21-Day Fresh Encounter with the Holy Spirit

By Gary Rohrmayer


In Encounter: A 21- Day Fresh Encounter with the Holy Spirit, Gary Rohrmayer desires to help us work out in our minds and hearts what it means to have “fellowship with the Holy Spirit.” No subject is as essential to the spiritual development of the church and the advancement of the mission of Jesus than the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Our prayer that these 21 days will turn into a 365-day habit as you deepen your understanding of and dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Practical Advice for Doing a 21-Day Discipleship Campaign

  1. Devote 4 to 6 weeks to this Discipleship Initiative.
  2. Preach a four-to-six-week sermon series on the Holy Spirit call it Encounter:
    • Sermon #1 – Introduction to series and hand out the 21-day devotional book.
    • The next three sermons can be ideas from the book to reinforce it in the lives of your people. 
    • See Sample Sermon starters.
  3. Read Article – Ten Practical Steps to Creating Momentum with your team and see how you can maximize your efforts.
  4. Invite them to courageously pray for friends and family who are far from Jesus.
    • Have them generate a list of 5 friends or family to pray for during the 21 days.
  5. Invite them to courageously pray for a list of church-wide prayer goals.
    • Have your leadership team develop five to six prayer goals for the church for your members to pray for during the 21 days. Sample:
      • Pray for a revival to breakthrough our church.
      • Pray for a spiritual awakening to happen throughout our community.
      • Pray for the youth outreaches or retreats or special activities.
      • Pray for our pastoral staff that God would empower them (Ephesians 3:15).
      • Pray for the following cities as we seek to see a new church started there to see God’s kingdom expanded.
      • Pray for our missionaries that God will give them favor and effectiveness in their work (list them).
  6. Plan a half-day Seminar or Workshop on Discovering your Spiritual Gifts.
  7. Purchase the 21-Day Discipleship Campaign books in advance from Amazon’s Print on Demand Service, ask people for a donation to cover the church’s expenses ($4-5), and encourage those Amazon Kindle users to purchase directly through Amazon.
  8. Share your life transformation stories with us by sending us an email about all the work that God did during these 21 days.

21-Day Fresh Encounter with the Holy Spirit Sermon Ideas

Text: 1 Corinthians 2 & Selected texts

Summary: Is the Holy Spirit a person or a force? Too many Christians treat the Holy Spirit just like Luke Skywalker treated the Force in the movie Star Wars. We think of it as an impersonal force, mystically moving in and out of our lives and circumstances. Yet the biblical record testifies to the fact that the Holy Spirit is a real person, not an “it” or a faceless energy.

First, the Holy Spirit has personality traits. He has a mind, will, and emotions. He has intellect, knowledge, and the ability to communicate. In our Scripture reading, Paul describes the Holy Spirit as searching the deep things of God, knowing the thoughts of God, giving us understanding, and teaching and explaining spiritual realities, which points to the Spirit having intelligence. The Holy Spirit also has a will, the ability to choose. He chose to keep Paul and his team from going to the province of Asia (Acts 16:6-10), and he determines how his gifts are dispersed throughout the church (1 Corinthians 12:11). The Holy Spirit not only thinks and chooses but he also has emotions. He can feel insults (Hebrews 10:29), betrayal (Acts 5:3), and pain. Paul writes, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30). Through our sinful actions, we can bring grief, sorrow, and sadness to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit not only experiences negative emotions but also experiences and imparts positive feelings such as joy, peace, and hope (Luke 10:21; Acts 13:52; Romans 15:13).

Second, the Holy Spirit performs personal actions. The Spirit teaches (John 14:26), speaks (John 16:13), convicts (John 16:8), strengthens (Ephesians 3:16), leads (Galatians 5:18), and appoints leaders to service (Acts 13:2, 4). What a comfort it is to know that when we do not know how to pray, “the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

Third, the Holy Spirit relates to others as a person. A. W. Tozer writes, “The Holy Spirit is friendly,” meaning that he is relatable. He feels love, joy, pain, and disappointment like any person. The Holy Spirit relates to us through teaching, speaking to, praying for, leading, and comforting us as believers. Paul desires that we would experience “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Corinthians 13:14). We can have intimate communion with God’s Spirit so that we can experience the world from the Holy Spirit’s perspective. Finally, the Holy Spirit works relationally with the Father and the Son in the process of making disciples (Matthew 28:19) and empowering disciples in the mission of God (Acts 1:8).

The Holy Spirit is a person who knows us entirely and seeks to walk with us endlessly as our Comforter, Helper, and Advocate. I pray that this truth changes your prayer life and your daily walk with God.  The Holy Spirit is not a mystical energy, an impersonal force, or a faceless influence. He is a person with real feelings, deep concerns, and a desire for genuine relationships.

Application: What is your relationship with the Holy Spirit?

Invitation: Over the next 21 days we are going to encounter the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We would love for our hold church to join us on the journey.  You can get the Encounter Book through Amazon Kindle for $1.  Or you can pick up a copy the church has secured for you. We trust God will meet you in a life-transforming manner. We pray that you will not be the same and that your family, neighborhood, workplace, and church will be impacted because you personally have met with God.

Text: John 7 & 14

Summary: The Bible teaches that once a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ as the risen Lord and only Savior, they experience the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus proclaims, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. . . . But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).

Again, Jesus declares, “‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit” (John 7:37-39).

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit means God takes up residence in the hearts of those who receive his Son. This residence, in Jesus’s words, is both eternal (“be with you forever”; 14:16) and complete (“he lives with you and will be in you”; 14:18). In addition, Jesus teaches that the Spirit of God provides an endless source of spiritual vitality, continual refreshment, and blessings for others when he refers to the Spirit as “rivers of living water . . . from within them” (7:38). Andrew Murray wrote, “This is what our Lord promises to His believing disciples. At the outset, faith in Him gives them the blessing that they will never thirst. But as they advance and become stronger in the faith, it makes them a fountain of water out of which streams flow to others. The Spirit, who at first only fills us, will overflow out of us to souls around us.”

The apostle Paul emphatically declares that God puts his Spirit into our hearts (1 Corinthians 1:22; Galatians 4:6). He also teaches that the Spirit takes possession of our bodies: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” Paul explains why: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We are temples of the Holy Spirit because our ransom was paid through the death of God’s own Son.

Christ’s death is inseparably linked with the permanent indwelling of God’s Spirit. First, these two great works of God provide comfort and assurance to the believer’s heart, in that salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit can never be earned or maintained by religious deeds, thus reinforcing their permanence. Second, they bring a constant challenge as the Spirit points us toward a life of holiness. God did not redeem us to let us wallow in our besetting sins but to bring about victorious transformation in the depth of our character. Finally, they provide unlimited power and inexhaustible resources to live out the Christian life and to be a part of God’s advancing mission. With thankful hearts, let us fully embrace the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

As Andrew Murray once wrote, “For a healthy Christian life, it is indispensable that we be fully conscious that we have received the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.”

Application: Have you fully embraced the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life?

Invitation: You can still join us in our 21 day encounter with the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We would love for our whole church to join us on the journey.  You can get the Encounter: 21 Day Fresh Encounter with the Holy Spirit Book through Amazon Kindle for $1.  Or you can pick up a copy the church has secured for you. We trust God will meet you in a life-transforming manner. We pray that you will not be the same and that your family, neighborhood, workplace, and church will be impacted because you personally have met with God.

Text: John 14:16-18, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:1-4

Summary: God’s gift of the Holy Spirit brings us into a relationship with God that is full of security, assurance, and power. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit so that we would not be left like orphans—insecure, abandoned, and weak (John 14:16-18).

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is another one of those positional truths that remind us of our unique relationship with Jesus and his body, the church. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13). This passage teaches us that the baptism of the Spirit is a divine act of God by which the Holy Spirit thoroughly and completely places every believer into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation.

To understand the power of this, we must take a look at the word “baptism.” This word is a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo, which means “to submerge, sink, or immerse.” During the New Testament period it was often used to describe the sinking of a ship. The root word bapto means “to dip,” and in the first century it referred to the process of dying fabric to permanently change its color. Spirit baptism is the work of God’s Spirit whereby we are submerged into Jesus Christ and instantly changed in the sight of God. The Father no longer sees us as sinful human beings, but he sees us dipped into the dye of Jesus Christ, forever changed as safe, secure, and empowered children of God.

Paul appeals to us to experience this positional truth practically by not being lighthearted about our sinful habits or behaviors: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:1-4). Through the baptism of the Spirit, we are miraculously united to Christ in his death and resurrection so that we can live a new life under the dominion of the Holy Spirit and free from the base impulses of our selfish nature (Romans 8:4).

The Bible never commands us to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. It commands us to repent and believe in the name of Jesus, who then gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Yet once we are united in Christ through Spirit baptism, we are commanded to be continually “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), to consistently “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), and to persistently “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we receive every spiritual resource to live a victorious Christian life. It’s only when we disobey God’s Word and are unwilling to surrender to Christ’s lordship that our dynamic relationship with the Holy Spirit is hindered.

No one will ever experience a refreshing drink of water by simply gazing at a faucet. So it is with the Spirit. He is here, ready to fill us, empower us, and use us if we are willing to surrender and obey. A. W. Tozer wrote, “For the Holy Spirit to work in my life, I need to surrender all authority and all power to him.”

Application: Are your hindering or advancing the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Invitation: You can still join us in our 21 day encounter with the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We would love for our whole church to join us on the journey.  You can get the Encounter: 21 Day Fresh Encounter with the Holy Spirit Book through Amazon Kindle for $1.  Or you can pick up a copy the church has secured for you. We trust God will meet you in a life-transforming manner. We pray that you will not be the same and that your family, neighborhood, workplace, and church will be impacted because you personally have met with God.

Text: Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Ephesians 4:7-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11

Summary: The indwelling, baptism, sealing and anointing of the Holy Spirit means that I have been set apart by God and given every spiritual resource to serve the Lord effectively. One of these spiritual resources is spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit that are graciously given to all true believers in Christ to strengthen the church in fulfilling the mission of Christ.

Here are five truths we can stand on concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

Each believer has received a spiritual gift. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others” (1 Peter 4:10). I find it interesting that Peter uses the word “received.” We need to remember this is a gift received, not a gift earned. God, in his infinite wisdom, has given us everything we need to serve him through the Holy Spirit. Paul articulates the same thought: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). Each of us has the God-given capacity or divine enablement to serve the church and the world. Oswald Chambers reminds us, “Never forget that our capacity and capability in spiritual matters is measured by, and based on, the promises of God.”

The purpose of these gifts is to serve others. Spiritual gifts are not for our own self-actualization but are for the benefit others. Paul describes their purpose: “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the

faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13). God has given each of us the ability to build up, unify, and mature the body of Christ so that it reflects the beauty of Jesus to the world.

We need to see ourselves as stewards of God’s grace. Peter uses the phrase “as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). We have a priceless endowment of God’s grace in the form of these spiritual gifts. We are to handle them as responsible managers. We are called to discover and use our gifts (Romans 12:6-8), as well as to develop our gifts to the glory of God (2 Timothy 1:6). When our gifts remain dormant, we hurt the body of Christ. God’s great endowment of grace always leads to a higher level of personal responsibility. 

We are to excel in these gifts. Peter continues, “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides” (1 Peter 4:11). Peter is offering a challenge to us to serve God at a higher level of excellence. Jesus is our highest example of service, for he said to his disciples, “I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:27).

We use these gifts for the glory of God. Peter concludes his thought by saying, “So that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11). John Piper writes, “This means that God’s aim in giving us gifts . . . is that his glory might be displayed. He wants us and the world to marvel at him and to think he is fantastic. . . . There is nothing more thrilling, more joyful, more meaningful, more satisfying than to find our niche in the eternal unfolding of God’s glory.”23

Application:  Next weekend we are have a Spiritual Gifts Seminar to help you discover the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given you.  Will you join us for the life transforming seminar?

Invitation: You can still join us in our 21-day encounter with the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We would love for our whole church to join us on the journey.  You can get the Encounter: 21 Day Fresh Encounter with the Holy Spirit Book through Amazon Kindle for $1.  Or you can pick up a copy the church has secured for you. We trust God will meet you in a life-transforming manner. We pray that you will not be the same and that your family, neighborhood, workplace, and church will be impacted because you personally have met with God.

Text: Ephesians 5:16

Summary: The apostle Peter proclaimed, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). For every person who responded to those words by faith, they experienced complete forgiveness, and they received the gift of the Holy Spirit permanently.

We have systematically covered a sampling of the positional truths concerning the work of the Holy Spirit. Now we will be addressing the experiential realities as they relate to the Holy Spirit’s moment by moment unfolding in our lives. Scripture never commands us to be baptized by the Spirit, to be indwelt by the Spirit, to be sealed by the Spirit, or to be anointed with the Spirit; these are all positional blessings we receive at the moment of salvation.

But we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), and to live by the Spirit (Romans 8:13). We are also commanded not to grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) or quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). These are experiential realities that are to be lived out by faith and that produce unlimited blessings in our walk with Jesus. If they are not lived out, they will have adverse consequences on our spiritual growth and missional effectiveness.

What is the filling of the Holy Spirit? The apostle Paul writes, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Interestingly, Paul compares the filling of the Spirit to being too full of wine. When we are drunk, we are not in control of ourselves but are under the control of alcohol, which leads to a reckless and dangerous lifestyle. But to be filled with the Holy Spirit means we are under the controlling influence or total domination of the Holy Spirit.

Paul makes this a direct command; it is not a hint or a suggestion. He commands us not to be intoxicated with alcohol but rather to be under the dominion of the Holy Spirit. Living continually under the moment-by-moment influence of the Holy Spirit leads to a life that is satisfied and God-centered, that results in “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). It produces a grateful and joy-filled heart no matter what happens, “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). It leads to a life of proper submission in our relationships with one another and with the God-given authorities in our lives (see Ephesians 5:21-6:9). And finally, it will lead to a victorious life over the schemes, threats, and temptations of our enemy (Ephesians 6:10-20).

To be filled with the Holy Spirit starts with a desire that leads to repentance and culminates with obedience. In a private conversation with a friend, D. L. Moody was challenged by these words: “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.” And his response was, “Well, by the Holy Spirit in me, I’ll be that man.” May we all have that level of faith.

Application:  Do you have an insatiable desire to for the fullness of God’s Spirit in your life?

Invitation:  If you have not picked up the Encounter Book it is still available.  And we encourage you to turn the 21 day journey into a 365 day habit of meeting with God on a daily basis.