In the New Testament there are many instances of people being filled with the Holy Spirit. We read about Elizabeth being filled with the Holy Spirit as Mary greeted her (Luke 1:39-45). Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness (Luke 4:1) are just two examples.
Last night, in Ledbury (Herefordshire UK) we were attending the fifth session of the Life in the Spirit seminars. I was not keen to go for some reason but resisted the temptation to miss the session and as I entered the church my hands and feet started to warm up. The intensity of this heat grew during the worship that preceded the inspiring talk by Derek Williams. At the end of the talk, we were invited to recite the Commitment Prayer together and pray for an infilling of the Holy Spirit and a personal encounter with the Risen Christ. As I did so, my legs felt as though I was wearing concrete boots, so heavy that I had to sit down. There I remained, eyes closed and felt the wrmth and light of God’s love, so intensely that when I eventually opened my eyes I was surprised that the church was now almost in darkness. I reallyexpected the lights to be ablaze, but they were not. I experienced such a deep peace and this feeling has continued through much of today.
The prophet Joel prophesies: ‘I will pour out my Spirit on everyone’ (Joel 2:28) and this prophecy is still being fulfilled today. All we have to do is say ‘Yes’ as Mary did and the promise will be kept.