A few weeks ago I was asking the Lord, “What do you want me to preach next?” And He said, “I need my people to know how to live filled with the Holy Spirit. They can’t accomplish what I need them to do without it.”
That’s why we are doing this series, because the Lord needs you to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
We kicked it off last week talking about how to prepare for the Holy Spirit. You have to get yourself ready first. We found out that obedience to God is required to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Take a look:
Acts 5:32 NLT – The Holy Spirit is given by God to those who obey him.
Obedience seems intimidating, but it’s not when it comes from the right place.
By default, obedience is a performance. We perform for God by doing our best to do what He wants. We don’t always get it right, but we find our way back into the performance.
We think God’s impressed when we get it right. We think He yells at us when we get it wrong. But it turns out, God doesn’t want us to perform at all.
This is misunderstood by many people. We’re told sin doesn’t really matter. It’s all covered by grace. And your faith in Jesus Christ does grant you complete forgiveness, but we go off the rails by thinking this means God no longer cares about obedience.
I’m here to tell you that God still wants your obedience. Actually, He requires it if you want to see His power manifest in your life.
He just doesn’t want your obedience to come as a performance. He wants obedience to come as a result of knowing who you are to Him. Let me put it to you this way:
Obedience is not something we do; it’s who we are.
When you know who you are to God, obedience is just who you are. You really don’t even have to try, it just comes natural.
But for this to be true for you, you have to take time to get in the Bible and find out who you are to God.
You’ll find out that you are right with God, not because of what you do, but because you believe in Jesus. You’ll find out that you are in a place of undeserved privilege.
You’ll find out that you are healed. You’re free from sin. You’re blessed. You’re protected. Your every need is met. You have peace. You have joy.
This is who you are to God. And if you don’t have these things, it’s because you haven’t put in the effort to find out who you are to God.
I can’t do it for you. You have to put in the effort, search the scriptures, meditate on the scriptures, and get quiet before the Lord.
And once you find out who you are to God, you’ll find yourself walking in obedience without even trying. And then you’ll be prepared and ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Now the question is, once we’re prepared, how do we get filled with the Holy Spirit?
This is a question the disciples were asking Jesus before He ascended into heaven. Up until this point, Jesus was their source of God’s power. But Jesus was about to leave and expected them to do greater works than He did.
Can you imagine? I bet they were begging Him to stay and asking questions like, “How are we supposed to do greater things than you if you are not here to help us?”
Right before ascending into Heaven, Jesus commanded the disciples to wait. He said, “Don’t do anything yet. Wait for a few days until you are baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4-5)
Then He told them why they are being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Take a look:
Acts 1:8 NLT – You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere.
According to Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives you two things:
Power and Boldness
The Holy Spirit is the source of God’s power. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we have no chance at doing the works Jesus did, much less greater works.
The Holy Spirit is the source of boldness and courage. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we will fail to tell people about Jesus because we’re too scared on our own.
The enemy hates the baptism of the Holy Spirit! If you get it, he knows you’ll be going around destroying the works of the devil. He knows you won’t be scared anymore.
Why do you think I am at complete peace writing a book that is going to be harshly criticized? Because I have power and boldness from the Holy Spirit. I ain’t scared. Jesus ain’t woke and people gotta know so they can meet the real Jesus.
And now you probably realize why the baptism of the Holy Spirit is such a sensitive subject in the church world. Some denominations believe in it, and others don’t. The woke church simply ignores it to make sure no one gets uncomfortable.
So here we are, the American church, lacking power and lacking boldness. Oh, we’ll go and enjoy the show at church. But be a witness for Jesus at work? Or on Facebook? Uh… that’s a little scary.
What will people think of me? What if they don’t like me anymore? What if I lose my job for standing for truth and righteousness?
Yep. Those are the questions you have when you aren’t filled with the Holy Spirit.
I’m not telling you these things to make you feel bad. I’m just helping you figure out where you are.
It’s really easy to tell if you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Take a good look at yourself and ask, “Am I bold for God, or am I acting like a wuss?”
Sorry, that’s not a very churchy term, but I just want to make sure you understand. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We’re not here to play games! We’re here to lead people to Jesus.
Stephen’s Holy Spirit Boldness
In the book of Acts, you’ll read account after account of the boldness that comes upon people when they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
One of them is Stephen. The Bible says he was a man full of God’s grace and power. He performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.
But wouldn’t you know it, the religious people got upset, so they started to debate with him. None of them could stand against the wisdom that Stephen spoke because it came from the Holy Spirit.
So, what did the religious people do? They spread lies about Stephen in order to get even more religious people to turn against him. And it worked.
They brought Stephen before the religious high council to be questioned. He was accused of speaking against the holy Temple and the law of Moses. They asked if it was true, and Stephen responded with a pretty lengthy sermon.
He talked about Abraham. He talked about Moses. And eventually, worked his way to David. After all of this, I want you to take a look at what Stephen said to the religious elite:
Acts 7:51 NLT – You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you!
Alright, Stephen. Go ahead buddy. Be bold.
At least now we know the qualities of someone who resists the Holy Spirit. They’re stubborn, heathen, and deaf to the truth.
Maybe you know somebody like this? Don’t look at them if they are in the room.
How do you think these pious, religious people received Stephen’s accusation? Well, they were infuriated and shook their fists at him in rage.
Did this scare Stephen? No. Because He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Take a look:
Acts 7:55 NLT – But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
In the very same moment the religious people were furious and shaking their fists, Stephen was just standing there having a heaven experience.
He was so excited about it, he wanted to share it with the religious people. He said, “Look, I see the heavens opened and Jesus is right there!”
What did the religious people do? They covered their ears and began shouting. You know, acting like mature adults.
Then it turned ugly. They drug Stephen out of the city and stoned him to death. Take a look at Stephen’s last words:
Acts 7:60 NLT – He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.
This is what it’s like to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You have boldness. You have courage. And you’re not afraid of death. You’ll do whatever God asks you to do regardless of the outcome.
How do you know if you’re filled with the Holy Spirit? You have the power and boldness you need to be a witness for Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of Truth
But that’s not all. There’s something else the Holy Spirit gives you: the ability to discern truth from deception. Take a look:
John 16:13 NKJV – However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; and He will tell you things to come.
Where can we lay the blame for so many people being sucked into the ravages of woke Christianity? Neglecting the Holy Spirit. Why?
Because the Holy Spirit is not just the power of God, He is the Spirit of truth. Without being filled with the Holy Spirit, we have no chance of discerning truth from lies.
That’s why people fall for the clever race theories. That’s why people celebrate the bondage of sexual perversion. That’s why people ignore the slaughter of babies. That’s why people believe everything they hear on the news and live their life in fear.
It’s only by the Holy Spirit that we can clearly see the truth. If we aren’t filled with the Holy Spirit, then we are on our own. You’ll just have to Google it and hope what you find is true.
The Truth About the Vaccine
To be honest with you, I tried to talk the Holy Spirit out of this next part when I was preparing this message and He wouldn’t give me a pass. So here we go.
When we were in the middle of COVID lockdowns last year, the Holy Spirit told me something of things to come and I would have rather Him not. But He did.
Reminds me of something the Holy Spirit told the Apostle Paul that probably wasn’t very fun to hear. Take a look:
Acts 20:22-23 NLT – I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.
If you thought that the Holy Spirit only tells you of the good things to come, now you know. He’ll also tell you of the challenges that await you.
The Holy Spirit told me last year that the COVID vaccine is going to do more harm than the virus.
I know that when you say anything against the vaccine, people just assume that you are caught up in all the conspiracy theories. But the Holy Spirit revealed this to me before the conspiracy nonsense even started.
If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that I constantly encourage people to not give in to the shaming and controlling and manipulating that’s going on because of the vaccine.
If you are unsettled about the vaccine, don’t get it. And don’t worry. You’re not killing people by not getting the vaccine. That’s just an intimidation tactic.
You don’t have to get it to prove that you care about people. You don’t have to get it because Dr. Fauci said to get it. You don’t have to get it because your employer is mandating it.
Some of you know deep down that you are not supposed to get the vaccine. You can’t really explain it, you just know. That’s the Holy Spirit and this is a good time to listen.
The Holy Spirit told me about all of this before the vaccine was even in the works, so it was easy to just put it off till later. But when the vaccine was starting to be distributed, my heart was so troubled.
In tears one day, I remember crying out to God because I knew there was nothing I could do or say to change the minds of people who had already decided to get it.
And the Spirit of God said, “Kade, I am going to use NoLimits Church as a place of healing for those who are hurt from the vaccine.”
I hope you are ready to see miracles, signs and wonders. Because that is God’s assignment for NoLimits Church and we are going to fulfill it.
Do you know how we fulfill it? By getting filled with the Holy Spirit.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have power to do even greater miracles than Jesus.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the boldness to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done for Jesus.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we know the truth in every situation no matter how clever the deception.
When I didn’t listen to the Holy Spirit…
Now let me tell you a story about when the Holy Spirit was telling me of things to come and I didn’t listen.
A few years ago, Beth and I were exploring ways to put our money to work. Sounds kind of funny because most of us are used to working for money. But money can also work for you.
You probably know it as investing. You put money in something like a 401k and it grows over time without you having to do anything.
For some reason, I just can’t connect with the stock market, so I was looking for other ways to invest. Real estate caught my eye so I enrolled in a few classes to learn more and see if it is something I wanted to do.
It was all very interesting at first. But, just a few months into the learning process, I had this check on the inside. I couldn’t explain it, but I just knew, “This isn’t for me.”
Did I listen? Nope. I kept moving forward. We spent quite a bit of time and money traveling and learning. And eventually, we purchased our first investment property here in Owasso.
The intention was for it to be shared housing for sober living. A safe place for people fresh out of rehab to get their life started again.
Beth and I poured ourselves into this. We put 20% down to mortgage the house. We furnished the house. We stocked it with sheets and towels and dishes and everything you need.
We went to visit rehab facilities to let people know the house was available. We built a website and put money into marketing materials to help get the word out.
Y’all, we worked hard to make this happen. A few people moved in. My mother-in-law even stayed at the house for a while to help us get things figured out. It was exciting at first, but it didn’t last long.
Just a few weeks in, we had to move out one of the residents for bringing drugs into the house. When your house is a safe place for sober living, you just can’t tolerate drugs.
Let me tell you, asking them to leave was not a pleasant experience. There was yelling. There were threats. And this went on for hours until they finally left.
I could tell you story after story about how rough this journey was and it’s because I didn’t listen to the Holy Spirit.
Don’t get me wrong. Following God is not always rainbows and sunshine. But when you are in the will of God, He gives you the grace to handle the challenges you go through.
In this case, we had no grace. We were on our own and struggled the whole way through. About six months in, we finally got smart enough to realize, this wasn’t for us.
It was a good idea – a great cause – but not God’s assignment for us. We made a really hard decision to shut down the house.
We then posted the house for rent and we’ve had an incredible family living there for over a year now. But even though we have great tenants, the house is still a thorn in my side.
We had a year reprieve where everything went smoothly. Then there was a leak in the kitchen. By the time it was discovered, it had ruined cabinets, the floor, and the wall behind the cabinets.
We had to call in mold remediation, tear the kitchen apart, have custom cabinets made, and put it all back together. As if that’s not enough, the contractor I picked was a mess.
I had to manage his schedule for him. He would lie to me about things getting done that weren’t done. He would send workers over late in the evening and disrupt the family living there.
A project that should have taken three weeks took three months to complete. It was… exhausting. Ten thousand dollars later, not covered by insurance, the kitchen looked great again.
And I kid you not, just a few weeks later, I got a text from my tenant, “Water is running from the upstairs bathroom down the wall in the downstairs laundry room.”
I picked a different contractor this time and it went much better. They had to tear out the wall, remediate the mold, and now it is all being put back together.
All of this to finally realize that real estate investing is not something I am supposed to be doing. The Holy Spirit told me several years ago, and here I am, still learning the hard way.
I tell you this story so you know, the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth, but He does not force you to live in the truth. You still have to decide to listen whenever He reveals the truth to you.
Holy Spirit Mythbusters
To wrap up today, I want to bust some myths about the Holy Spirit.
Myth: You receive the Holy Spirit when you get saved.
Don’t get me wrong. You can get saved and then immediately after receive the Holy Spirit, but they are two separate things. Let’s go to scripture for truth on this matter.
Acts 8:14-17 NLT – When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.
This makes it very clear that salvation and receiving the Holy Spirit are two different occurrences. In other words, you can be saved and not receive the Holy Spirit.
Let me make it clear that you don’t have to receive the Holy Spirit to be saved. Salvation comes by faith in Jesus Christ. Your faith in Jesus seals your eternity in heaven. So, you can go to heaven without receiving the Holy Spirit.
But the Holy Spirit is what gives you the ability to lead others to salvation. Remember, being filled with the Holy Spirit gives you the power, boldness and truth you need to be an effective witness for Jesus.
And I know you’d agree, it’s much better to take people with us to heaven then to go all by ourselves.
Let me show this to you in one more place in the Bible so you know I am not taking one section of scripture out of context.
Acts 19:1-6 NLT – While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied.
Do you receive the Holy Spirit when you get saved? No. It is it’s own thing.
But it can happen back-to-back where you get saved and then filled with the Holy Spirit right after. Or you could be saved for a while and then receive the Holy Spirit later.
I was asking the Lord to help me explain this one night before bed. He then woke me up at 3am with the answer. Don’t know why He didn’t just tell me before I went to sleep, but probably because I had to get quiet first. Here’s what He showed me.
When you get saved, it’s like a light turns on inside of you. Your spirit becomes one with God, so the truth is now living on the inside of you.
That’s why you start to feel uneasy about your sin. It didn’t bother you before, but now there is a fight going on inside of you. The truth in your spirit is confronting the lies in your mind.
This is what it’s like to be saved without the Holy Spirit. The truth is there, but it has a hard time getting out because it has to come through your unrenewed mind.
But when you get filled with the Holy Spirit, your whole body is flooded with light.
Let me put it to you this way: When you get saved, God’s light comes to live in the core of your being. When you get filled with the Holy Spirit, that light permeates your entire body.
There’s no longer a fight going on because you’ve allowed yourself to be filled with God’s truth, filled with His power, and now you are more bold than you’ve ever been.
Here’s the next myth:
Myth: Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a one-time event.
You get filled with the Holy Spirit, you speak in tongues, and now you’re filled forever, right? Wrong. You can get filled with the Holy Spirit as many times as you need to.
Think of it like filling a glass with water. You fill it up and then you take a drink. And you drink some more, and some more, and if you don’t keep filling it up, eventually it will be empty.
Anyone been filled with the Holy Spirit before but now you are feeling a little empty? It’s time to be filled again.
Even the Apostle Paul, who was also known as Saul, was filled with the Holy Spirit multiple times. Let me show you.
Acts 9:17 NLT – Ananias laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
What happened after he was filled? Take a look:
Acts 9:20 NLT – And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”
Remember, Paul was the one who hated Christianity so much he was killing Christians. Then he had an encounter with Jesus and got saved.
Then he was filled with the Holy Spirit and immediately gained the boldness he needed to preach for the very thing he used to stand against! Come on, somebody. The Holy Spirit is so good.
This was the first time he was filled with the Holy Spirit. But fourteen years later, we have an account where the apostle Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit again.
This was when he was going to preach the gospel to the governor of Paphos. There was a sorcerer in the city who was trying to convince the governor to pay no attention to Paul. Here’s what happened next:
Acts 13:9-10 NLT – Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?
We know that Paul had been filled at least once before, and now he was filled again. And what was the result? Same thing. He received boldness to destroy the works of the devil and preach Jesus.
This ought to be encouraging for many of you because you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit before, but you now find yourself in a place without power and without boldness.
God needs us to live filled with the Holy Spirit. We can’t accomplish what He needs us to do in the last days without it. We need to get filled and stay filled, and I’m here to help you out.