The Book of Acts teaches four things about our experience of the Spirit and what the Spirit is doing when He comes upon us.
First, the Holy Spirit creates unity among us without producing uniformity. When the Spirit of God enters us, we do not become clones. In fact, the Scriptures say that the Spirit places great variety in the Body of Christ—varieties of ministry, personality, ministerial office––all flowing out of the one Spirit. The Spirit ministers to us the life of Jesus, which is the source of our unity, but He also brings us to Christlikeness without making us “cookies” cut in the exact same shape.
Second, the Spirit taps the potential in our life that no one or nothing else can reach. No one’s life is ever the same after having encountered the Holy Spirit. No person in the New Testament would have ever realized the potential in his life unless the Holy Spirit had been upon him. No matter what our talents and personalities are, and no matter how much energy we bring to any particular assignment or task, only the Holy Spirit can touch the depths of potential in our lives and draw it forth for the Kingdom of God.
Third, the Spirit is always leading us in two dimensions simultaneously. He’s always leading us deeper into God and He’s always leading us out into the world. The Spirit’s desire is to make us more spiritual, more Godly, more like Jesus. He wants to lead us deeper into God. At the same time, the Spirit leads us out into the world, because God loves the world. The Father gave His Son to save the world. Jesus told us to go into the world, but He said we cannot go unless the Spirit comes upon us. He told the disciples to wait for the Spirit.
Fourth, the Holy Spirit is indeed a Person and as such, you can resist Him, ignore Him or welcome Him. He waits to be received; He waits to be invited. Jesus said to ask the Father and He will give you the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will not storm down the door of your life. He seeks an invitation. We must ask, seek and knock and welcome the Spirit.
Adapted from George O. Wood, Living in the Spirit: Drawing Us to God, Sending Us to the World (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2009).