2 and this promise of God, that God’s Spirit would be given to everyone who believes, is still true today! God loves to share His Holy Spirit with His community.
Practice (15 minutes)
Spend a few moments thinking about what generosity looks like. In quiet reflection spend some time thinking about these questions:
- What is a generous person like? What happens around generous people? How have you felt when you have been on the receiving end of generosity? How have you felt when you have been generous?
- Now ask yourself these questions: Do I picture God as generous? Do I believe generosity is in His nature? Do I believe He is generous with His presence?
- Reflecting upon your responses to these questions, if your answers to the last 3 questions erred towards no, do you know why?
- If your answers to the last 3 questions erred towards yes, do you know why?
Discussion (5 minutes)
You may want to discuss your thoughts on your reflections together as a group.
- God says in Joel 2:28 ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people’ and the Message paraphrase of the Bible frames some words of Jesus in Luke 11 like this ‘….don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?’
- God has promised to be generous to give His Spirit to all who ask. He is a gift to our own lives and is also given to empower us to serve others, to love others well, to speak words of life, to forgive, to create communities where the ways of God are evident and bring flourishing.
Prayer (5 minutes)
As a group you could spend some time praying, inviting the Holy Spirit to fill you with His presence, and to empower you to be generous with all that God has given.
You can try this simple prayer at the beginning of every day:
Holy Spirit, I welcome you.
I ask for your presence to be poured into my life.
Help me to follow your lead in all that I do and am today.
At the end of each day reflect on where you have listened to Him, followed Him, been aware of His presence. Notice what you sense, how you live. You may want to keep on sharing as a ConnectGroup as you grow in this together. You may also want to return to the questions above every now and then as a way of understanding how you see God and how that shapes your belief in who He is and who we are. This can also be a helpful practice to do with other aspects of God’s nature and character that are described in the Bible.