I could not figure out why the light in my office would not work. The light was on earlier that day, and the light bulbs worked in another lamp when I tried. Then I discovered the fixture was unplugged from the wall socket. I had taken it out to clean behind my desk and forgot to plug it back in. Oh well, even a college graduate makes simple mistakes.
The idea of being plugged in made sense to me a long time ago when I first learned about being filled with the Holy Spirit. My pastor taught a series on the Second Person of the Trinity and described how the apostle Paul commanded believers in Ephesus (modern day Turkey) – and every follower of Jesus – “to be filled with the Spirit” (see Ephesians 5:18). Paul’s words emphasized on ongoing process of walking in cooperation with the Holy Spirit so as to become more and more like God. Being plugged in meant access to power to live by. My pastor taught that God does His part by filling us. God wants us to be “filled” constantly so our thoughts and actions are influenced by Him. My pastor added that being filled by the Spirit involves four actions on our part:
1. Be in Scripture – Every follower of Jesus who wants to Spirit filled needs to be spending time in the Bible. Jesus modeled a life well lived that was based on Scripture. The Bible should have importance in your life as you read it, study it, memorize it, meditate and reflect on it, and live according to it. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that the Scriptures were given to make each of us a complete, well-equipped Christian.
2. Be Christ-centered – Another requirement for being Spirit filled is to center on Jesus. He is to be the focal point of our thoughts, aspirations, and actions. Paul told the Romans that the will of God is to be conformed to the image of His Son (8:29). The writer to the Hebrews said “to run your race with perseverance…fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2). The Holy Spirit wants you to be like Jesus.
3. Be Submissive – Paul indicated the third essential for a Spirit filled life is to be submissive to God and His Word. Paul modeled this kind of life and instructed others to follow his example by the words he used in 5:18. Translated literally, the latter part of the verse actually reads, “Keep on being filled with the Spirit,” or “Keep letting the Holy Spirit fill you.” We must not stop the work of the Spirit by living a half-hearted, or disingenuous type of Christianity. We must continuously allow the Spirit to fill us and we do that by cooperating with Him as we live according to Scripture, not our old way of thinking. What is the point of reading Scripture and ignoring the commands of God? You waste your time and God’s by your double-minded ways. Submit and live right.
4. Be Confident – When you base your life on Scripture, center your focus on Jesus, and submit to the Lord’s leading/direction (from Scripture and the Spirit’s promptings), you can be confident you are doing your part. God is committed to and able to do His part. That combination leads to an assurance that can aid you day-by-day that you are being filled with the Spirit. God set it up so that we could actually experience victorious living.
Grow devotionally. Stay plugged into God and take advantage of His Spirit and His resources. For additional training, go to http://www.yougottheholyspirit.com, a Chi Alpha sponsored site. You can learn about more Holy Spirit apps like tongues, gifts, and fruit.
Love is a verb,