Fill ‘er up

Ephesians 5: 18

[B]e filled with the Spirit.

God does not only want you to have a little bit of His Spirit, He wants you to be full to overflowing. Well, that is His nature after all, isn’t it? In everything He does He likes to fill us and more so that our every need is met with plenty left over for others. He never leaves the smallest portion of us unfilled or unfulfilled.

After promising the Holy Spirit for many years, it is not a surprise to me that He wants to completely fill us with this promise. There is no part of us that God, our Father, does not want to inhabit with us. He wants to be a part of everything that is important to you, but He also wants to participate in all of the small things of life with you. To Him, they are all important because they are all a part of you and your life. That is why He wants to fill you to the utmost with Himself. And that is what His Spirit is, His inner being, and He wants to share that most intimate part of Himself with you. God is not a small God and He does not do things in a small way. He gives you His best and He gives you all you can hold and a bit more so that you will have some to share with others. It is God’s intention that you be filled with the Holy Spirit. Make it your ambition to be filled with His Holy Spirit until He, the Holy Spirit, bubbles out of you in your abundance.

For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and … he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother’s womb.  Luke 1: 15

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Luke 1: 41

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Luke 1: 67

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan.  Luke 4: 1

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  Acts 2: 4

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit …. Acts 4: 8

And when they had prayed the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  Acts 4: 31

But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.  Acts 7: 3

And the statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy SpiritActs 6: 5

But being full of the Holy Spirit …. Acts 7: 55

[F]or he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.  Acts 11: 24

But Saul who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze upon him.  Acts 13: 9

And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.  Acts 13: 32

Fill ‘er Up!

Ephesians 5: 18

Be filled with the Spirit.

If you thought yesterday’s scriptures and the miraculous acts of ordinary people was something, just wait until the New Testament revelation of the Holy Spirit unfolds for you. We saw from the Old Testament scriptures how the Spirit would settle “upon” individuals. When the Spirit came upon people, they were emboldened and empowered. People who were moments before afraid became great leaders, prophets and miracle workers under the power that came upon them with the Holy Spirit.

The story of the New Testament is quite different though. In the New Testament, a different word appears in the context of the Holy Spirit working with and through people. Whereas the Old Testament regales us with stories of the Holy Spirit being “on” people, the New Testament transitions us to the Holy Spirit “infilling” us. He is now in us rather than upon us. There are only three Old Testament scriptures about someone being filled with the Spirit while there are twelve New Testament scriptures about being filled. Likewise, there are very few New Testament scriptures about the Spirit being upon a person. One notable exception is Jesus.

In Matthew 3: 16 is the account of Jesus’ baptism. When he came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended and alit upon him. Shortly thereafter, Jesus was led, by the Spirit, into the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan. Luke’s description of this event says Jesus was “filled” with the Spirit (Luke 4: 1). So, which is it? Did the Spirit alight upon him, as in the Old Testament or did he fill Jesus? I believe the answer is that Jesus, again, is the exception to the rule. Jesus was an Old Testament Jew, but he ushered in the New Testament. In this sense, he was the bridge between how the Holy Spirit interacted with people in the Old Testament and how we are supposed to interact with him now.

At Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him. That language is clear and consistent. A short time later Jesus is described as being filled with the Spirit. In the intervening time Jesus bridged the gap between the Old and the New. He was the conduit through which the Old and New Testaments were reconciled. In him, the Father found the unity of paradigms which orchestrated the fulfillment of His promise to Israel, namely, the pouring out of the Spirit.

We have the greatest of all situations in Christ. He told his disciples that it was to their advantage that he depart because in his leaving he would send us another helper who would be with us and in us forever, the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7, John 14: 16). In this new dispensation the Spirit does not rest upon us for a time and then leave. He is with us and in us all of the time. He is as close as your next breath. In fact, you and he can be so intertwined that he is part of your DNA and that is where we want to go.

The Holy Spirit is who made Jesus the miracle worker he was. It was the Holy Spirit which made Jesus so attractive that he could simply say, “Follow me” and people would leave their occupations and follow him. The Holy Spirit was the power of articulation that gave Jesus perfect teachings and wisdom in his speech. How do I know? “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner (John 5: 19). Now, the one who empowered Jesus to do all that he did, is available to us. We can be as intimately intertwined with the Holy Spirit as Jesus was which means that we can be led as Jesus was led and we can do everything he did (John 14: 12).

(See Also: Exodus 31: 3, Exodus 35: 31, Micah 4: 8, Matthew 4: 1, Luke 1: 15, Luke 1: 41, Acts 2: 4, Acts 4: 8, Acts 4: 31, Acts 6: 3, Acts 6: 5, Acts 7: 55, Acts 11: 24)

So Precious

Psalm 36: 5 – 12                God’s Word

O Lord, your mercy reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God,
your judgments like the deep ocean.
You save people and animals, O Lord.
Your mercy is so precious, O God,
that Adam’s descendants take refuge
in the shadow of your wings.
They are refreshed with the rich foods in your house,
and you make them drink from the river of your pleasure.
Indeed, the fountain of life is with you.
In your light we see light.
Continue to show your mercy to those who know you
and your righteousness to those whose motives are decent.
Do not let the feet of arrogant people step on me
or the hands of wicked people push me away.
Look at the troublemakers who have fallen.
They have been pushed down and are unable to stand up again.

I would rather you read this psalm again rather than words from me today. It is so beautiful. Which statement is your favorite? It is very hard to say, isn’t it? What about “Your mercy is so precious, O God” or “you make them drink from the river of your pleasure?” In these verses we see God’s heart towards us. He wants to bring us under his wings to protect and provide for us. He wants us to soak up His goodness and light. If you pause and quiet yourself down for a moment, can you feel His abundant love and compassion for you? Let Him whisper in your ear today.