In nature and in the spirit realm, there is no such thing as a vacuum. Any emptiness is immediately filled. When Christ crucifies the flesh, the Holy Spirit fills and possesses the vacuum that is created (Romans 6:3-11). In the upper room the disciples realized that they had to throw out all their previous concepts, ideas, and conditionings. They were literally seeking a new life. Even though they had known Christ after the flesh, they recognized that He was no longer that way (2 Corinthians 5:16). The believers prepared the way for the Day of Pentecost by creating a vacuum. Peter said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized 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).1
When you disconnect from your former life, you create a vacuum that you must allow the Spirit to fill. This is not something that we should play around with. I encourage you to act on it because it is a pivotal point. If you open up again to something of your old life, you will be filled with it. If that happens, you will be in a worse state than before (Matthew 12:43-45). Instead, recognize that the Holy Spirit is someone you need to take into your life. You need to understand the reality of the Holy Spirit: who He is, what He is, and how He functions. The Holy Spirit is a Person. He is an individual just like the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is often viewed as the One who gives us gifts or operates in a delivery mode. But that is not what the Spirit was to the first-century Church.
There is no way to come to Christ except through the Holy Spirit (1 John 3:24). It is true that you have an initial salvation experience in Christ. But the salvation experience is the crucifixion of your flesh. Then the Spirit rushes in and fills you. If you want new life, you need to make room in your heart by disconnecting from your old life (Acts 2:38). If you want your mind renewed, get rid of your old emotions and thought patterns. You may want to be filled with the Spirit, but it is the prerequisites that are the problem. The Lord cannot fill you without first emptying you out. You may be doing a lot of works, but they are also part of what fills you. To whatever degree you have made room for the Holy Spirit, to that degree He fills you with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).
God wants to be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28). But He is stuck with the problem of removal. Do not just say, “I’m sorry these things are in me.” Repentance does not do anything unless it is part of removal. You must create a vacuum by getting rid of something that is there. If you want a hot air balloon to rise, you need to toss the ballast overboard. Make a list of what you need to get rid of. Even if it is things you like, you need to weigh your priorities and let the Holy Spirit rush in to fill the empty space. Be crucified. Be cleaned out. Throw some things overboard. Throw out the old man and create a vacuum. Be baptized and filled with the Spirit. You can either have a gentle breeze or a mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:2).
1 All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).