This article is a re-post from a campaign/emphasis we did at Hayward Wesleyan called “Ablaze for God.” We did a series of devotionals for that week on a blog you can find here. I wrote a few of those devotionals that I recently re-read and thought I should re-post one of them here:
What if Culvers came to town? I’ve heard this rumor often in my short time in Hayward. What if the rumor was true and the backhoes started digging, foundations were placed, the building structure went up, the lights were turned on, the food smell was wafting through town, the cashiers were ready, but the doors remained locked? And not just one day, but three days, and then a week, and then almost a month! What were they doing?! Why go through all that trouble to create an amazing restaurant, cook the food, and then NOT open up and share it?! That’s crazy!
Exactly! This would be the difference between being “indwelt” with the Spirit versus being “infilled” with the spirit. The indwelling of the Spirit of God happens when a person opens up their heart to God in faith through Jesus. The Holy Spirit builds a home in the heart of that faith-filled person. It is like the creation and existence of a Culvers restaurant in Hayward. We are all excited that the Spirit just made a new home in the heart of another child of God!
If, however, that is all the faith-filled person did, then that would be a shame. Why? Well, it is a little like having this amazing, Culver-aroma snaking around town, but not being able to eat anything. The Holy Spirit is inside your heart, but nothing happens. Culvers was built to serve greasy hamburgers and tasty frozen treats! The Holy Spirit indwells in order to infill!
The infilling of the Holy Spirit means that he opens up shop in your heart. You become a beacon of light and hope for the world around you because you have allowed the anointing presence of the Spirit of God to shine in your life. Infilling is when you allow the Spirit to coarse through every thought and intention of the heart and live out of His power and strength and not our own. Being infilled with the indwelt Spirit is a lot like unlocking the doors to Culvers and ordering that/those…whatever.
Culvers exists not to be a building, but a provision of food and beverages to Hayward and beyond. The Holy Spirit infills, not to merely indwell, but to take a human heart and be a launching pad of God’s power and presence to Hayward and beyond.