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Filling Your Lamp

Mike Connell

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Filling Your Lamp  

Sun 1st Apr 2012 PM

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Jesus will come again, and there's things that He wants us to be busy doing. It's not come to Jesus, fill in my life, and then go to heaven. This is so far from the plan of God as to be quite a deception. God wants your life to be powerfully engaged in advancing His kingdom. He wants you to be filled with the Holy Ghost & moving! So we share with you 3 parables, each one has something to tell us.

If you open your Bible just for a moment, I'm going to share something just briefly, and then I want to pray for people tonight, going to get people filled with the Holy Ghost aye? Get people filled with the Holy Ghost! I just want to pick up where I was speaking on this morning, [Having a Full Lamp] and I was sharing on a parable, one of the great parables in Matthew 25; and Jesus spoke, and the disciples had asked to hear Him, and they said: when are you going to come again, because they were already were aware that He was about to depart - and said: when will you return? What's the sign at the end of the age? What's the sign of you coming; and He began to describe it all.

One of the things is absolutely clear, Jesus will come again, and there's things that He wants to be busy doing. It's not, I come to Jesus, fill in my life, and then go to heaven. This is so far from the plan of God as to be quite a deception. That's not God's plan for you. God wants your life to be powerfully engaged in advancing His kingdom. He wants you to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and moving; and so we share with you three parables. One of the parables is the parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins. One is the parable of the talents; one is a parable of a story concerning how God will judge the nations. Each one's got something to tell us, now here's the thing.

This one here - I'm not going to go through the whole story, I'd encourage you to read it yourself, but this is what happened. He said: at midnight (verse 6), there was a cry heard; Behold, the bridegroom is coming. Go out and meet him; and the virgins, all of them, five wise, five foolish, rose and trimmed their lamps; and the foolish said to the wise: give us your oil, some of your oil, our lamp is going out. And the wise said: no, buy for yourself; and then those that were ready - some went out to buy, and those who were ready went into the wedding when the Lord came, and then the door was shut.

So I'm not going through all of it. If you want to know about that parable, read [Having a Full Lamp ~ Sun 1st Apr 2012 AM]. What I want to do is highlight one thing. It says that these foolish virgins, they suddenly become aware that they lacked substance of God in their life. They lacked vision, they lacked the flow of the Holy Spirit. They lacked anointing and activity of the Holy Ghost in their life. They lacked oil for their lamps; so the Bible describes them as virgins. In other words, they are people that have been set aside for the Lord, set aside to serve God; and each one of them had a lamp, pictures or is typical of your works, your life, your ministry - let your light shine before men; and in order to get the lamp burning, in order to have influence in the community, in order to influence lives with the life of God, they needed to have oil.

They needed a supply of oil, the anointing of the Holy Ghost, and the thing that they suddenly realised was, they had not given time and attention to building a supply of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Now let me just talk a little bit about that, and I want to give you some simple, practical things that can change your life if you'll do them. I want you to get filled with the Holy Ghost, and a staple. I don't want any one of us to say that our lamp is going out, our influence is dimming, we're not showing up like we could show up. We don't have much life and anointing of the Holy Ghost, and I want your life to change.

My life was radically changed by the Holy Ghost. When I got the Holy Ghost, came into my life and I got filled with the spirit, my life began a radical change. I started to change on the inside. I started to change on the outside, and I changed for the better; and I have come to love the Holy Spirit. I've come to really, really love Him. The Bible says in Romans 14: the kingdom of heaven is not about eating and drinking, and keeping rules and how you dress, how you look; but it's about right standing with God, peace with God and in your heart, absence of conflict, and joy that the Holy Ghost gives.

One of the most strong characteristics, if you've got a lamp that's full of oil, is your light will shine brightly; and how will it shine? One of the ways it shines brightly is on your face. I look at a lot of people, and it would seem to me that they're incredibly depressed. I look at a lot of believers, and it would seem to me they don't look much like what they're supposed to look like. The Bible says of Jesus, in Hebrews Chapter 1: He was anointed with the oil of gladness, above everyone else. What does that mean? I'll put it very simply. He smiled the biggest smile you could ever see. There was joy in his life. He lived a joyful life in the midst of adversity, and it showed on His face. It showed on His face! There was a joy, vibrancy and a light; and He got it from a source, the Holy Ghost.

Now this is not a different Holy Ghost, to the Holy Ghost who God wants to give you, and has given you. The spirit of God, that you got in you when you received Christ, is the same one Jesus had. The anointing that came upon Him, is the same anointing that comes on you. What the difference is, what you do day by day; and so the five foolish virgins said: we want you to give us some of what you have.

Oh my, I've been in lots of places and people say: I want what you have; and usually what I end up having to say to them is: pay the price, and you can have it. Pay the price, and you can have it. There is a price to pay, to carry the life of God. There's a price. It's an internal price. It's something to do with the kind of life you live secretly before God. Jesus said: you pray in secret, God will to reward you openly. Fast in secret, god will reward you openly. Give in secret, God will reward you openly; and so there's a lifestyle to live in the sight of God, that enables you to carry joy and vitality before men.

My conclusion, after years of ministry, is that we don't really need great new things for God to do in our life. All we need to do is use what we've been given. For most people, the reality of the spirit world is not very strong for them, and part of the reason is because very simply, they don't just do the basics to get full of the Holy Ghost, to get full of the Holy Ghost. Don't you think God wants you to be full of the Holy Ghost? If you're not full of the Holy Ghost, you'll be full of depression, full of religion. [Laughs] Holy Ghost came! That's what Jesus came to fight against was religion; people that have got a form of godliness, but there's no life inside them! No joy! No vibrancy! Just depressed and living under oppressions of spirits.

Listen: the spirit world is a reality. Whether you believe it or not is irrelevant. There is a real spirit world. There is a real activity of demonic spirit; and let me just make it really personal - there's at least a half a dozen that have you in their sights. Now that's a stirring thought isn't it? Why would you think, that out of all the people in the world, the demons wouldn't pick on you, and try and steal your destiny, and steal what God has for you?

This is just part of the world we live in. We live in a fallen world. Jesus came to expose the works of the devil, and to get us filled with the Holy Ghost, and then He said: listen to me. He said: I will give you authority, and you will tread on serpents and scorpions, over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you. You'll have a different kind of life. It's a life full of the Holy Ghost. He wants you to have that, so what stops you? Does God stop you? Not at all. Only two things that stop us; one is the activity of demons, who fill your mind with rubbish; and the other is the activity of yourself, choosing to believe the wrong things, and not doing the right things. They're really quite simple.

You know a lot of people would love to be able to play an instrument, but the majority of people, even if they have a gift, don't give themselves to the discipline needed in their life to excel, and so they never become great. It's just really as simple as that. So I've looked around - have you ever thought, I wonder why it is that God seems to favour that person? Why is it they seem to be so blessed? It would seem like God actually is partial, and has favourites. The answer is no, He doesn't have favourites, but He does pour His grace out on people and who He chooses. But there's what is a secret life, that you and I must have, if we want to walk in the freedom and life of the Holy Ghost. You've got to choose it. I'll tell you what - I've made a choice. Sometimes it's not easy, but I've made the choice, that the life filled with the Holy Ghost is a better life than a life of depression. I used to live depressed all the time, go to parties and drink, but none of it ever helped. You wake up the next day still depressed, and you're sick as well - not very good at all. Tell, you what, we need the Holy Ghost, but oh, that wonderful Holy Ghost, that God gives. Would you love to know - and keys to being filled with the Holy Spirit are so very, very simple.

Here's the thing I can guarantee: I can guarantee tonight, if you were to take on-board these keys, your life will change, absolutely your life will change and would it change for the better? It will change for the better, but you would need to be applying these things into your life, day by day by day, until you start to see the change. I'll just give them to you very, very simply. They're not hard and it's not rocket science. In Ephesians, Chapter 5 verse 18 it says this: Don't be drunk with wine. It doesn't say, don't have any wine at all; just says: don't be drunk with wine; and for some people that means don't have any [Laughs], because once they start, they can't stop - bit like chocolate you see. But you have a look at the problems. We've got like so many young people today, they're struggling. They have one drink - Lyn won't have one drink. If you ask Lyn, she will have no drink, no drink shall pass her lips, because she understands what happens when you go down that route, and she's made a decision: I'll be filled with the Holy Ghost, but I won't be full of wine.

So don't be drunk. That word drunk is the word methowo, like a metho, under the influence. He says: don't be drunk with wine, but rather here's the contrast to being drunk, and being under the influence of spirits; it is to get full of the Holy Ghost. Get your life full of the Holy Ghost. So speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual song - let me give you four or five simple things that will help you get full of the Holy Ghost; and I can guarantee, if you just persevere through these, and continually work on them, then your life is going to change.

Here's number one, and I gave that to Jo. I went up to Jo and I said: Jo, you're quite gifted, but you know something? I said you're drawn back inside yourself, and the real you isn't coming out, and if the real you doesn't come out, then we never get to meet the real you. We get to meet the pretending-you, and so what I did was, got her to do this thing: pray in tongues. There's one of the keys to getting full of the Holy Ghost, learn to pray strongly in tongues every day, regularly every day, and during the day. Learn to pray in tongues. Why? One Corinthians 14, once you pray in tongues, the spirit of God is praying through you, your spirit is praying, you begin to arise on the inside. I guarantee it. Just that one activity of itself, praying in tongues. If you don't know how to pray in tongues, haven't got the gift of tongues, you wouldn't want to go home without it, because the gift given to you to build your spirit man, so I pray in tongues [Prays in tongues], and I allow myself - I give myself to it. I get my body working, and I allow myself to come alive on the inside with the Holy Ghost, see.

What happens is, you stir your spirit man. Most people live out of their body and their soul, and their mind and emotions, instead of letting their spirit arise. I looked and I saw in these last few weeks with Jo, and I saw there she is, the life of God is flowing out. I can feel her spirit touching us. She's full of the Holy Ghost, absolutely wonderful, the joy and the countenance, the light on the countenance. It's where it first shows, whatever's in you shows on your face. So number one, get praying in tongues, and get praying in tongues regularly. Get up every day, and begin to build that flow of praying in the spirit. If you're praying in the spirit you can't help get filled up. Something has got to go - and I don't mean mumbling in the spirit. [Mumbles] No, this is not going to cut it. Kingdom of heaven suffers violence. Strong people push in, and get a hold of us aye, so start to pray and pray strongly. Get up and begin to pray. Shake your body, shake yourself, that you hear your voice. Hear your voice! Let your voice out! [Prays in tongues]

Now I didn't use to be like that. I used to mumble away myself. I broke out of all of that; so number one - that's number one. Here's number two: meditate in the word of God. Meditate in the word of God, and there's several ways of meditating, or using the word of God, but here's one thing you could do. Get the word of God, and start to read and pray it over your life. Pray it over your life. Thank you Lord, you are filling me with might in the inner man, by the Holy Ghost. I am filled with might today. Thank you Lord. Today you're filling me with might. You're filling my spirit with life.

Begin to speak God's word over your life. Speak it and speak it strongly, speak it clearly, and believe what you are saying. See, you say: well I didn't feel that. I didn't feel very much at all. Therein is the problem of course, you're living from your feelings rather than living out of your spirit. Now there is a place for your feelings, but your feelings will follow what you believe; and so if your believing changes, your feelings will change. I guarantee it. You start to do the things you need to do, your life will change. You can do it. You can do it. You've just got to make the choice. You see the outcome, the other side, is full of the Holy Ghost, full of the Holy Ghost, full of the Holy Ghost, hearing from God, enjoying God, starting to live a different life, a better life, starting to have an influence you haven't had before. So there's two things straight away, two things straight away: praying the word of God, so get your Bible out and start to pray things. Pray out of Ephesians, pray out of Revelations, pray the word God. Start to speak God's word over your life. Take the word of God and begin to picture: thank you Lord, you are filling me with might in my inner man. I thank you the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me, filling me. I thank you today, my whole body is full of life and energy. Pray that kind of way - you'll find it's a different way, if you're not used to it, but what happens is, as you give yourself to this, what happens is, everything in you begins to change. You can do this. This is nothing like it's very hard, or anything like that. So there's a couple of things you could do.

Let me give you two or three other things then we'll finish up. We'll start to pray together and pray and lay hands on a few people. Here's another thing you can do, and its this: learn how practice talking to, and appreciating, the Holy Spirit. So what I've shared of course has been quite sort of strong, but you need to be strong to push stuff away from you; but in practice actually being thankful and appreciative ,and starting to talk with the Holy Spirit as a person, this will really help you. You see most of us, we become conscious or aware of all kinds of things. You become conscious of your body, you're hungry, you're tired, you're whatever; but we can focus our attention, and begin to be appreciative.

Now I've learnt something very simple. The Bible tells us that honour and gratitude give you access to God. Dishonour and ingratitude cause his presence to move away, and you go into darkness, Romans 1:21. So that makes it very simple, and it works in every area of life. If I will honour people and appreciate them, I will gain access to them. If I dishonour or disrespect them, and show ingratitude and take them for granted, then they will move away from me. This is a powerful principle in life, and so I guarantee if people are moving away in some place, there's disrespect and lack of appreciation. Restore that back into the relationship and it'll begin to shift again.

So applying that to our relationship with God, if I will begin to just talk with Him: thank you Holy Spirit. I thank you you're living in me. Thank you, today you are joined in me. You are empowering me. I yield and surrender to you Holy Spirit. I so appreciate you. Come and speak to me today. Come and talk with me, come and fellowship with me. Come and show me the ways of Jesus, show me things from the word of God - and you begin to talk, and not talk loud and strong, but talk gently. Talk consciously, like you're addressing a person, like you're just someone that close to you, and you're talking with them as a real person. See most believers, most Christians forget the spirit of God is living inside them. We think and live out of our experiences of being alone and lonely, instead of actually living out of the new reality: I am never alone, ever again.

God is in me and with me, so you begin to meditate on that. You begin to think. You can do that even in a car, begin to pray in tongues; one minute praying in tongues, and then beginning to talk and say: thank you Holy Spirit. I feel your presence here. Here's the next thing, the fourth thing you can do, is very, very simply, just practice yielding to Him, and that's quite simple to do. Holy Spirit, I just yield every part of me today. I yield my spirit, each and every part of my spirit. I yield and surrender to you today - and then go through each part of your body, and begin to yield it to Him. Learn to let go control.

So here's the last one; practice dealing with issues in your life very quickly. In Ephesians 4:30, it tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit; so you can actually grieve the Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, don't quench the Holy Spirit. So the activity of the Holy Spirit in your life, you can hurt Him or grieve Him, and make Him terribly heartbroken about you by certain things. The kinds of things that make Him heartbroken are usually attitudes to people; so in Ephesians 4 it tells us: don't let there be bitterness. Don't let there be anger. Don't let there be resentment. Don't let there be these things in your heart, because they will grieve the kindness and goodness of the Holy Spirit. So when you start to deal with issues of your heart, very quickly, anything comes into your heart, repent of it very quickly. You help cultivate the atmosphere of being filled with the spirit.

Don't quench the spirit. To quench the spirit means to act in ways that resist His work in your life, so let me tell you one thing that was just - trying to be cool is quenching the Holy Ghost. You want to be cool? You want to be cool with the Holy Ghost? Very simple, because when the Holy Ghost fills you, He deals with the issue of pride; and we want to look good in the face of people. So by osmosis, if you want to be cool and want to look good in the face of people, the chances are you won't be looking too good before God. So instead of looking cool, learn to let go and say: God, I just want all that you have for me. So we can quench the Holy Spirit by looking cool. We can quench the Holy Spirit by control, consciously trying to control our life and run our life, and just have God as an add on God. He's not an add-on God, so don't treat Him with disrespect.

Thank you Lord, today you're helping me in every part of my life, so that means I need to address properly any little things that go on in my heart that aren't right. You know they're not right. The moment you're aware of them, just put them right quickly; and if you practice doing these things consistently every day, your life will begin to change. Praying in the Holy Ghost, meditating on and speaking the word of God over your life, appreciating and expressing your gratitude and honour to the Holy Spirit; and becoming sensitive to Him, and then yielding, and so you let go the things that are going on in your life. If there's any issues that are wrong, you put them right very quickly. What you'll find happening - I guarantee it - is you'll start to increase in the flow of the spirit in your life.

How many feel that God's challenging you tonight about some things related to walking with him? You may be here and don't know Jesus Christ at all. If you don't know Him, you don't have his spirit, his loving spirit living in your heart; if you're living a life without God, that could all change in just a moment of time, in one decision.

What keeps us separate from God is sin, when we consciously live apart from God doing our own thing our own way, that's what sin is. What happens is, we live a life separated from God and from His spirit, and from His presence and from purpose in our life; but all of that could change in a moment. Jesus said: to everyone who received Him, He gave power to become a child of God, who believed on Him. So this is a necessity in our life, to acknowledge we have lived a sinful life, done our own thing; and to acknowledge what Christ has done, and receive Him.

I wonder if there's any person tonight, that you're at that place in your heart, and you'll say: actually I need to receive Jesus. I need to become a Christian. I need to have a change. I've tried all my own things, and it's getting nowhere fast, but tonight I believe God would change me. I believe He's able to change me. I believe He's willing to change me. I believe it'll happen if I respond. If that's you tonight, you're willing to become a Christian and receive Christ into your life, that's a great decision to make.

Perhaps you're living far from God. It's been a long time since you felt close to God. Tonight you feel God drawing on your heart, to turn from just living a backslid and lukewarm oil-less life. Lamp's nearly gone out, no sign that people could easily see that you're a believer, a follower of Christ. If God is speaking to you about that tonight, would you raise your hand and say: God's talking to me about that, I want to respond. God bless. Anyone else? God bless. God was speaking to you tonight about making steps to change, to begin to move forward, and to shift the things that are in your life, by applying some of the principles I gave you tonight.

We're going to live a powerful life to the Lord, going to start to rise up and get hold of God; and as you get a hold of Him, start to begin to focus on what your destiny is. Don't hold back. Don't be proud in your heart. Don't be worried about what people think of you. Be real with God and with yourself tonight. Praise the Lord. God, I just thank you for each one that's responded. I pray for your spirit to come upon them. Why don't we have the Pastor's leaders just to come, just lay hands on and pray and minister different ones that come forward. Let's just finish in a final song and let's thank the Lord. Jesus, lift His name up.



http://mikeconnellministries.com

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