staying filled with the spirit
"The Stephen already spoken of was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders and signs among the people." —Acts 6:8
Stephen was described as "a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5). After being falsely accused, threatened, and having people grind their teeth in anger at him (Acts 7:54), Stephen was still described as "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:55).
Many of you reading this have been filled with the Holy Spirit through baptism and confirmation. You may have been renewed in the Holy Spirit through the Life in the Spirit Seminars, a novena to the Holy Spirit, or a special renewal program. Perhaps some of you are no longer filled with the Spirit. You have stifled or saddened the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19; Eph 4:30). Unlike Stephen, when you were hurt and/or rejected, you did not continue to proclaim God's word. You took your eyes off Jesus (see Acts 7:55) and focused on your hurt or the person who hurt you. You did not forgive (see Acts 7:60), so you are no longer filled with the Spirit.
Repent of unforgiveness. Repent of taking your eyes off Jesus. Be refilled with the Holy Spirit. Be a Stephen. Be a witness for the risen Christ. Don't center your life around your pain, but bring these hurts to Jesus. In this way, you will no longer stifle the Spirit. The Spirit in Its glory will come to rest on you (1 Pt 4:14).
Prayer: Father, may my reaction to rejection deepen my life in the Spirit.
Promise: "This is the work of God: have faith in the One Whom He sent." —Jn 6:29
Praise: St. John urged, "Be driven by the love of God then, because Jesus Christ died for all."
Reference: (Pentecost is coming. Order our leaflet Praying for a New Pentecost or our audio tapes AV 92A-1, AV 92A-3, AV 92B-1 or our video series of two tapes that starts with V-92A.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007
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