John 14:15-17, 16:12-16
Romans 7:4-6, 8:5-8
It is God's Spirit in us that will produce the very thing that God wants to produce in us, the life of Christ Himself. As we see from Christ's ascension teaching to the disciples in John 14 and 16, and Acts 1, the Holy Spirit was going to be the person of the Godhead who would permanently indwell the believer. Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would forever indwell the disciples to give counsel (John 14:15-16), teach (John 14:26), testify of Christ (John 15:26), guide in truth (John 16:13), glorify Christ (John 16:14), and make known what belongs to Christ (John 16:14, 15). Then following His resurrection, Jesus sent the believers to Jerusalem to wait for the promised Holy Spirit.
When the believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, they were also filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit; then they started speaking in tongues. It was the power and control of the Holy Spirit in them that empowered them to do the supernatural (Acts 2:4). Later in Acts 4, Peter gave a powerful message to his own clan and religious leaders. It was once again the filling (control) of the Holy Spirit that empowered Peter to give a message that both received praised by some and condemnation from others (Acts 4:21).
Another example of the filling (control) of the Spirit is from Acts 4 where we read that the Church, not just the apostles, were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were filled by the Holy Spirit to speak boldly (Acts 4:31).
These examples, along with many others, are the fulfillment of the promise the Lord gave to His disciples. They were exhorted to stay in Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit because Christ knew they would be without God's enablement unless they received the Spirit into their lives. The very thing that was necessary for life, growth, and effective ministry was the permanent presence and power of the Spirit in the life of the believer and the Church.
In Ephesians 5:18, Paul exhorts the Church not to be filled with a substance that will control their lives but rather the Holy Spirit they already received. The controlling, leading, and guiding work of the Holy Spirit is paramount for the believer to live in accordance with God's desire. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to produce the life of Christ in the believer. The believer has already received Christ; however, it is only as the believer yields (abides) himself to the Spirit, that the Spirit will produce Christ's life in him—to make Christ manifest in the yielding believer (John 15, Romans 6, Galatians 5).
God's desire is that we would bear fruit which reflects the life of Christ in us (Romans 7:4). That can only be done through serving in the new way of the Spirit (Romans 7:6). The Spirit was given to every believer so that he/she would walk with Him, serving the Lord by the power of the Spirit in his/her life. The life of Christ will not be made manifest or seen in us if we are not abiding or yielding to the Spirt. God's desire for all His children is that we would live in accordance with the Spirit in all things, starting first with our minds (Romans 8:5, 12:1-2; Galatians 5:16 & 25).
These truths of the Spirit are of primary importance to us if we are to live the life God desires. If that is true, then we must be discipling others with this truth in mind. It is first and foremost the Spirit's work to lead and guide God's children. God wants us to disciple His children in a way that not only promotes a complete dependency on the Spirit but clearly models that principle. We often short circuit the leading of the Spirit in our lives and the lives of others. At times we want the destination without the journey; we want the quick answers without the foundational principles. We want for someone else to give us the ideas and methods, all the while we are robbing ourselves of the valuable and life changing journey of an intimate dependence on the Spirit.
We must become convinced that it is always better to lead people in the dependence on the Spirit even if it seems like we are prolonging the process of healing or change. Dependence on Him is what we all need. In areas of sin, we need to depend on Him. In times of uncertainty, we need to depend on Him. As we approach the unknown, we need to depend on Him. In times of sincere joy, we need to depend on Him. In all things and always, we must depend on the Spirit; and if not, we have become practical idolaters.
As we grow, we are to grow in our dependence on Him. That is God's desire for us and for those who we seek to disciple. We must be trusting the Spirit in them and trusting that He will lead them according to truth and Christ. At times, people just want the solution; however, what they truly need is the Spirit's leading and working in them to produce Christ's life. Solution-based discipling rarely addresses the heart of man and his dependency. This principle of dependence on the Holy Spirit must always go before us as we train, equip, and disciple the Church. At all times we must believe that the best thing for God's children is complete dependence on Him. We must be cautious that by following us they are not robbed of what they truly need the most.