Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16, 2011 … Filled with the Holy Spirit

Passage of the Day: Ephesians 5: 18b [see portion in bold and underlined below] … Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

My Journal for Today:
If we, as Christians, are to live Spirit-controlled lives (i.e., to “walk in the Spirit”), we must be, as the Apostle Paul exhorted in today’s verse, “… filled with the Spirit.”

John MacArthur in his Strength for Today devotional for this date reminds his readers that the Greek concept of “filled with” from this passage is the word “pleroo,” which has three (3) shades of meaning in translation. One of these is the word picture of wind filling the sails of a sailboat and driving that boat toward its destination. This is a wonderful picture of what the Holy Spirit does for the Christian. When we surrender our ship to God’s Spirit, we turn our vessel of life into such an attitude as to allow God’s winds to fill our sails and drive us toward God’s destination (i.e., His will) for our lives … that of Christlikeness.

The second of the “pleroo” word pictures might be that of Alka-Seltzer tabs being dropped into water, totally changing the flavor and essence of the water into which it’s dropped. This is much like the transformation or “filling” [i.e., completion] that takes place in the soul/life of the believer when we receive the essence of God in His Spirit. After God, the Holy Spirit, is “dropped” into us by His grace and our surrendering to Him by our faith, we bubble and change over time; and others can taste and savor the flavor of that change as our lives are transformed into a new essence – again, that of Christlikeness. [see 2nd Cor. 5: 17]

And the final picture is one of a person yielding to the dominance of a higher power, as one might who obeys a higher authority in the military. It’s a total yielding of one’s behavior to the leading of a higher power. As MacArthur puts it, “In practice, the Spirit-filled walk is a matter of knowing God’s word and obeying it.” (see Colossians 3: 15) It’s a matter of yielding self to the ultimate authority of our Savior and letting His Spirit guide and lead us from His word (see Prov. 3: 5-6).

And using all three word pictures of “pleroo,” we can only be empowered, transformed, or guided when we are in complete SURRENDER MODE to God’s Spirit …i.e., “filled with” the Holy Spirit.

My Prayer Today: I am totally yours, Lord! Fill me! Amen

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