Being Filled With The Spirit
Our walk with God is a lifelong journey that is meant to be a maturing process as we become more and more like Christ. At each point in the journey, we’re to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Do we desire to be filled by the Spirit?
Don’t drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path; be filled instead with the Holy Spirit and controlled by him.(Ephesians 5:18, TLB)
However, we’re filled to the degree that there’s space and after that level of filling, we will be ‘pruned’ to make more space. This is the continuous process for those who want to be filled. That’s the process of becoming like Christ – being conformed to the image and growing to the fullness of the stature of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)
How does that actually play out?
When we worship God sincerely in spirit and in truth, our hearts are open to hear from Him on things in our lives that need to be surrendered to Him. It is when we acknowledge these areas of shortcoming and surrender them to Him that the Holy Spirit can do a work in us. It is a co-operative work that goes on inside to change our hearts and, consequently, the outworking of our hearts in our words and actions – the fruit.
Each act of surrender of some aspect of our lives is an act of emptying ourselves of ‘self’ and a letting go of some control over our lives. This produces more room for the Holy Spirit to fill up and more ‘permission’ for Him to take control of more areas of our lives.
Using the analogy of our lives as houses, when we first realise that we are sinners and accept the forgiveness/salvation God gives through Christ, we open the door of our heart for the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) to come in. Yet every one of us have different areas that we try to retain control over – some habits, some thought processes, our possessions, our talents, …..whatever it might be. As we accept to give these areas over to Him one by one, He is able to come further and further into our ‘house’.
The desire of the worshipper is for Him to take over completely but it is a process of continual surrender. We should never be satisfied with where we’re at because the growth never ends on this side of eternity.
Being Filled and Touching Lives
No matter what level of emptiness, if we’re filled at that level, there will be an overflow and this overflow will touch others with the love of Christ. The growth is for our own good primarily but others will benefit from it. Our walk with God is about us and God. It’s about us knowing Him more and more intimately and being conformed more and more into Christ’s image. Ultimately, we will demonstrate more of Christ the more we are filled with His Spirit because we will walk more in the spirit and demonstrate both the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit.
Being Filled and the Love of God
…..And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19, NIV)
These verses imply to me that a key to being filled with the fullness of God is knowing the love of Christ. To my understanding, the more we know how deep God’s love for us is, the more we are able to surrender things in our lives to Him because we trust Him more. Any woman who is married will be able to testify that it is difficult to entrust her life completely to her husband as the head of the home if she is not convinced he loves her (selflessly – putting her first). On the contrary, it is a joy and relief to submit to a man who does not just declare his love but demonstrates it in the decisions he takes. So the more we know God’s love, the more we trust Him and the more we surrender our lives (the different areas of our lives) to Him.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a necessity not an option if we are to live victorious Christian lives that are pleasing to God. So I urge us all to seek continually to be filled. Remember that if we hunger and thirst (for righteousness), we shall be filled.