Ask Your Preacher
How do I know I am filled with the Holy Spirit?
Dear Feeling Empty,
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit that allowed people to perform miracles was received through the direct laying on of hands of the apostles (Acts 8:17-18). This dwelling of the Holy Spirit no longer exists because it died off with the last person that the last apostle laid his hands upon.
Christians do have the Holy Spirit dwell in them (Rom 8:9) – but not literally. The Holy Spirit dwells in christians in the same metaphorical way that Christ dwells in christians (Rom 8:10). The Holy Spirit and Jesus do not physically dwell inside christians miraculously. They dwell within christians in a figurative way because a christian’s life follows the path the Holy Spirit and Christ set for them.
The Holy Spirit dwells in those that follow the Bible and put to death their previous sinful lifestyles (Rom 8:12-14). The Holy Spirit gave us the Bible, and when we follow it, we are led by the Spirit. Those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God, and the Spirit dwells in them (Rom 8:14-16).
How do I let go of guilty feelings that haunt me all the time for any and all wrong I've done throughout my life, regardless of how wrong the act. I've repented and asked forgiveness and honestly feel remorse. I know Jesus forgives and forgets, but how do I forget? It keeps me from feeling like I bettered myself by doing right, and I am not worthy of God's blessings. I feel He should bless others who are more worthy.
Please guide me in the right direction to accept my forgiveness from our Savior.
What you are asking is one of the most difficult things in life – forgiving yourself. Like all things, God is better at forgiveness than we are. Many people hold on to the guilt and shame of sin far too keenly. God tells us that there are several things to remember:
- Even if your heart condemns you, God keeps His promises. On the Judgment Day, we will be judged by God’s standards, not whether or not we feel worthy (1 Jn 3:20).
- We can reassure our own hearts that we have been forgiven when we study and live by the truth of the Bible (1 Jn 3:18-20). The more we immerse ourselves in God’s teachings, the quicker we begin to realize that forgiveness isn’t about being worthy… but about having faith in the mercy of God.
- Another way to look at your problem is to remember that saying, “I can’t believe God will forgive me” is the same as saying, “I don’t believe that Jesus’ sacrifice was enough”. That may sound harsh, but our forgiveness is based upon Jesus’ blood (Col 2:14). It is an act of faith in Jesus to accept our own forgiveness.
All in all, self-forgiveness takes time… just like all areas of growth.
How do you know if God is telling you to do something or if it is just a thought? Thank you.
Trying Not To Overthink It
Dear Trying Not To Overthink It,
God speaks to us through His Word. If we want to know God’s desire for our life, we must use the Bible to get our instructions. Faith comes from the Word (Rom 10:17), and the Bible contains all the information we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). If we want to understand what God wants for us, we can find the truth in the sum of His Word (Ps 119:160). Prophecies and visions are no longer given to people directly (1 Cor 13:8). Instead, God speaks to us through the teachings of His Son (Heb 1:1). It is normal for our emotions and desires to send us conflicting messages; that is exactly why God tells us to not trust ourselves or any “voice” that some churches tell us to listen for (Pr 3:5). Trust God’s Word, and it will be a lamp to your feet (Ps 119:105).
The human mind is a complex and wondrous thing (Ps 139:14). It is perfectly normal for our mind to make mental connections as we pray, study, sleep, etc. Those mental images aren’t visions; they are just your own thoughts as your mind meditates upon what you have said, read, or heard.
Do angels and demons appear to people today?
Keeping My Eyes Peeled
Dear Keeping My Eyes Peeled,
There is absolutely no way of knowing whether or not angels and demons appear to people today, but we do know that they don’t make themselves evident by demon possession or angels coming with new messages from God. Gal 1:8 says that angels have no new message to provide us with, and therefore, there is no need to visit people in the unmasked fashion they once did. In the days of the Old Testament, God spoke to mankind in various forms, including through angels, but now we only need to listen to His Son (Heb 1:1-2).
If the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are considered to be one in the Bible, than why don't we worship the Trinity instead of just one God?
Dear Multiplying Worship,
There are three members of the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). Each of the three is fully God and have all the powers of Deity. Read “The Father, The Son, & The Holy Spirit” for details on their relationship one to the other. We worship all three members of the Godhead. Jesus received worship (Matt 28:9). We are told to worship through the Holy Spirit (Php 3:3), and we pray to the Father (Lk 11:2). All members of the Godhead are worthy of praise and glory.