The Only Way to Go
Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20
Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Ephesians 5:18
LET’S GRAB another look at how the Holy Spirit makes you competent-outfitted with the skills you need to live out your Christian life. Jesus described it like this: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you,” he told his disciples, “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1 :8, NIV). Without the Holy Spirit, it’s impossible to become a Christian or produce the fruit of the Spirit or introduce others to Christ. Jesus was talking about the Spirit as well as himself when he explained, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Get this: From the moment you trust Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you, giving to you everything you need to be capable and effective for him. You start to see that competence when you let the Holy Spirit fill you daily, putting to work everything he puts at your disposal. Paul conveys this in his command, “Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you” (Ephesians 5:18). Literally translated, the verse reads, “Keep on allowing yourself to be filled with the Spirit.” If you want to be competent day by day as a Christian, you need to be filled day by day.
Being filled with the Spirit daily doesn’t mean you need more of the Holy Spirit to enter you from the outside. It means allowing the Holy Spirit-who is already in you-to occupy more and more of your life from the inside, to empower you. Daily filling with the Spirit gives you renewed power to live committed to Christ, do his will, and be his witness.
Having the Holy Spirit get a grip on you each day is a gift from God you can count on. God commands you to be filled with his Spirit, so you can be sure he will fill you up when you open yourself to him. It’s like getting money from the bank when you have plenty in your account. You don’t approach the bank teller with panic, afraid that your account will come up empty. You don’t need to beg the teller to give you the money. Instead, you go to the bank “in faith,” fill out a withdrawal slip, and receive the money that’s already yours. In the same way, receiving the Holy Spirit each day just means taking hold of something you already have. You are empowered with the Spirit by your faith in an all-powerful God who loves you.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit isn’t an option. It’s a command, but it has cool results. And God never issues a command without also giving you a way to obey (see 1 John 5:14-15). Just ask God to fill you. Because you know he hears you, be confident he will fill you.
REFLECT: Have you invited the Holy Spirit to fill you today?
PRAY: Give him that invitation first thing as you pray right now.