When we paused yesterday, we had started to consider the difference between the Peter we see in Luke's gospel, and the Peter that we see in Acts --- huge difference in the man!
What caused that difference?
Quick answer --- Acts chapter two: the filling of the Holy Spirit! Peter changed from someone who was afraid, to someone who was "filled with the Spirit."
The word used is a different word from one used further down in the chapter, in the phrase "filled" with wine. This "filled" has more to do with being "influenced, controlled."
Let me give an example: If I want to cut some of my quilting fabric, I must use my scissors or rotary cutter in a controlled way --- I can't just hold the cutting tool in my hand and whack away at the fabric and achieve great results. I must carefully control the tool, to achieve what I desire.
So, we can be carefully used by the Spirit, in this activity we call witnessing. You see, when the person you are speaking to can sense that you know what you're talking about, it's much easier to get their attention. They will actually want to listen!
How can you be filled?
1. Self examination -- this takes time; in daily prayer and Bible study
2. Confession -- get cleansed. You and I need to ask God to bring our sin to
mind; then name it. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. Repentance -- more than just an "I'm sorry" but a turning away from
4. Ask God to fill you -- Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give
good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
When I'm helping my hubby with a project, and that project requires him to pick up some tiny new parts and place them carefully into an electronic assembly, I can't hand him the same gloves that he used to protect his hands while packing grease into a tractor wheel-bearing, can I? Well, you also can't expect our Father to slip His hand into a dirty glove (us, with un-confessed sin) and do His work.
But when we are cleansed and filled with the Holy Spirit, our fears will subside, and God can use us.
Thanks for sticking with me --- we'll continue on Monday, OK? Have a blessed weekend!