Thoughts on Baptism of the Spirit from the Book ‘An Invitation to the Spirit Filled Life’ “Soul Institue”

the New Life: walking in the Spirit

1. What do we mean by ‘walking in the Spirit’

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you you hearts of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”(Ezekiel 36:26-27)

Jesus says to Nicodemus “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear it sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”(John 3:5-8)(My thoughts…The person who is moved by the Holy Spirit is full of surprises and often does unexpected but fruitful things.They are like the wind. The wind comes and goes unexpectedly.)

So what is the new life? It is life in the Holy Spirit, God at work in us. Jesus has supplied us with the power to love a new life through his Holy Spirit- We are his instruments…If we acknowledge our need want to have new life in the Spirit, then with expectant faith we must ask him to baptize us in his Holy Spirit. (My thoughts…One reason the Church needs a new Pentecost is that the problems in the world are so great that we need the power of the Holy Spirit. It is my desire and I have expressed it to the chancery and other priests that a day will come when the bishop will ask all the priests of the diocese to come to the cathedral on the vigil of Pentecost. We will all pray for an out pouring of the Holy Spirit on the diocese of Arlington and the whole world.)

What will happen as we walk in the Spirit? It may not be dramatic or sudden, but inevitably the life of the Holy spirit within us will become evident, and things will begin to happen that did not happen before. One clear sign will be the growth of the fruit of the Spirit in us.

At times of difficulty and discouragement, we need to
Hold fast to what we believe
Put our trust in God’s promise that ‘I am with you always’ (mat 28:20)
Seek fellowship, prayer , and support from other Christians
Resist the lies of temptations of the devil

We read in Galatians “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But is you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (My thoughts…In order to walk by the Spirit we have practice acts of self denial. St John of Cross tells us that any spirituality that doesn’t strive to practice self denial is self deception.)

What are the dangers we must guard against.

The first dangerous temptation we face is pride. Everything we do is for God’s Glory, not for our glory. Proverbs reminds us ‘Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.’

The second great temptation we face is ourselves. If our ego is not dealt with, our service will be spoiled. We must be honest and admit we have failed and allow the Holy Spirit to search us and untangle us. (My thoughts…I was getting ready for confession today to prepare my heart for Pentecost. This scripture came to me ‘The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin.’ A great way to prepare for confession is to ask the Holy spirit to convict us of our sin.)

The fact that the Holy Spirit has started the work in us is the guarantee of its completion (Ephesians 1:14) because when the Spirit comes,

He inspires prayer, this will maintain our spiritual power (Roman 8:26)
He brings freedom in praise and worship,this maintains our relationship with God (Acts 16:25)
He gives some a desire for intercession; this supports others (1 Timothy 2:1)
He brings power to witness and evangelize; this draws others to Christ (Acts 1:8)
He brings power for healing and deliverance; this produces wholeness and freedom (Luke 9:1-2)
He nourishes social concerns; this helps us not to become become self-centered (Acts 2:44-45)
He gives access to his gifts and ministries; this build up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-31)
But most of all, he brings a new freedom (Galatians 5:1)

Saint John Paul II said on May 30 1998 “Today, I would like to cry out to all of you gathered in St Peter’s Square and to all Christians: Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit! Accept gratefully and obediently the charims which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us!…The Spirit is like the wind filling the sails of the great ship. If, however, we look at her closely, she uses numerous other small sails that are the hearts of the baptized. Everyone, dear friend, is invited to hoist his sails and unfurl it with courage, to permit the Spirit to act with all his sanctifying power. By allowing the Spirit to act in one’s life one also makes the best contribution to the Church’s mission. Do not be afraid…to unfurl your sails to the breath of the Spirit.”

The Spirit is
Wind: dramatic and powerful, gentle and caressing
Fire: consuming and destroying, but energy and heat producing
Cloud: moving or static, overshadowing, concealing, holding the promise of rain
Oil: heat and light producing, healing, a sign of consecration, a link to the sacraments
Breath: essential for life, creative
Light: a sign of the presence of God, helping us ‘see’ See the face of Jesus
Dove: symbol of peace and love, freedom and flight

How do we stay with the Spirit and not slip back into old ways?

We read in Galatians. St Paul says “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain..if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by works of the law, or by believing what you heard?”(Gal 3:1-5) (My thoughts…Many people have had many encounters with the Holy Spirit but end up closed to the new thing that God wants to do in their lives. At the masses and healing services I have fully one third of all the people have never been to a charismatic healing service before and God commonly blesses them powerfully. The reason is simple they have no expectations of what the Holy Spirit can do so they just open their hearts minds soul to the Holy Spirit and allow him to do what He wants to do in their lives. This is what Pope Francis means when he says ‘Let God surprise You.’)

Only when we concentrates again on Christ and walk again with Christ and walking in Spirit are we able to serve again with power. ‘By dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”(Roman 7:6)

When we walk in the will of God, we have peace and will know when we divert from his paths. Christ died to give us freedom; let’s accept it now and walk with him in the power and freedom of his Spirit. Then we’ll begin to experience the Spirit-filled life!

Come Holy Spirit

1 Comment

  1. Dear Father Stefan,
    Thank you for such inspiring words. I have prayed the prayer you suggested (Our Lady of Victory…) 50 times a day for the past 9 days and have read all your posts on Pentecost and I am expecting great things. Thank you. Happy Pentecost!!!

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