Feeling empty inside? So many people today feel forsaken and lonely, disconnected from love and care. They wander in virtual darkness, wondering what lurks just around the corner for them, and dreading it with every passing day. They wonder if they will ever find happiness again and they despair of ever feeling whole once more. There is a solution to the empty feeling, but it’s not found in anything here on earth. It is the Lord’s will that you feel full, filled with His Spirit.
Yesterday we discussed the will of the Lord: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Eph. 5:15-17) The next verse shows His will for us after warning us not to try to fill our emptiness ourselves. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) Over and over we are warned in the Scriptures about the consequences of abusing alcohol. “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” (Prov. 20:1) It can lead us astray, deceive us, brings us woe, sorrow, and contentions.
Paul is teaching us that living the Christian life and understanding the will of God is a matter of control. Who or what is in control? Are we controlled by our lust? By wine? By other people? Or by the Holy Spirit? Either the Spirit or sin is in control. We are living as either a slave of unrighteousness and sin or as a slave of righteousness and a slave of Christ, bought with His blood. “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness.” (Rom. 6:12-13)
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is equal to the Father and the Son in essence and power and glory, and yet distinct in personality. The Holy Spirit is given as our Comforter and also convicts us and convinces us of sin and righteousness. He points us to Christ. He seals us and keeps us until we are finally and completely saved. He indwells us, living in us and through us, confirming the truth to our hearts, illuminating our minds so that we might understand the Word of God, and He gives us assurance bearing witness to us that we are children of God. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
From the moment we are saved, God’s Spirit will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5). But by refusing to submit to His authority over every area of our life, we limit His work in and through us. He will not override our will but waits for us to choose Him.
A choice of enormous significance lies before every believer in Christ. God has given each one the responsibility of deciding who will rule his or her life. Christians are indwelt and sealed with the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation, but being filled with the Spirit—in other words, being led by Him—is optional.
The Lord wants you to have His power to overcome sin, to become the person He designed you to be, and to accomplish the work He has called you to do. The filling of the Spirit is His provision for this kind of supernatural living. Without it, the Christian life will be full of defeat and discouragement. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom. 5:5)
God wants to motivate us to desire His fullness, and He will use various methods. Sometimes He places a longing in our hearts to be closer to Him. Other times He uses our feelings of inadequacy and failure that result from trying to live in our own strength. The Lord even uses the example of other Spirit-filled believers to make us want what they have. As the heavenly Father reveals an area that you have kept under your own control, surrender it to Him, and let Him fill you with His Spirit. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)
Lord Jesus, fill us with Your presence and allow us to feel Your love flowing over us like a waterfall as we sit in Your presence. I pray that, as the source of all hope, you will fill us completely with joy and peace, simply because we trust in You. Help us to overflow with confident hope through the power of Your Holy Spirit.