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The Difference Between Being Filled and Being Full of the Holy Spirit – Benny Shobo

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Daniel 11:32, “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits. In other words, they that are earnestly living and fully given and to God shall do exploits and mighty works.

A person who is full of the Holy Spirit will do exploits, meaning extraordinary things, i.e., things that are not easily conceived by the human mind. It is a person who is completely possessed, ruled and governed by the Spirit of God, that is able to do exploits. It is not someone who is partly filled or half-led that is able to do these kinds of exploits, rather it is one who has died completely to self, but alive for Christ, one who is fully occupied by God’s Spirit, one who God is living through.

To be filled with the Holy Spirit is good, but to be full of the Holy Spirit is perfection in the sight of God. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, it means that God has filled you with His Spirit to the point that your faith can understand, tolerate and work with. Luke 1:41,And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit”.

However, to be full of the Holy Spirit means that you have matured to the point where your faith is like that of Jesus, where nothing is impossible to you. When you are full of the Holy Spirit, you can conceive the excellence of God’s power. To be full of the Sprit is to be divinely empowered by God to do things the way Jesus would. It literally means that the full power of God is embodied in you, and you are merely an honoured vessel that God occupies. Acts 7:55, But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Now, examples of such people as seen in the Bible, were Stephen and Philip. 

It is crucial to know that a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit can experience God’s power in measures, but the person who is full of the Spirit, is able to experience God’s power without measures.

In Acts 8:4-8, We also see here how a man named Simon, thought that he could buy the anointing of God (fullness of God’s power), but he was severely rebuked by Peter because the anointing of God comes through divine grace and not mere works. Now, let us look at Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. Here, we see how Philip was directed by an angel of God and was told by the Holy Spirit to go near the Eunuch’s chariot, to help him understand Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth”.

At the invitation of the Ethiopian, Philip joined him in his chariot. And through Philip, God brought salvation to the Ethiopian Eunuch. As they passed by the river, the Eunuch asked Philip to baptize him, to which Philip complied. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord instantly caused Philip to disappear, only to appear again in at Azotus, where he carried on preaching the gospel in all the nearby towns until he reached Caesarea.

Philip was able to operate in the fullness of God’s power by the Holy Spirit through the grace of God upon his life. Philip also encountered the supernatural through the anointing of the Holy One in him; therefore, he was able to live in an atmosphere of miracles and power. Just like Philip we too as children of God, can experience God’s power in an amazing and dynamic way when we are obedient, submissive and yielding to His will for us. It was the fullness of God’s Spirit in the life of Philip that made him who was a mere and ordinary man become an empowered and extra-ordinary person. The fullness of God’s anointing transformed Philip in such a way that nothing was impossible and unachievable to him because he dared to believe God at all cost.

The Amazing things to note about Philip, a man full of the Holy Spirit, are as follows:

1. He was a man sensitive to God’s Spirit.

2. He made himself available to God

3. Doing and experiencing extraordinary things, was his normal way of living.

4. He did not consider himself to be his own anymore but was completely sold out to God.

5. He believed and trusted in God’s abilities and power.

We must be aware that Philip did not get to the level where God began to do exploits through him in one day. He was able to do exploits through his persistence, consistency and faith-based fellowship with God by the power of the Holy, in the following ways:

a. Prayer, fasting and worship

b. Completely obedience to God.

c. Love and Reverential relationship with God

d. Exercising strong faith (The result producing faith).

e. Absolutely surrender to God in all things.

Praise God!

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