In the book of I Samuel, we find the amazing account of a young man, who, while out searching for lost donkeys, has a "chance" encounter with God's prophet and ends up anointed king of a nation! Young Saul, the son of Kish, is sent out by his father to find, to find donkeys that had wandered off. Saul's servant suggests they go to the Seer, Samuel. God told Samuel that Saul would be coming and that he was to anoint Saul king over Israel. After Saul is anointed king by Samuel, he heads home, but on the way, he meets a company of prophets and the Bible tells us that the Spirit of God came upon him and he was a changed man.
Saul experienced what many in the church today would refer to as the infilling of the Holy Spirit. This infilling empowers God's people to experience and/or perform the supernatural. Samson experienced the same empowerment when he exhibited super-human strength. The Holy Spirit met Saul and empowered him to prophesy among the prophets. This infilling was and still is, according to our obedience. When Samson had violated all three commands God had given him, he lost his strength, likewise, when Saul disobeyed God, he lost his Spiritual favor and empowerment.
In the life of the believer, we have access to this spiritual empowerment as well. In fact, without the infilling, we are powerless to serve God effectively. The infilling is according to our obedience. This infilling does not affect our salvation, as that is sealed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When we accept Christ, we become indwelt by God Himself, through the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not some cosmic power supply that enables us to experience the supernatural, but a living personal member of the trinity, in other words, He is God, just as Jesus is God and as the Father is God.
At salvation, we become indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are transformed into a new creation. As believers, we are regenerated and sealed for eternity. At the point of salvation, we become dual natured, on the one hand, we have our old sinful, nature and on the other, we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, making available to us the ability to serve and please God. This indwelling, does not overtake us, nor does it control us, we enter into a partnership with God and we must cooperate with His spirit that is within us. In I Corinthians 14:32, we are told that the Spirit is subject to the prophet, meaning that God does not force Himself on us or take control over us, but that we must be willing participants in His work. Beware those who say, "I couldn't help myself, I was overcome by the Spirit."
The indwelling was not available to the Old Testament saints, it is only for the church. The Old Testament saints experienced the infilling. As believers, we too can experience the infilling, in addition to the indwelling. Think of yourself as a cup with a hole in the bottom. As you are in obedience to God, you are under the fountain of His spirit and you can experience peace and joy, enablement to serve Him and even, sometimes, miracles. When we are outside of God's will, pursuing our own agenda or wilfully sinning, we leak the infilling of the Spirit and become filled with the pollution of the world. In fact, we are in constant contact with the pollution of the world and that pollution is in constant competition with God over control of our lives. The Spirit does not leave us, as we are indwelt, but the power the Spirit imparts to us leaves or is crowded out when we pursue interests that are not God's interests.
It is imperative that the believer remains in fellowship with God and shuns the sinful influences of the society around us. This is accomplished by having a daily time of Bible study and prayer, fellowship with other believers, and avoiding the things that cause us to stray away from God's will. There is no set of rules that fit every believer as everyone's relationship with God is personal and should be pursued in a personal manner. Yes, there are some behaviors and activities that are universally wrong for all believers, such as immorality, but, on matters of food and observances, the Bible allows for each to decide for himself. It is only when we express our faith in a personal way with God, that we can truly experience the infilling.
Some churches teach that the infilling is a second blessing, or a baptism of the Spirit that we have to ask for or have imparted to us by the laying on of hands. There is no Biblical basis for this belief, what we do see is men and women of God, who are faithfully serving, receiving supernatural assistance to accomplish God's will. This infilling is not an event that we can bring on at a prayer meeting but an intentional lifestyle choice in which we choose to live lives pleasing to God and "putting off that which hinders us" as the Apostle Paul commands us in scripture. The indwelling that all believers experience is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that takes place at the point of salvation.
If you are a born again believer, and you are feeling powerless or ineffective spiritually, examine your heart in light of scripture, ask God, as the Psalmist did, to search your heart and show your areas of your life that need cleaning. Develop a plan and habit of Bible study and prayer, fellowship with those who will encourage your walk with God and flee from things that draw you away from God. This is what we call the process of sanctification, allowing God's Spirit to transform us into His image. This is when we can experience the infilling along with the indwelling and maximize our partnership with God to glorify His name and lead others to Christ.
Your path to infilling began at your salvation, but is a daily commitment to holiness that allows us to experience all God has for us through His spirit. I pray that you will be all that you can be, by the power of God!