After reading about Ascension in Acts, it has occurred to me that Christians have developed their own purposes for desiring to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
First, some seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that they can say they are “sealed.” This means a couple of things for these believers. These people say that Christians become sealed with the Holy Spirit so that those who believe cannot lose their salvation. This belief is also part of the “Rapture,” this is important to these people since this is how the Lord will know who take “call up” when that Great Day comes. The trouble with this is that God does not need to brand us like cattle since He already knows those who are His. Further, this somehow takes the urgency out of spreading the Gospel of Christ. It is sort of like a finish line. Receiving the Holy Spirit is the new beginning.
Secondly, some Christians desire the Holy Spirit to fill them so that they can have supernatural power to wield. In other words, the Holy Spirit can make all our dreams come true. Because somehow God will be inclined to grant us all of our requests. Some of these followers just want to live a good life with plenty of luxuries and respect from others. Further, this seems to set them apart as someone who is “special” to the Lord. Sadly, this means people will want to listen to them and desire to be like them instead of Christ. Even worse, worship them instead of Christ.
Finally, others want the Holy Spirit so that they can be “set apart” from the world; without a purpose I might add. What I mean is that some of these people just desire to place themselves into a “higher class” of people, especially within the Christian community. These have misunderstood, or forgotten, that set apart means to live within the Kingdom of God instead of acting like world that is without Christ. This means that set apart, for example, demonstrates a heart that love instead of a heart that is dominated by jealousy and pride. The danger with this concept is that we can develop a Holy arrogance and nobody else is good enough to associate with us. This means that we lose the desire to seek the lost and help the poor.
Okay, now that I might have upset some, I want to suggest a huge reason that God has sent the Holy Spirit to those who have surrendered their lives to Christ. It seems to me that the Holy Spirit is promised, Acts 1, because there is a purpose that Jesus had in mind; such as empowering Christians to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth. The Kingdom is a place where the poor are loved and the widows and orphans are taken care of. The great thing is the “least of these” know that Christ is caring for them through His Church. A Church that does not rely upon the government to do her job. Yet, some have gotten tripped up because of the purposes that were mentioned earlier. These forgotten that Jesus has empowered us so that we can be His witnesses to those who do not know Him. This is the real purpose of receiving the Holy Spirit.