The Church has many means of graces: prayer, the Word, corporate fellowship. As John Piper puts it, we have a â€śwaterfall of graceâ€ť. Why can we stand under this waterfall and yet remain so dry? We put up umbrellas, hindrances to the Spirit's filling:
Incredulity (Unbelief) There are those who come to church weekly, yet remain dead in their sins. They come for all the wrong reasons, hidden reefs at love feasts (Jude 12). If you are not indwelt and regenerated by the Spirit, you cannot be filled with Him, regardless of your denomination, creeds, or knowledge.
Ignorance Many of us think we don't need to be filled with the Spirit. We are like the disciples of Mark 9, relying on our flesh. Yet this kind comes out only by prayer and fasting. We have many fancy schemes; what we need is the Spirit. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they know they need help. We must have an all-absorbing desire to be filled.
Indolence (Sloth) Prov 15:19, 20:4, 21:25, 26:13-14, 26:16 We may say we desire to be filled with the Spirit, and yet not do anything about. It's not enough to crave or have good intentions. In times of grace, we go and do other things. We refuse to work, refuse to be in the Word. We make all these excuses to appropriate these means of grace.
Idolatry We are so dry because there is sin or an idol that needs to be repented of. Like Achan, we leave idols. We are concerned with the wrong house (Haggai 1). We must examine our hearts. What occupies our imagination? What will we not give up? God is jealous for our time, our affections, for His Spirit that dwells in us (James 4).
The solution? Repent and believe the Gospel. Humble yourself and seek God and pray.
Ryan Case has a passion to see the lost ushered into the Kingdom of God, as well as to see Christ's redeemed grow in all knowledge and grace. His 'heroes of the faith' include John Piper, D.A. Carson, and C.H. Spurgeon. Ryan graduated from the Toronto Baptist Seminary and was...