Okay, I may ruffle some feathers with this, but here we go...
I had a friend once who refused to go to the church I attended because he wanted "to experience more of the Holy Spirit's power" than my church supposedly allowed.
As he said that, he was puffing on his fifth cigarette of the day, lying about his work situation, and I knew his closet held a stack of porn magazines. Oddly, he did not see the inconsistency.
Have you heard things like this before?
Too many people consider the working of the Holy Spirit as some sort of magic show and they want in on it. They want the flashy, exciting evidences of spirituality, as though that encapsulated the power of God. He does work with power and might. He does do miracles, give supernatural gifts, and empower his children to do more than they could do on their own.
But if you mention His power to defeat personal sin strongholds, His convicting power, His power for victory over the flesh...the audience thins instantly.
Sincere believers have different perspectives on exactly how the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in believer's lives today, but there are some things we can all agree upon. An honest search of the Scriptures reveals some true evidences of the Holy Spirit's power in a Christian's life. Consider the following evidences of a Spirit-filled life:
- Do you love to sing and worship God?(Col. 3:16)
- Are you thankful? (1 Thess. 5:17-19)
- Is your life free from besetting sins? (Eph. 5)
- Are you humbly submitting to those in authority over you? (Eph. 5:21)
- Does the Word of God come alive to you when you read it?
- Is all sin, including yours, repulsive to you? (Rom. 6, Luke 5:8, Is. 6:5)
- Do you seek God and his righteousness with all your heart? (Jer. 29:12-14)
- Are you exhibiting the nine fruits of the Spirit regularly and without fleshly effort? (Gal. 5:22)
- Does your passion and free time center on the things of God?
We've all see the decadence on television and heard the heresies spouted by supposedly "spirit-filled" leaders, but when we hold those lives up beside the quiet servitude of the Lord Jesus, the truth is painfully obvious.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power and desire to become more and more like Jesus. So it's really not difficult to identify a false prophet: If you don't see the character of Jesus in someone's life, neither are you seeing the Holy Spirit.