Friday, July 12, 2019

Be Filled

Are you filled? No, I didn’t say fed up, I said full. We can be full of lots of things. What comes to mind? Some of you can get your minds out of the pig trough. What I had in mind is, are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Some will say of course and others will say, what does that mean?

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians says, “Do not get drunk with wine which leads to debauchery, but instead be filled with the Spirit”  (Ephesians 5:18). I like the New Living Translation that says that the wine will ruin your life. The filling of the Holy Spirit of God comes when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. Whatever filled us before, work, wine, women, "wurst" or rutabagas, will change. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John that He will send the Holy Spirit of Truth to live with us and be in us as Counselor, guide and stay. He will convict us of the truth and sin.  That is an incredible promise of God. It is God with us “Immanuel,” the Spirit of Christ himself to be with all believers in faith. What must we do to receive Him? We must believe in Him and as John 15 says, abide, live dwell in Him, the Vine of life. Apart from Him we are and can do nothing!

I received the Holy Spirit in a “Superior Road” experience like the then Saul of Tarsus had a “Damascus Road” experience. I needed to be stopped and changed. My life like Saul’s was way off course and headed for disaster, but God chose by His grace to come into my life that I would repent and chose Him over my off course life. At the time I really did not know about the Holy Spirit and His life-changing power and presence was all about. I would need to be discipled or taught by another godly man to understand my new life in Christ. I learned that I had the Holy Spirit within me. I had been made new, the old gone. God has transformed me. Now I have the opportunity to be likeminded. Paul says in Romans 12, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” He is telling us not to be conformed any longer to the ways of this world, but to God’s good and perfect will. This way, “the most excellent way” ((1 Corinthians 12:31), is explained fully in Scripture. God has given us His guidebook, equipped with a “Trailguide” and Illustrator/Illuminator, the Holy Spirit. God wants us to know Him and His ways through His Word by Spirit power. This is a transforming journey into truth. We need to be transparent and open to His hospitality offered freely to us who will believe.

This is the new life in the Spirit. It is described as a “river of life” in Revelation 22. It is a full and abundant life as Jesus tells us in John 10:10. It is a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit or, “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”  (Galatians 5:22). We are told to live by the Spirit and not grieve or blaspheme the Spirit with our words or lifestyle. We are to become new, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new(2 Corinthians 5:17). It is through the sacrifice and blood of Christ on the cross that we have the opportunity to become new. It is His life and death that transforms us, becoming one with Him as Ephesians 2 explains. This is a new and overflowing life in the Spirit. We are new chosen people and therefore should live a life of praise and thanksgiving for being changed like a butterfly to transcend this world. That is the peace that God gives us to live without anxiety, but peace in His presence because He is always present with us. “In His presence is fullness of joy, at His right hand pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).  This is the life in the Spirit introduction. I will write about its transformative power in future letters.

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