This past Sunday, my pastor spoke about being filled with the Holy Spirit. This is something that has to be done daily.
GET PUMPED UP
Living in Oregon for the past 5.5 years, I've gotten used to someone else pumping gas into my car every time I start getting empty. But I have to be honest, I hated it at first. It took longer. Someone I didn't know was handling my card. It made me feel like a wimp. And there are still days that I wish I could pump my own gas.
But on a cold day, or a cold AND rainy day, when I'm not in a hurry, I kinda like it. It's nice to have someone else do something for me even though I can very well do it myself. In fact, I still drive across the state line to Washington every once in a while just to prove I can still do it. 😁💪🏻⛽️
I've had those same thoughts about being filled with the Holy Spirit. Even though I can do it myself, even though God "has given [me] everything [I] need for a godly life through [my] knowledge of him who called [me] by his own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3), I still want someone else to do it for me. I want someone else to PUMP more of the Holy Spirit into me so I can sit back and relax.
Unfortunately, there isn't a station (or church) here in Oregon, or anywhere else, where you can pull up and have someone else pump more of the Holy Spirit into you. You have to do that part yourself. For the rest of your life.
Now, let me make a distinction here before we move on. There is a difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
I like to think of it like new engine in a car. Only, this one never breaks down. It's not something I have to put into my car on a weekly basis. The designer put it there. It's always there. (Now, I know this isn't a perfect example, but go with me.)
When you place your faith in Jesus, and invite Him into your life to be your Savior, He gives you His Holy Spirit to live inside of you. You have 100% of God's Spirit living in you at that moment. This doesn't change no matter what you do, say, think, or smell like (which I'm really grateful for, cause seriously...I stink sometimes).
Paul wrote this to the church in Ephesus:
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
You are sealed with the Holy Spirit. God gives you His Spirit as a promissory note of your inheritance in Heaven with Him. (I like that!!) God made a promise, by sending His Spirit to live inside of you, and God doesn't break His promises. You will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit of promise until the day you are with Jesus.
I guess you could say, you have a brand new "spiritual" engine. However, now you need something in the car to allow the engine to do what it was designed to do...power your car and propel you forward. That's where the filling comes in.
Q: What do you call a car with no gas in it?
A: You don't. You call a taxi!
I know...that was lame. But at least I'm trying.
When your car is on empty, you only have two options: 1) Keep driving it hoping the gas fairy will magically fill up your tank OR 2) You can go to the gas station and fill it up yourself. (I know what you Oregonians are saying, "Ha! I can have someone else do it."🤨 Again, stay with me.)
Being filled with the Spirit is something we must do on a daily basis. Paul told the same group of people in that church in Ephesus to...
...be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
Why would he tell the same people, that he just told about the promise of God's Spirit in them, to be FILLED with the Spirit? Because it was THEIR job, and no one else's. God did the indwelling, we have a part in the filling. Just like that engine needs gas to power the car and propel it forward, we need to be filled with the Spirit to power our lives and produce the fruit of the Spirit each day.
That begs the question, how can we be filled with the spirit? Here are 10 ways to get started (I encourage you to look up the scripture for each when you have time):
1. Meditate on God's Word (Psalm 1:1-3)
2. Sing (Ephesians 5:19)
3. Pray Regularly (Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6)
4. Guard Your Thoughts (Philippians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 10:5)
5. Memorize Scripture (Psalm 119:11)
6. Grab coffee with a friend (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
7. Listen to and Read God-honoring things (Proverbs 4:23)
8. Fast (Matthew 6:16-18)
9. Remain Flexible (Proverbs 19:21)
10. Be Willing to be Filled (Romans 6:12-14)
Filling your car with gas, so the engine can do what it was designed to do, takes time. It takes effort. It costs something. Being filled with the Spirit is no different. It takes time and effort. It will cost you something. It doesn't just magically happen.
I hope that you will work on one or two of the things above this week. Pray and ask God to fill you with His Spirit each day so that He can help you move forward and produce good fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) in your life that will impact the world around you.
Father, I want to be filled with Your Holy Spirit each and every day. I recognize that it won't happen on its own. You want me to make that choice each day. Forgive me when I put the wrong things in my tank, and sputter out. I want to lead others to You, and I can do that when I'm filled by You. In Jesus name, Amen.