Acts 8:14-16 – When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had accepted God’s message of life, they sent Peter and John to pray over them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. For they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and were yet to have the Holy Spirit fall upon them. As soon as Peter and John arrived, they laid their hands on the Samaritan believers, one after another, and the Holy Spirit fell and filled each one of them!
A number of years ago I was asked to speak at a Christian fellowship on the campus of Clemson University. It was going to be two nights of meetings. As the first service started I really had an expectancy of something great about to take place. Several hundred college students had gathered and were worshipping with great enthusiasm. I decided to speak that night about a second filling with the Spirit I experienced twenty years after my salvation and sixteen years after I had been pastoring. (Yeah, I pioneered Victory as a four year old Christian). Shortly after I began to speak there were several outbursts, several students ran out of the service and others began yelling insults at me. Come to find out many of the students believed that receiving Christ was it, there were no more fillings after that. Today’s passage shows the distinct difference between the work of the Spirit in salvation and His work in subsequent fillings. The Samaritans were born again by the Spirit and then they were filled with the Spirit after the apostles came to Samaria and laid hands on them.
Obviously my second night of meetings were cancelled even though many on that first night received a touch from the Lord. Having preconceived ideas about the work of the Lord can seriously hinder your ability to receive.
I have come to the conclusion that not only do we need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit after conversion, we also need multiple fillings with the Spirit. I confirmed that in my own life when I was powerfully touched by the Holy Spirit in 1994 after pastoring for sixteen years. I needed to receive, I needed to receive again and again in order to be satisfied myself as well as in a spiritual condition to minister to others. If you haven’t discovered continual filling yet start with the prayer language. Paul said we could be continually filled by speaking to ourselves with spiritual songs. From reading Paul’s letters this definitely included singing in the Spirit. Go ahead and give it a try, a good filling may be just what you need.