Filled with the Spirit – Part 1

God promises to give us His Spirit (1 John 5:14-15). We receive the Holy Spirit from God at the moment of Salvation (John 14:16, 7:37-39; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 3:2). Jesus sits on the throne of our life and fills us with the fullness of His Spirit (Galatians 5: 15-25). The Holy Spirit is a Believer’s down payment of our inheritance of the Kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30).

By being filled with the Spirit, I am not referring to speaking in tongues or any public manifestation of spiritual gifts. I also do not mean having God’s power in order to show off how great we are. I am referring to spiritually entering the Holy of Holies of God’s Heavenly Tabernacle (2 Corinthians 5:1). This is the Holiest Place, the Sanctuary where we dwell in holiness for the rest of our life.

The Bible instructs us to keep on, continually being filled with God’s Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis (Ephesians 5:18), and to yield possession and control of our life to Him. Our obedience allows God’s Spirit to freely work in and through our life. With the Spirit’s filling, we also have the mind of Christ in every situation and decision we face (1 Corinthians 2:15).

We cannot cause the Spirit’s filling by exerting our will power or by doing good deeds. God fills us with His Spirit as we completely surrender to Him. God grafts us into the Vine of Christ (John 15:5). This makes us Christ-centered Believers. We love God’s Word, we trust Him in every area of our life and we are filled with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, You promised to give us the Spirit and You commanded that we be filled with Your Spirit (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:22, 23.). Thank You for helping us to get off the throne of our life and to follow the direction of Your Spirit in everything that we think, say and do (Psalm 19:14). You ordained for the Spirit-filled Christian to experience Christ’s abundant, powerful and fruitful life flowing in and through our life for Your glory and honor. We ask that You continually fill us with Your Holy Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
To live in the fullness of God’s Spirit requires complete consecration of our life to Him.

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An Alien Within

Prior to coming to Christ, we determined our daily routine by our priorities. We valued, worked toward and pursued anything that would assist us in reaching our goals. We developed this habit, day in and day out, living by our human reasoning and working to please our self and to secure our future. Then, the Spirit of God moved in and encouraged us to entirely shift our mind-set.

Prior to Salvation, our flesh formed habits as we trained our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions to respond and react in certain ways to the challenges and trials of life. We were used to living independently of any restraints or parameters for our behavior (Romans 8:7-8). We served our self and made sure we would come out on top (Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 5:15). We did good deeds for others, but we wanted the praise.

Salvation sets up a dichotomy in our life, which causes a tug-of-war within our soul. God wants us to put to death the carnal deeds of our flesh, so that we can live an abundant spiritual existence (Romans 8:13-14). Yet, our flesh wants to maintain the status quo and control our own life. The tie-breaker is God’s Spirit, who rebirths our human spirit, which was formerly dead in sin (Ephesians 2:5).

Now, our old nature is dead and we are Born Again by God’s Spirit. Spiritually alive, we partake in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). The nine fruit of the Spirit replace our formal carnal character (Galatians 5:22-23). We no longer live independently, but in dependence on God’s love and will.

Our former traits, alien to God’s ways, still influence our thoughts, words and behavior. However, we can crucify these independent and willful tendencies on a daily basis (Matthew 16:24-26), and obey the will of God instead. We willingly submit our old fleshly habits to the work of God’s Spirit within us (Romans 8:12-13). We restrict the deeds of our flesh by renewing our mind and surrendering our life to Christ (Romans 12:2; Mark 10:28-29).

Prayer:
Father God, by Your saving faith, a gift to us from Your mercy and love, we receive Your Holy Spirit who influences and transforms us. You draw us to Your heart and You renovate every aspect of our life by Your Spirit. This free gift is priceless and we thank You for the sacrifice Jesus paid for our eternal life (Ephesians 2:8). Teach us to walk in Your Spirit every moment of our life (Galatians 5:16-25).

Thought for the Day:
Each day we walk in more victory over the flesh by dwelling in the Spirit and following God’s desires for our life. – Galatians 5:16-26

The Blessings of Relationship

The world in which we live has values, which they hold dear. People in our world judge each person according to their worldly standards. However, if we live in order to be accepted and esteemed in this worldly system, we end up as an abomination to God (Luke 16:14-15). If we follow Biblical admonitions, we cannot earn the world’s respect and admiration, although we will earn God’s pleasure (Ephesians 1:6).

There are a few people, like Mother Teresa, who honor God and also manage to earn the world’s respect. She gave up her life for the indigent and abused, making their life better in any way she could. God gave her a gift, and she responded to His call for her life. God has a special purpose for each of us too. It is up to us whether or not we fulfill His desire for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We may not reach world fame, but God will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Our self-righteous attempts to please God with our natural efforts and accomplishments are worthless. They give off the terrible stench of human nature as we offer it to the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). It is not pleasing to Him, because He only accepts the sacrifices of those who rely only on the righteousness of Christ for their salvation (Romans 3:22). In God’s eyes, our good deeds are nothing more than dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6).

We cannot earn salvation or justification by our works (Titus 3:5-7). However, Jesus gives us His holiness as a free gift in exchange for our humanity. He took our sin and nailed it to the cross, triumphing over both sin and death (Colossians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:57). We trust in Christ alone and possess His righteousness as our own (2 Corinthians 5:21). Then, we radiate the love and light of Christ to the world around us.

Prayer:
Father God, we live in Your joy and take pleasure in each moment of our relationship with You. Christ is our only life (Colossians 3:4). Remind us to allow You to use us to bring reconciliation to the world around us (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Many people will reject our message and may even reject us. However, You will delight in our ways. Remind us to use all of the resources You have given us, not for our own advancement in life, but to further Your Kingdom in the earth (Luke 16:1-18).

Thought for the Day:
If I think I am somebody, then God is not everything to me; but when I realize that I am nothing, God becomes my all in all. That is when He fully reveals Himself to me.