FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
As I write this, the gas station down the street reveals a gallon of gas is $3.70. At the risk of sounding like the generations before me, I can recall when gas was considerably less. I will spare you the details of my five-mile walk to school uphill in the snow in both directions.
In all seriousness, the price to fill up at the pump is hurting the wallets of most Americans. Hardworking men and women are spending hundreds of dollars each month to go to work, get their kids to school and fulfill their daily responsibilities. Many are choosing not to fill their tanks and only purchase a few dollars’ worth of gas at a time.
Unfortunately, many Christians are content to live with their “spiritual tanks” dangerously close to empty. As we continue to examine the great comfort and help provided by the Holy Spirit, we would be wise to recall the Holy Spirit not only desires to dwell within us, but also wants to fill us completely.
A preacher once said wisely, “The Holy Spirit does not only want to reside in our lives; He wants to preside.”
We are no longer to walk in the ways of the world. (8–14)
There is a lot of “used-to-be” talk in these verses. If you take time to think about your testimony, two themes will be prevalent: “formerly” and “but now.” The Scriptures remind us before you and I were Christians, we were enemies of God. Through our sin, choices and stubbornness, we had no desire to please God. We were in darkness. The word “but” in the middle of verse 8 reveals a change in direction and conversation. Christians are not only saved from an eternity without Christ, but also saved to be light and do good works before they die. A genuine believer will seek to avoid unfruitful deeds and practice what is pleasing to God.
We walk wisely when we walk under the Spirit’s control. (15–18)
Paul is fond of mentioning the term “walk” when it comes to the Christian life. Wherever we walk is where we will end up.
In addition to that truth, others are watching and sometimes even emulating our walk. The only way we can walk wisely on this faith journey is with the help and filling of the Holy Spirit.
When you see someone filled with anger, bad decisions or regretful words will follow. The same can be said when someone is filled with jealousy, bitterness or drunkenness. Paul chooses to use alcohol as an illustration to demonstrate the power and influence of the Holy Spirit’s control in our lives.
We worship and live thankfully when we walk under the Spirit’s control. (19–21)
What happens when believers are filled with and submit to the power of the Holy Spirit?
The Scripture tells us there will be harmony, hymn singing and helping one another.
There is not a church out there that does not need more of those things. Check your spiritual tank and ask yourself if you are due for a fill-up. It won’t cost you the price of a tank of gasoline, but the results will be priceless.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Brookhaven, Mississippi