I often hear people say that a church is “Spirit filled”. I am normally curious about statements like that so I will often ask them to tell what is it about the church that leads them to believe that it is Spirit filled. Often times, those statements are based upon the signs that a church will exhibit – jumping up and down, crying out, dancing, tongues, prophesy, etc. We know that the Bible clearly states that those are all gifts of the Spirit, so it makes sense that Christians and churches and and do receive those gifts. But, is that what really makes a church “Spirit filled”?
Many churches and Christians can exhibit those signs, but are they truly from the Spirit or are they man made? Can there really be crying with no tears? Can there be tongues with no interpretation? Can there be prophesy with no confirmation? Hear my heart, I am not criticizing any Christian or church. There are many true and sincere people and churches that exhibit the gifts of the Spirit and I believe that it is a blessing to all.
But, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:1-4, “13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.” Paul tells us that the gifts of the Spirit are nothing without the fruits of the Spirit.
Personally, I believe that a Spirit filled church and Christian is one who exhibits the fruit of the Spirit even without the gifts. A Spirit filled church is one where you can feel the Spirit in the form of fruits, not just see in in the form of gifts. As you look over the life of Jesus, we see that He spent far more time exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit than He did the gifts of the Spirit. Yes, we read of prophesy, people being healed and miracles. But what we read of most is Jesus loving people, forgiving people, being gentle to people and being kind to people.
I believe that it is the fruit that makes us Spirit filled. So, as you look at churches and people, as you decide if they are “Spirit filled or not”, ask yourself what makes them “Spirit filled”. Is it the signs that are exhibited? Or, is it what is being poured out of their soul?
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!