Saturday, April 07, 2007

HOW NOT TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT

Ephesians 5:18

"Do not get drunk on wine...instead, be filled with the Spirit"

Notice first that Paul makes this statement as a command. He commands us to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Clearly then, this is not just an experience we are supposed to seek. It is not something we go forward at a church meeting to receive. It is not something that happens to us up at camp. Neither is it something that we sit around hoping to receive. We are not to pray for it and then sit idle waiting for it to happen to us. There is something for us to do! We are responsible for being filled with the Spirit!

In a couple of places Paul warns us about doing things that would hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In Ephesians 4:30 he talks about grieving him, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” That Greek word “grieve” can also be translated “irritate, offend, insult.” Paul makes this command right in the middle of the passage in which he is exhorting us to live holy lives and avoid lying, anger, stealing, filthy language, and sexual immorality. How do I grieve the Holy Spirit? By allowing myself to continue to participate in the sinful activities that he opposes! The Spirit constantly urges me to stay away from such behavior. If I ignore his ministering and continue to be controlled by these things then I grieve the Spirit.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Paul writes, “Do not quench the Spirit.” Paul’s words paint a picture of the work of the Spirit in our lives. He is like a fire burning within our hearts; a fire that consumes the waste of our sinful lives and urges us on toward holiness. The Spirit points at sinful things in our lives and calls us to throw them on the flames and let them be consumed. But what if I resist his conviction? What if I refuse his direction in my heart? Then I will be quenching his flame, putting out his fire. I will certainly become hardened to his prodding and deafened to his whispering. I will eventually become impervious to his work in me. So if I want to be filled with the Spirit then I must fight against my flesh and against temptation. I cannot be filled with the Spirit if I grieve or quench him!

1 Comments:

At 3:58 AM, Blogger bluecollar said...

" He is like a fire burning within our hearts; a fire that consumes the waste of our sinful lives and urges us on toward holiness. The Spirit points at sinful things in our lives and calls us to throw them on the flames and let them be consumed."

Thanks for that. I've just completed a short period of fasting and it was taken up with conviction of sin and resultant confession. But how to turn from it.... Well, this post helped, especially the above quote.

Thanks, Dave

 

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