I was recently at a great church preaching a seminar. There were many people there who were hungry for God, but there were many other members not hungry who should have been hungry. Many were leadership. I believe people in leadership should keep themselves hungry for a move of God. Don’t you want your leaders hungry for God? Don’t you want your leaders experiencing a Spirit Filled Life? I want to pastor a church hungry and thirsty for God.

THE SPIRIT FILLED LIFE
By Pastor Delbert Young

Are You Hungry?

Are You Hungry?

Scriptures: Acts 2:4, Acts 10:45-46, Acts 19:2, 6, 1 Corinthians 14:18, Acts 1:4-5, Acts 10:1-2, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 18:24-26, Acts 1:5, Acts 19:1-7

We titled our first lesson ‘You Da Man.’ In that lesson, we saw that Jesus said the Spirit of the Lord had anointed him to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken hearted, set the captives free, open the eyes of the blind, and preach the acceptable day of the Lord. Jesus was saying that day that he was the man. He was the awaited Messiah. After his ascension, the Spirit came upon the believers. The Job of the Holy Spirit is to change the believer into the image of Christ (2Co 3:18). Today ‘You Da Man.’ Our second lesson was titled ‘Fill Er Up.’ We are not to be drunk with wine and things of excess, but we are to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18-21). We can be drunk, or filled, with lust or anger or greed or laziness or with being a gluten, etc. We allow other things to fill us and we lose our fire for God. The antidote is to be filled with the Spirit. We saw that ‘be filled with the Spirit is an imperative command in the passive voice. This means we are the receivers of the command. We must put ourselves in a position to be filled. We ask the Lord to ‘Fill Er Up.’

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

1 Corinthians 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

Though touchy and difficult to be “politically correct” about it, tongues must be discussed when teaching about the ‘Spirit Filled Life.’ I do want to say this again. Speaking in tongues is not the seal of a “Spirit filled life.” We know this is true because of what Paul writes in one Corinthians and two Corinthians. There were lots of tongue talkers, but also lots of sin. The fruit of the Spirit would be a far greater evidence of a Spirit filled life. However as we see in the scriptures, tongues can be a part of a Spirit filled life. Do I believe that we must speak in tongues to be saved? Absolutely not. I don’t see that in the Bible. I do believe tongues are something the believer can enjoy today if we so desire.

Some in this congregation are saying, “Great, this needs to be taught. I am happy that the pastor is going to teach about tongues. Maybe we can get that fire back again.” Others are saying, “Should this be taught on a Sunday morning? It is controversial and I don’t want anyone offended if they do not believe in tongues.” Still others are saying, “I’ll never speak in tongues. I don’t care what he says.”

To the last group, the group that said, “I’ll never speak in tongues,” let me say that once I said that. Today I am more like Paul and say I speak in tongues more than ye all. I have been speaking in tongues since 1978 and today I speak with tongues nearly every day of my life. That doesn’t mean that you should or that you ever will. I will never think less of you if you never speak with tongues and I hope you will not think less of me because I do. However, personally, I like it.

To those who are concerned that I am teaching this on Sunday’s, I remind you that most people come to Life Gate looking for the Spirit. If they are here a few Sundays, they will hear me speak in tongues anyway. People are smart and they can discern between truth and error, between hype and the Spirit.

Book

I wrote a little book about receiving the Holy Spirit and tongues several years ago. It is titled, “Have You Received the Holy Spirit Since You Believed?” The title is taken from a conversation that the Apostle Paul had with some believers in Ephesus who did not speak with tongues. We will be talking about that occasion in a few minutes, but here is the verse.

Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

It is similar today. Many believers have not heard about the Holy Ghost. They have heard something, but have we really heard about the Holy Ghost?

It’s from my little book that I want to share some things with us over the next few weeks. So, let’s get started.

HUNGER AND THIRST

The true desire for tongues will come from a hunger for God. It did in the scriptures and it did with me and it continues to be this way today. This is not to say that a person does not have a hunger for God if they do not desire tongues. Many things enter into the equation such as beliefs, denomination, teachings, etc. I am simply sharing what I see in the scriptures, what happened in my personal life, and what happened in the lives of the people to whom I minister.

Pentecost

Those filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues on the day of Pentecost were hungry for God. Jesus had told the believers at his ascension to go back and wait in Jerusalem until they received what he had told them they would receive.

Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

We note from the passage that the baptism of Jesus is not only with water. It is with the Holy Ghost. Jesus told his people to go back and wait. They did exactly that. They were hungry for God. They anxiously wanted more of God than what they had experienced and these were the people that had actually walked with Jesus. How much could they have? The answer is that they could have the Holy Spirit. Jesus had said that after they receive the Holy Spirit they would do not only what he did, but greater things (Joh 14:12).

There is more to what God has for us than knowing Jesus. I don’t want that to sound wrong, but the disciples knew Jesus. However, Jesus wanted them to have the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit quenches a hunger and a thirst for God that nothing else can quench. There is a quenching within us when the Spirit moves in a church service with tongues and prophecy and words of wisdom and knowledge, healing, miracles, etc. My wife is constantly telling me how much she misses the ministry of the Spirit when we go for a season without a moving of the Spirit. How many of us hunger and thirst for those times of refreshing?

I was just at a great church preaching a seminar. There were a lot of people there who were hungry for God, but there were a lot of other members that were not hungry that should have been hungry. I am talking about leadership. I believe that people in leadership should keep themselves hungry for a move of God. Don’t you want your leaders hungry for God? Don’t you want your leaders experiencing a ‘Spirit Filled Life’? I want to pastor a church that is hungry and thirsty for God.

Cornelius’ House

There was a hunger at the house of Cornelius. Cornelius had a hunger for God (Act 10:1,2). Acts chapter ten is one of my most favorite chapters in the Bible. Let me show you the passage speaking about the hunger of Cornelius.

Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

Acts 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

An interesting note here is that Cornelius’ hunger came upon his entire family. We dads and moms can’t expect our children to be hungry for God if we are not hungry for God. The Bible says that Cornelius sought God and prayed consistently and gave alms. Cornelius was hungry for God.

One day Peter came to the house of Cornelius and was preaching about Jesus when the Holy Spirit “fell on them” (Act 10:45).

Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Cornelius believed in God. Receiving the Holy Ghost is not believing in God. It comes from a hunger and a thirst that praying and giving and fearing God cannot quench. After the Holy Ghost fell, Cornelius was water baptized in the name of the Lord.

Tongues quench a hunger that praying in our understanding will not quench. Tongues quench a hunger and a thirst that giving to the poor will not quench. Tongues quench a hunger and a thirst that fearing God and living righteously will not quench.

Jesus told the woman at the well that he had water to drink that when drank she would never thirst again (Joh 4:14). There is a quenching of a thirst and a hunger satisfied by receiving the Holy Ghost in this dimension that nothing else will satisfy. Cornelius was hungry for God and he received the Holy Ghost and tongues.

Ephesus

The Bible tells us about a Jew named Apollos who was going through the region of Ephesus and Corinth preaching Jesus. Let’s look at the passage.

Acts 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

Apollos was a great orator. He was eloquent and “mighty in the scriptures.” Apollos was “fervent in the spirit.” He “taught diligently the things of the Lord,” but he only knew the baptism of John. Apollos didn’t know about tongues. We are told that Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly (Act 18:26). Let me show us the passage.

Acts 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

What do you suppose they expounded to Apollos? Apollos received a revelation about tongues.

It’s this way today. Jesus is preached by tremendous orators. The things of Jesus are taught diligently by great men of God. These men are fervent, but they only know water baptism unto repentance. It’s the baptism of Jesus that they need to understand more perfectly. Jesus said that unless we were born of the water and the spirit, we could not enter the kingdom of God (Joh 3:5).

John the Baptist knew his baptism should be replaced and spoke of it. Jesus knew that his baptism would replace John’s baptism.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

We have an example of this in Ephesians chapter 19. We are shown a replacing of John’s baptism with the baptism of Jesus.

Ephesus

The Apostle Paul came to the city of Ephesus after Apollos had preached there. Apollos had won about twelve people to the Lord during his evangelistic crusade. It was now time for an apostle to come and establish those believers. Paul met the twelve and noticed something. He asked a question. Let me show us the passage.

Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Acts 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Acts 19:7 And all the men were about twelve.

Paul asked a simple question. “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” They had only been told about water baptism and had not been taught about the Holy Ghost, so Paul proceeded to instruct them. They were water baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul laid his hands on them. They received the Holy Ghost, spoke in tongues and began ministering with the gifts.

These were hungry people. These were thirsty people. They were properly instructed and they received a quenching and a satisfaction in their spirits.

Me

I can remember a night in 1978 as if it were yesterday. I was so hungry and thirsty for God. I had not been “saved” long and I was serving the Lord with all my might. I was kneeling and praying at a metal chair in my office. I was working the midnight shift, so it was early in the a.m. Oh how I wanted to taste God. I remember that desire. As I prayed, from me came this sound like a groaning. I didn’t understand it, but knew that I was seeking God. I didn’t speak in tongues at that moment, but on my way home from work, I did. I climbed up in my truck and began driving home. I had this thought from nowhere. The thought was ‘I believe I can speak in tongues.’ I attempted to do so and I did. I had never attempted to speak in tongues before. I had never wanted to speak in tongues before, but now I could speak in tongues. It began to boil out of me. There I was in my truck. It was just God and me and tongues. The next Sunday my pastor gave an altar call for receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of tongues. I said to myself, “I can do that. I guess this is the way you do it.” So, I went to the altar and spoke in tongues when my pastor prayed for me.

Later he and I became best of friends. I told him about the night praying at the metal chair and the next morning. He said, “You dummy! That is when you received your tongues.” I said, “I know, but I thought it had to be in church.” I want to tell you it doesn’t need to be in church. It can be, but God is every place.

Tongues come from a hunger for God and for the things of God. It’s difficult to tell me that tongues are not for today because I speak with tongues. Every member of my family speaks with tongues. I’m a Cornelius.

Tongues can be blocked from a teaching or by a belief. Please don’t allow that to happen to you. Get hungry for God. Ask the Lord for all that you should have. Who knows? You may become a tongue talker like me. I love it and if it happens to you then you will love it too.

In closing, I want to share two stories about people receiving tongues with you. I have so many stories that selecting two seems wrong somehow. At any rate years ago, I was preaching. I had shared about the Holy Spirit and tongues, but had given a general altar call. I had invited people to come for healing or for any need. A teenager came to the altar. Today that then teenager has a couple of children and is a grown woman. She came to the altar and I went to her. I asked, “What do we need to pray about?” She said, “I want the Holy Ghost.” I was a little taken back by the boldness, the pressing in, and the hunger of this teenager. As I collected myself (after all, I was the pastor), I laid my hands on her and she received her tongues. I suppose I will always remember that night. The teenager then and woman now continues to serve the Lord and continues to speak and pray in tongues.

Another story took place not too very long ago. We had gone to a life group. A lady that had been coming to the church for several weeks asked if she could speak with my wife and me. We said of course. The only private place was our car. I set behind the steering wheel. My wife sat in the front seat passenger seat. The lady sat in the back seat. She said, “You spoke about the Holy Ghost. I want to receive the Holy Ghost and I want to speak in tongues. Will you pray for me?” Well, of course we prayed for her and she received her tongues in the back seat of our car. This lady has experienced life changing results since that time. She broke the power of witchcraft upon her life. She has experienced a far superior life than she had ever experienced. She is a blessing to many.

Other Related Sermons:

Pushed Around – sermon video audio notes

Dark Times – sermon video audio notes

Pentecost the Hope of the World – sermon notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young