How We Are or Can Be Filled by the Ruach
As I stated in Part 4, scripture clearly teaches us that the Ruach is given only to believers in Yeshua (see Yochanan 14:15-17). As we have learned in previous posts, with rare exception, the permanent indwelling of every believer by the Ruach was not experienced before Shavu’ot. His teaching ministry, His comfort, and His intercession are benefits that all believers in Yeshua may now experience without restriction or limitation today. This is truly the period of the realization; the age of the Ruach.
If God has put His own seal of ownership upon us in the person of His Ruach, then nothing can make our redemption more secure. The seemingly impossible work of uniting Jews and Gentiles in one body was and is being accomplished by the Ruach. “It is through Yeshua that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come in the one Spirit into the presence of the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18 TEV)
This posting is not a “how-to-be-filled-with-the-Spirit-in-five-easy-step-by-step-lessons.” There are some critical things that we have to get settled first.
- Before you are filled with the Ruach you must be sure that you can be filled. Satan has opposed the doctrine of the Spirit-filled life about as bitterly as any other doctrine there is. He has confused it, opposed it, and surrounded it with false notions and fears. He has blocked every effort of the Kehilah to receive from the Father her divine and blood-bought inheritance. By and large, the Kehilah has tragically neglected this great liberating truth. There has always been since that first outpouring on Shavu’ot in 33 CE and continuing to today for the child of God a full, wonderful, and completely satisfying anointing with the Ruach. However, we must individually be sure that it is God’s will for us. We have to be sure that is a part of the total plan included and embraced within the work of Yeshua’s redemption. The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of the Messianic life. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.
- You must be satisfied that it is not abnormal. You must be satisfied that there is nothing about the Ruach that is strange or eerie. I believe it has been the work of the devil to surround the person of the Ruach with an aura of strangeness, so that the people of God feel that this Spirit-filled life is a life of being odd and peculiar, of being a bit uncanny. That is not true, my friend! The devil manufactured that. There is nothing eerie, nothing contrary to the normal operations of the human heart about the Ruach. He is only the essence of Yeshua imparted to believers. We can read the four Gospels and see for ourselves how wonderfully calm, pure, sane, simple, sweet, natural, and lovable Yeshua was. Even philosophers who don’t believe in His deity have to admit to the goodness of His character. I recall as a child that some neighbors said I shouldn’t associate with the folks that attended the church up the street from us. They claimed that they were holy-rollers, swinging from the chandeliers and speaking jibberish. Well as any curious young boys would, my buddy and I snuck up to one of the windows that Sunday just to see the crazy events that were being reported. Needless to say, we didn’t see anything like that which had been described. The folks seemed to be enjoying the music swaying back and forth to the rhythm and raising the hands in worship, but they had no chandeliers and they we all standing upright. We did notice that the preacher spoke for a lot longer than the ten minutes to which we were accustomed.
- You must be sure of all this to the point of conviction. You must be convinced in your own mind that this is what God wants for you. Unless you have arrived at this place in your listening, thinking, meditating, and praying that the Spirit-filled life is for you, that there is no doubt about that you are convinced that through the blood of Yeshua He purchased your right to a full, Spirit-filled life – unless you are convinced of that, unless you are convinced that it is not an added, unusual, extra, deluxe something or other that you have to go to God and beg and beat your fists on your chest to get, I recommend this to you: I recommend that you don’t do anything about it yet, except to meditate upon the Scriptures bearing on this truth.
- Before you can be filled with the Ruach you must desire to be filled. Are you sure that you want to be possessed by a spirit other than your own; even though that spirit is the pure Ruach of God; even though He is the very gentle essence Yeshua; even though He is wisdom personified; and, even though He is as loving as the heart of God? That Ruach, if He ever possesses you, will become the Lord of your Life!
- Are you sure that you want your personality to be taken over by the One who will expect obedience to the written and living Word? Are you sure that you want your personality to be taken over by One who will not tolerate your selfish sins? The Spirit of God will bring you into opposition to the world just as Yeshua was brought into opposition to it. The world executed Yeshua because they couldn’t stand Him! The world hates the Ruach as bad as it ever hated Yeshua. Are you sure you want His help? Are you willing to go with Him in His opposition to the easygoing ways of the world? If you are not, you needn’t apply for anything more than what you already have, because you don’t want Him; you only think you do! It takes a true talmid to want what the Ruach will give.
- Are you sure that you need to be filled? Can’t you get along the way you are? You’ve been doing fairly well: you pray, you read your Bible, you give to missions, you enjoy singing hymns, you thank God, you don’t drink or gamble or go with those who do, and you’re honest. Can’t you get along like that? If you feel that there is something that you must have or your heart will never be satisfied, that there are levels of spirituality, mystic deeps and heights of spiritual communion, purity and power that you have never known, that there is fruit which you know you should bear and do not, victory which you know you should have and have not – I would say, “Come on,” because God has something awesome in store for you. This is where I was in my walk with the Lord on that momentous February evening in 1979.
Ok, how do I allow myself to be filled?
If you have accepted Yeshua as your Messiah, here is how you can receive the filling of the Ruach:
- Present yourself to Him. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1, 2 NLT) Remember, God is a gentleman. He won’t fill what He can’t have. Now I ask you: Are you ready to present your body, your mind, your personality, your spirit, your love, your ambitions, your all? That is the first thing. Are you willing to do it?
- If you said, YES, then ask Him (see Luke 11:9-11). If it is all for us, and if the Lord wanted to do it, He could give it without our asking, but He chooses to have us ask. “Ask of me and I will give” is always God’s order; so why not ask? I did on that fateful night.
- God gives His Ruach to them that obey Him. “God has given [the Ruach HaKodesh] to those who obey him.” (Act 5:32) Are you ready to obey and do what you are asked to do? What would that be? Simply to live by the Scriptures as you understand them. Simple, but revolutionary.
- Finally, God gives the Ruach to those that have faith. “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?” (Galatians 3:2) We receive Him by faith as we receive the Lord in salvation by faith. He comes as a gift of God to us in power. First, He comes in some degree and measure when we are converted. But, I am talking about something different than our conversion experience. I am talking about His coming and possessing our full body, mind, life, and heart. Taking over our whole personality gently and transforming us so that we may become more and more like Yeshua.
Are you ready? Remember the short one sentence prayer I shared in Part 3: “Lord, I don’t know what makes these people tick, but whatever it is, I WANT IT!!” If you really, really want it, that’s all you need to say.
In Part 6, we will explore how we can cultivate the Ruach’s companionship.
Interestingly, in my morning devotionals on the day I am wrote this, Joyce Meyer in her “Promises for Everyday Life ~ A Daily Devotional” shared her one sentence prayer and give a prayer starter for you to use. Click here for the PDF version.
For additional information on the differences between baptism and filling of the Ruach, click here for the PDF version.
 I am indebted to the work of A.W. Tozer for a series of his sermons published as “How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit” for the foundation of this post.