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March 15, 2014

Fortify means to make strong or stronger; to strengthen against attack; to support, and to build military defenses. On our own, we cannot engage the enemy in warfare successfully, but with the Holy Spirit empowering us, we can do damage in the enemies’ camp. This is why God had a plan for His Spirit to be involved in the lives of every believer.

Let me share some necessary information concerning the Holy Spirit. Before his crucifixion, Jesus talked to His disciples about his departure and told them God was going to send them a comforter when He was gone. The word comforter in the Greek means one called alongside to help, assist, and bring comfort when and where needed (Luke 24:49; John 14: 26). He also called this comforter the Spirit of truth (John 14:17). On the day of His ascension, Jesus’ last instruction to his disciples was to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, which was the Holy Spirit. He explained that when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they would receive power. As recorded in Acts 2, the disciples and other followers of Jesus adhered to His instructions and on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came. The bible says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

As believers, we know the Holy Spirit, which is holy and sacred, is the part of God that infills man. It is GOD IN US. Paul, in his writings to the church of Ephesus, tells them not to be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). To carry out the mission that God has for every believer on this earth, they need the power that only the Holy Spirit provides. Peter recognized this fact when he prayed for boldness for the disciples to witness, which resulted in those assembled with him receiving a refilling (Acts 4:29 – 31).

Throughout the Bible, there were four relationships noted between God and man. Three are characteristic of the Old Testament. They were: God for them, God on/upon them, and God with them. However, in the New Testament believers have God in them. As recorded in the book of Acts which contains the historical account of people that received the Holy Spirit, the visual and audible sign that believers had received the infilling of the Holy Spirit was their ability to speak in an unknown tongue. As stated in Acts 2:4; 10:44-46 and 19:6, they were filled first, and then they began to speak with tongues as the Spirit gave them the words. So, speaking in an unknown tongue is not the Holy Spirit but a sign that you have been filled.
As I previously stated the Holy Spirit in a believer empowers or fortifies them. In addition to this, the Holy Spirit functions in many other capacities in our lives. Here are some of them:
1. Teacher (John 14:26; 1Corinthians 2:13)
2. Guide and revealer (John 16:13; 1Corinthians 2:9-12)
3. Adoption (John 1:12-13; Romans 8:14 – 16)
4. Imparts spiritual gifts (1Corinthians 12:4,11)
5. Regenerates and quickens (Romans 8:10-11)
6. Convicts of sin (John 16:8-11)
7. Constrainer (Acts16:6-7)
8. Anoints (Luke 4:18)
9. Giver of life (John 6:63)
10. Sanctifies (1Corinthians 6:11)
11. Produces fruit (Galatians 5:22-23)
Knowing all the benefits that the Holy Spirit provides, I encourage you today if you have not received the Holy Spirit as the followers of Jesus did in the book of Acts, to do so. God wants you to be a victorious vessel used by Him to witness to a dying world. All you have to do is ask Him and by faith receive. He welcomes your request and will gladly respond to it (Luke 11:13).

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