How to be filled with the Holy Spirit
There is a spiritual loneliness, an inner aloneness, an inner place where God brings the seeker, where he is as lonely as if there were not another member of the Church anywhere in the world. Ah, when you come there, there is a darkness of mind, an emptiness of heart, a loneliness of soul, but it is preliminary to the daybreak. O God, bring us, somehow, to the daybreak!
Here is how to receive. First, present your body to Him (Rom. 12:1, 2). God can’t fill what He can’t have. Now I ask you: Are you ready to present your body with all of its functions and all that it contains—your mind, your personality, your spirit, your love, your ambitions, your all? That is the first thing. That is a simple, easy act—presenting the body. Are you willing to do it?
Now the second thing is to ask (Luke 11:9-11), and I set aside all theological objections to this text. They say that is not for today. Well, why did the Lord leave it in the Bible then? Why didn’t He put it somewhere else; why did He put it where I could see it if He didn’t want me to believe it? It is all for us, and if the Lord wanted to do it, He could give it without our asking, but He chooses to have us ask. “Ask of me, and I will give thee” is always God’s order; so why not ask?
Acts 5:32 tells us the third thing to do. God gives His Holy Spirit to them that obey Him. Are you ready to obey and do what you are asked to do? What would that be? Simply to live by the Scriptures as you understand them. Simple, but revolutionary.
The next thing is, have faith (Gal. 3:2). We receive Him by faith as we receive the Lord in salvation by faith. He comes as a gift of God to us in power. First He comes in some degree and measure when we are converted; otherwise we couldn’t be converted. Without Him we couldn’t be born again, because we are born of the Spirit.
But I am talking about something different now, an advance over that. I am talking about His coming and possessing the full body and mind and life and heart, taking the whole personality over, gently, but directly and bluntly, and making it His, so that we may become a habitation of God through the Spirit.
Aiden Wilson Tozer, The Best of A.W. Tozer Book One (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007), 212–213.