Obtaining the Fullness of The Holy Spirit
by Dr. Ken Matto
The subject of the fullness of the Holy Spirit is a touchy subject in today’s theologically oriented church. The fullness to the Charismatic (charismatic comes from the Greek word "charisma" which means a gift of grace or that which is freely given) means the speaking in of other tongues or some kind of miracle. To a non-charismatic, it may simply be living a yielded spiritual life. This subject is often neglected in many churches, thus robbing the people of living a Christ centered, victorious Christian life. The Holy Spirit was not given to the believer on a rental basis, by that I mean, to pick and choose the times in which a person becomes spiritual. This means your job and home life should be as spiritual as your Sunday church experience.


One of the biggest problems which the believer faces is that they do not know how to appropriate the power and person of the Holy Spirit to live a solid Christian life. How do I obtain the fullness of the Holy Spirit? I believe the fullness is progressively obtained, as fullness will be a sign of maturity in the believer. I want to discuss five areas, when coupled together will bring the coveted fullness of spiritual living. Let me inject at this point that when a person becomes saved, at the moment of salvation, the receive the Holy Spirit in all His fullness. (Eph 1:3 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: There is never any more of the Holy Spirit to be given at a later date. The situation remains is that even though we have received all of the Holy Spirit, the question remains how do we appropriate Him into our life? It is like someone who inherits one million dollars, they have all the money, but how do they appropriate it for their benefit? Keep in mind that God gave the Holy Spirit as a gift, He didn’t give us to the Holy Spirit as a gift. The Holy Spirit is our helper, guide, comforter, and sanctifier.


Search the Scriptures
The first area I wish to concentrate on is the searching of the Scriptures. Here is the book that The Holy Spirit wrote through men whom He inspired. He will give understanding to the simplest believer. The Bible needs to be approached with faith, a seminary degree is not required, though many Bible teaches and pastors make their people feel guilty for not having one. The Holy Spirit will open a Christian’s eyes to all truth. Schooling may be a guide but to fully understand the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit goes beyond the surface interpretation and opens up hidden treasures from the Scriptures. As we continue to search the Scriptures we will also begin to see how the Bible will interpret itself, without the aid of theological books. God has provided all believers with a personal Bible instructor.


A believer may come to the Bible and see how wonderfully God has dealt with so many people in the Bible and in so many ways. If one does a general reading from the Old Testament, it may easily be seen how God really protects and cares for His people. This knowledge can lay encouraging groundwork for a person seeking the deeper spiritual life. When searching the Scriptures, a believer should keep in mind the thought from Ephesians 2:18:
(Eph 2:18 KJV) For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
The Scriptures will lay the foundation of our established relationship with God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Obey the Scriptures
The next area of concentration is that of obedience to the Scriptures. As we study the Scriptures we see that blessings accompany obedience and judgment accompanies disobedience. A person must be absolutely submissive to the Scriptures. The modern Christian fails to understand the authority of Scripture. The Scriptures were given to us by God not as a book to be dissected and analyzed but to be obeyed. Man’s intellect is always getting in the way of our obedience to Scripture. We must submit ourselves to the will of God as Christ submitted Himself on our behalf.


The believer must declare a serious war on the old nature and start exchanging his natural principles for living for spiritual principles. Here again the Holy Spirit can be our first line of defense against unholy and strong satanic suggestion which is aimed at our thought life. If Satan can get the believer to obey him instead of the Holy Spirit, then he will have a great victory, and may place another believer in the bondage of disobedience, if the believer acts incorrectly. A believer is to be fully surrendered to Christ, knowing that Satan will not cease his attacks.


Satan will use every opportunity to attack us, especially from the blind side. He uses every tactic at his disposal to get the Christian to yield to temptation. We must realize that Satan will go to all extremes to try and disarm the believer. He is so bold that he even had the guts to tempt Christ who is God. Satan knew that Christ is God because he was up in heaven before he was ejected for sin. The believer is at war and must stay alert to Satan’s snares. Obedience is very possible but one must be led of the Spirit so they may discern the difference between obeying God and obeying Satan. Many times Satan will dress up his schemes.


One good example of this is the divorce and remarriage madness that is plaguing the church. A Christian gets divorced and immediately starts dating, when they meet someone, they believe God has led them to be together. They forget that God states in many places that that is adultery (Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Romans 7:2-3) and God never leads anyone into sin.


The problem is that the church has rewritten the divorce laws. So when a divorced person marries again does it look like they are obeying Satan? Of course not but they are because God recognizes the first marriage as proper, and all others with a spouse still living as adultery. I have never heard a pro-remarriage preacher ever preach on the above four sets of verses. If a believer chooses obedience to Christ, then he will easily progress to the fullness of the Holy Spirit.


The Holy Spirit is easily grieved by sin after all he is the HOLY Spirit and the third person of the Godhead. We must always keep in mind that the Holy Spirit dwells in us and whenever we sin, we take Him into that sin. This causes us to grieve Him, which is sin itself. We must think of the Holy Spirit as a near and dear friend whom we would never want to offend. We must also view Him as Holy, Eternal God who is in us to purify us and turn us away from sin and turn us toward God.
Your Spiritual Gifts
The third area of concentration that the believer must be willing to engage in is seeking to discover their spiritual gifts. In my hearing some years ago, Dr. Charles Stanley stated, "There are two steps to developing a spiritual gift: The first is, learn to walk in the spirit; secondly, develop the characteristics." At salvation all believers receive a spiritual gift, some receive one, others more. The clue to knowing what area God would have you in is keyed to knowing your spiritual gift. A person should take an inventory of their spiritual and secular life, and then determine in what areas are the strengths and weaknesses. For example, a person might read a book or do a project, by means of using in-depth research. If a person likes to dig deep into matters, that person may have the gift of teaching.
A good teacher must dig deeper and harder into any subject. A person who analyzes and categorizes every situation in their mind may have the gift of teaching waiting to manifest itself outwardly. If the person does nothing about developing this hidden gift, they will be quenching the Holy Spirit. If this person is just contented to be a listener and not a teacher, by means of his gift, then he is abusing his spiritual gift. What I mean by abusing his spiritual gift is that he is neglecting to use it and is quenching the Holy Spirit which is sin. A very subtle form of wife abuse is when the husband always works late and the wife is home alone a majority of the time. This is neglecting the wife and is comparable to neglecting the Holy Spirit.


If God gives a person the gift of giving, then this person should not be a teacher because he is out of his sphere of spiritual gifts. God has a reason for giving certain spiritual gifts in the body and the He wants the body of Christ to be edified completely, and this will not be done if believers sequester their spiritual gifts or envy another’s spiritual gift.
Seek God’s Will to use that Gift
The fourth area of concentration which a believer must focus on is that once they discover their spiritual gift, they seek God’s will and direction on how to utilize that gift. I believe the reason that many believers are very frustrated and dissatisfied with their life is that they fear God will send them to live in a grass hut and teach the Bible to Cannibals, so they hide in a day to day job which brings them no satisfaction. Many times they give to missions believing that this is what God would have them to do as their commitment. If God places a spiritual gift in us then He has the right to expect us to use that gift in the place He assigns us, and trusting that He will provide the place and the means to sustain us there.


He has an exact place where He wants us to be, and an exact ministry whether it is in a missionary or a home office position. It doesn’t matter because all places that God’s children are assigned are missionary settings. God knows best how to distribute His children effectively to make an impact for Christ. People are too fearful of the will of God, really in essence they are saying they do not trust God. This grieves Him because He knows that He can take better care of us than we can ourselves. God waits for His children, but not forever, as He will raise up another to do the job that He had planned for His original choice.
Take Action!
The first cousin to obedience is our fifth area of concentration which is taking action once you have discovered God’s will for your life. If a person is hungry and just looks at the food, it does no good until he eats it. If God has opened the door on a ministry, then that believer is to walk through that door trusting God for the results. The Holy Spirit will direct that ministry for the believer. The fullness of the Holy Spirit is only experienced when a believer is working to further the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit filled believer will be radiant with fruit, will face the winds of adversity with confidence, because he knows that the Holy Spirit has gone before him.


(Deu 31:8 KJV) And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.


The fullness of the Holy Spirit is attained by a process of obedience and is available to every believer. It is also known as progressive sanctification which is not a process to attain salvation as salvation is by grace alone and a one time act. This is not to say the Holy Spirit is given out proportionately to match every step in our life, but rather that the Holy Spirit dwells in all His fullness in every true believer.
The whole concept of obtaining the fullness of the Holy Spirit is called the "Exchanged life." You are exchanging the things of the world for the things of God. The more you continue to love the world, the less you will experience the fullness of the Spirit. Do you think God can give peace and joy to a believer who puts their faith in the lottery? Do you think God will bless a believer who reads their horoscope, just for fun? This is occultism and it is condemned by God. Be careful what you call innocent fun, God may call it sin. As you begin to put off the old man and begin to put on the new man, then you will experience the progressive fullness of the Holy Spirit but there must be a conscious effort in the believer’s life to mortify sin.
(Rom 8:13 KJV) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.