A Full Life: Be Filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18b)

Sermon Manuscript …

A Full Life: Be Filled with the Spirit


Part of the reason we’re frustrated in ministry, hurt our spouse, lack joy in school, struggle with our parenting and are bored with work is that we don’t understand what it means to be filled with the Spirit–to live under the control of God who lives in us.  This microphone is an amazing piece of technology.  It already has electricity flowing to it, but if the switch is not turned on, it is not going to work and it is actually going to wear me out trying to work it unless I turn it on.  Living without being filled with the Spirit is living the Christian life without turning the switch on–the power is there, but we’re trying to vacuum the carpet of life in our own strength.

The moment you submitted to Christ in saving faith, the Holy Spirit came to live within you.  There is no Christian here who does not possess the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:9 says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he doesn’t belong to Him.”  Yet, I’ve heard people pray, “Oh God, send your Spirit,” but He is here.  Or, “Give me more of your Spirit,” as if He came in doses.

The Holy Spirit is a person–He lives within you.  The Bible says in I Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you.”  We ask for what we already have.  We pray for more love, more grace, more strength, or more power, but the Bible says if we are His child, those resources are already ours through a new heart and the indwelling Holy Spirit.  But you will not experience His life in and through you unless you are filled with the Spirit.

This morning, if you’re a little spiritually worn out, discouraged, bored, or frustrated, it is simply because you are trying to live the Christian life in your own strength, and the answer is to obey the command of Ephesians 5:18.  Open your bibles there and let’s discover what it means to live a full life, and “Be filled with the Spirit.”

The same God who created the universe authored the Scriptures, empowered many Old Testament believers for special tasks for God’s glory, ministered to our Lord while on earth, and continues to convict the world of sin.  This same Spirit lives in you, Christian.  He was the one who regenerated you, specially calling you to faith in order to believe in Christ.  At the point of salvation He sealed you, securing you forever as a child of God, and He baptized you, immersed you into the body of Christ so that all true Christians are one in Christ.

This same Spirit who indwells you can now fill you.  What does fill mean?  A few times in Luke, prior to the birth of the church in Acts 2, fill is used in that Old Testament sense, where it refers to an empowerment to a specific task.  But there is a filling in the New Testament that is a moment-by-moment action of God and believer in order to experience God’s presence and power.  This kind of filling is best summarized by Ephesians 5:18, since it is the only place in the New Testament, where every single Christian is commanded to be filled.

Ephesians teaches the Church to practice its position in Christ.  Read Ephesians 5 with me, starting at verse 15, and see some of what we are called to practice.  “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

How are you and I going to walk in wisdom in verse 15?  First we make the most of the opportunities to put Christ on display in verse 16, pursuing God’s will in verse 17, and for our focus today, thirdly, be filled with the Spirit in verses 18 to 21.

#1  Why being filled is crucial to you

Have you been afraid of the filling of the Spirit?  Have you heard that it turns you into an aerobics instructor?  That’s not filling–possibly you thought to be filled you had to come up here and I would knock you over?  I will do that for you if you want, but you won’t be filled, you’ll be knocked flat.  To be filled is not some bizarre Christian experience, or a second work of grace.  Paul is not talking about the indwelling or baptism of the Spirit here.  To be filled is a command imperative.  To be filled is not an option for you or for me.

John MacArthur writes, to resist the filling and control of the Holy Spirit is flagrant disobedience, and to deny or minimize its importance is to stand rebelliously against the clear teaching of God’s own Word.

Practically, the only way what I am doing right now by preaching is going to honor Christ is if I am now filled with the Spirit–and the only way what you are doing right now in responding to the Word is going to honor Christ is for you to be filled with the Spirit.  Why is being filled crucial to you?  Look at the fruit it produces in verses 19 to 20.  Being filled produces immediate praise, mutual ministry, inner joy, gratitude and a servant’s heart of submission.  Then look ahead to verse 22 all the way to chapter 6.

The Scripture affirms that being filled results in a great marriage, incredible parenting, fantastic employment, even success in spiritual warfare.  What’s the secret to a great marriage?  One couple was asked that question, and one of them answered, “We take time to go to a restaurant twice a week, have a little candlelight dinner, soft music and a slow walk home.  She goes on Tuesday and I go on Friday.”

I remember my spiritual father, Fred Barshaw teaching me that most of parenting was taken care of by a biblical marriage, and a strong marriage was taken care of if the husband and wife were seeking to obey the command to be filled with the Spirit every day.  Just a brief skim through the book of Acts will teach you that being filled with the Spirit was crucial to the early Church as it is today.  In Acts 4:8 and 31, Peter was filled with the Spirit, and a group of Christians were filled with the Spirit.  In Acts 6, the first deacon types were full of the Spirit, and Stephen was full of the Spirit in Acts 7:54.  In Acts 9 Paul was filled with the Spirit, in Acts 11 Barnabus was filled with the Spirit, and in Acts 13 the disciples were filled with the Spirit.

John MacArthur writes, unless a Christian is filled with the Spirit “he will live in spiritual weakness, retardation, frustration and defeat.”  Being filled with the Spirit is crucial to you and to me, so . . .

#2  What’s required to be filled with the Spirit?

To answer that we have to look at the context of Ephesians 5:18.  You need to know what Paul has said in Ephesians 1 to 4 before you can respond to Ephesians 5 properly.  So what does being filled call for?  Allow me to highlight two obvious requirements.

First  Genuine salvation

Turn to chapter one.  Ephesians 1:3 to 14 teaches us true salvation is a sovereign act of God.   It had nothing to do with you and everything to do with the actions of God on your behalf for His own glory.  Look at 2:10–this teaches us true salvation will result in doing good works that God has prepared beforehand.  True Christians love to labor for the Lord in acts of service for His glory.  Then 3:19 tells us genuine salvation results in such a deep intimacy that you will know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.  Why do some Christians have no lasting joy, love, peace or spiritual resources?  Because they’re not saved.

What makes FBC so special?  After the initial attraction of relationships, possibly the worship or preaching.  Why are people attracted to this body?  I will tell you what makes FBC so special–it’s Christians, real ones.  We might have 60% genuinely saved believers here.  That’s what makes any church special–real, born again, transformed, new-hearted believers.  The Bible teaches us that real believers want to obey Christ in all things.  The Bible teaches us that if a real Christian has to choose between a spouse or Christ, a child or Christ or even their own life and Christ, they would choose Christ.  Is that you?

Are you genuinely saved?  You can’t fulfill Ephesians 5:18 without having Ephesians 1 to 3 true in your life.  Has Jesus Christ saved you and given you a new heart that wants to obey Him in all things and serve Him with all the strength He provides?  What’s another requirement?

Second  Genuine involvement in a church community

Ephesians 4:11 to 16 calls Christians to be equipped in the Word, and verse 16 summarizes it well when it says, “from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”  That’s talking about you.  Underline the words “individual part”.  As an individual part of the body, are you expressing your giftedness, serving somewhere, building up others so that you’re growing together?

You can‘t really fulfill the command of being filled with the spirit in Ephesians 5 unless you are also seeking to obey the teaching of Ephesians 1 to 4–are you?  Many so-called Christians lack power because they are not involved in a local church.  Remember this illustration?  I am told that Spurgeon once visited a church member who had stopped attending church.  Shocked to see him, the parishioner waved him in without a word.  Spurgeon took a seat right on the hearth where a coal fire was burning.  He looked at the man, then took some tongs, reached into the fire and pulled a burning coal from the flames and set it next to him.  As they both watched, the coal lost its glow, grew ashen, and then went cold.  Spurgeon again looked at his brother, who then said to the great preacher, I understand pastor–I will be back next week.  To be filled with the Spirit is also contextually tied into an intimate relationship with a local church.  So if being filled is so crucial and has some requirements . . .

#3  What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?

It doesn’t mean getting a spiritual zap resulting in a permanent spiritual high, nor is it the opposite, a mere dry choice of your will to walk obediently to the Word of God, even if it kills you.  It is not like filling a gas tank (though that’d be nice these days).  The word for filled has three descriptive shades of meaning.

First, filled is used to describe the pressure of a wind that fills the sail of a sailboat, bearing it along, showing us that filling has to do with the Holy Spirit providing the thrust to move us down the pathway of obedience.  The wind is already blowing you toward Christ, filled is having your sails up.

Second, filled has the idea of permeation and saturation, like the salt that permeates meat with its flavor, or the way Alka-Seltzer permeates the water with its flavor and medicine.  This gives us the idea that God wants the Holy Spirit to permeate and flavor our lives so that when we’re around others they will sense His presence in us and through us.

Third, the Greek word filled in the New Testament carries the idea of domination or total control.  Like the way someone is filled with anger, or filled with fear or grief.  Christians are to be filled, totally dominated, with the Spirit.  In a positive sense, being filled is yielding our lives to the Spirit in such a way that every emotion, thought, and act of the will is under His direction, totally in line with His will found in the Word.

You get the same sense when you look again at Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”  There are two commands here.  One is don’t get drunk, the other is be filled.  In contrast to the wine controlling you or dominating you, you’re to be dominated or controlled by the Spirit.  (Some believe this is tied into pagan worship, which used strong drink as a way to worship.)  But the contrast is clear–to be drunk is to be under the influence of alcohol.  When you’re drunk, it affects every aspect of your being.

As a non-Christian or Christian, I have never been drunk (that one is one of the few sins that is not on my long list.)  But I have observed others when drunk, and to be quite honest, they walk with difficulty, with a 15% list.  They slur their words, and they lose their inhibitions, saying stuff like, “Why is your nose so big?”  And they respond slowly, or with anger, tears, or bursts of inappropriate laughter.  In contrast, to be filled with the Spirit means to be under the control of the Spirit, so much so that the Spirit affects the way you walk, talk, think and respond–every aspect of your person.

People drink because they want to escape, they want to forget their empty life–so Paul says, don’t get drunk, watch TV, eat, sleep, but be filled with the Spirit.  The grammar of the verb for filled not only affirms this truth of total control, but even makes the idea of being filled practical.  The literal rendering of the verb to be filled with the Spirit is be being kept filled.  Again, the verb is an imperative, a command, a non-optional Christian life requirement.  And in context, the only way to have our marriage enjoy Ephesians 5, and our parenting Ephesians 6, we must be filled with the Spirit.  How often?  The Greek word for filled is a present tense, all the time, every moment of every day.

Like faith, without it you can’t please the Lord.  Like love, without it you’re merely making a lot of noise.  Being filled with the Spirit is every moment, now, every action, every word, every attitude, as you sit here this morning, when you get up, as you fellowship with other believers this morning, as you talk with your kids and spouse, as you decide where to eat, and especially as you drive away.  It’s a fun game to point out the filled drivers and the flesh drivers.

Being filled is present tense all the time.  For the believer, it is like a marriage.  How do you think my wife Jean would react if I were to say to her, “I used to love you all the time?  I’ll love you again sometime in the future.”  That doesn’t work.  This issue is, “I love you now, present tense, all the time.”  That would be like the new husband that gave his wife a mood ring to help him understand his bride–and it did.  It turned green when she was in a good mood, and it left an ugly mark on his face when she was in a bad mood.

Be filled is present tense now.  Being filled is not a one-time high, or a point of super dedication–it is a moment-by-moment, day-by-day present tense process.  And who is it for?  Everyone–the verb be filled is plural, which means you all be filled.  This is not merely for pastors, elders, or worship leaders, but for everyone in the Ephesus church and everyone here too.  It is not for those who think they’ve had a post-conversion experience or for charismatics.  Being filled is crucial for every marriage, every parent, every employee slave and every employer master, and every believer involved in spiritual warfare–for each and every one of you.

So how can I be filled?  This is where it gets tricky.  The verb for be filled is passive.  If it were active, you could do it, if it was middle, you would do it to yourself, but it’s passive.  You can’t do it, it is done to you.  How do you like that–God gives you a crucial command, but in giving it, also tells you that you can’t do it.  What is the Lord telling us through the apostle Paul?  In order to be filled with the Spirit, you are to yield to the Spirit.  You seek, you desire, you obey, you expect, you respond, but you don’t control, like it is your choice, like you are in charge.  No, He is God and you are not–the indwelling Spirit fills those who submit, yield, depend, desire Him, then obey His Word.

It’s like my baseball glove–if I say to my glove, “Play baseball,” what does my glove do?  Nothing–my glove cannot play baseball.  But if I put my hand in my glove and play baseball, what happens?  It can play baseball and function in the way it’s designed to function.  It fulfills its created purpose.  And if I put my hand in my glove and play Diamondback/Dodger baseball, what happens?  It wins.

John MacArthur writes, a Christian can accomplish no more without being filled with the Holy Spirit than a glove can accomplish without being filled with a hand.  Spirit-filled people learn what God wants them to do in His Word, they yield themselves to the Spirit, then they obey dependently.  They become the instruments the Spirit can use to demonstrate the character of God in words, actions and attitudes.

Like my boys on a walk when they were a little older than one, they would raise their hand, put it in mine so they could walk.  Spirit-filled Christians are those who raise their hands and grab onto their father’s hand in order to walk in this world.  Isn’t this the same truth as Galatians 2:20?  “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”

Back to Ephesians 5 the verb to be filled is passive.  You can’t do it, it must happen to you–but you put yourself in a position to be filled.  You live in dependence, you live desiring to be filled, then you step out in obedience to His Word.  I like how Spurgeon practiced this truth.  As he stepped up to the pulpit to preach God’s Word, the prince of preachers would say to himself every step he took, “I believe in the Spirit, I believe in the Spirit, I believe in the Spirit,” seeking to be filled, controlled, as He proclaimed God’s Word.  Christian, you and I are to be being kept filled.  But how does this work out in everyday life?  I am glad you asked.

#4  How can you be filled with the Spirit every day?

Let me encourage you to write this down in the margin of your Bible.  I want to give you a key, a pass, as it were, to the Spirit-filled life.  P.A.S.S.–so much of what we hear we forget.  My challenge is for you to remember this for the rest of your life.  Remember how great it was when you got a hall pass at school?  Today you get a pass to the Spirit-filled life.  How can you and I be filled with the Spirit every day?  P.A.S.S.

First  Dwell on a passage–P is for passage

Look again at Ephesians 5:18 to 20, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks.”  Now turn over to Colossians 3:16 (Colossians and Ephesians are parallel books, and there’s an interesting parallel), “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Do you notice any similarities?  Sure, the results of being filled in Eph 5:18 and let the word of Christ dwell in Col 3:16 are basically the same.  As a result, we can conclude being filled with the Spirit has got to be very similar to let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.  Part of being filled with the Spirit, part of yielding to Him is to have the Word of God literally be at home in your hearts.

Your life and my life, your thoughts and my thoughts are to be centered around the Word, be saturated with the Word, chewing on the Word, distracted with the Word.  Coming here to a church like this where we want to teach you the Bible in context can help a lot, but equipping classes and sermons can’t make the Word be at home in your hearts.  You must learn to chew on and be saturated with the Word in every day life in order to be filled with the Spirit.  It is like this teabag–as it sits in the water, it penetrates and saturates the water so that it no longer is water.  It’s tea.  Dwelling on the Word is to have the Word so saturate your everyday life it no longer looks like you, but the Spirit.

This is very much like the principle of meditation, where like a cow chews on its cud over and over to fully assimilate its nutrients, you are chewing the Word over and over to fully assimilate its truth in and through your life.  Meditation in the world is emptying your mind with mindless repetition–meditation in the design of God is filling your mind with His truth and thinking deeply about it from every possible application angle.

It’s not, Paul is a dead man but Jesus Christ loves me.  Do all things without grumbling and disputing.  In order to be filled with the Spirit, dwell on a passage–P is for passage.  A is for aware.

Second  Be aware

The passive nature of the verb be filled tells you that you can’t.  Just like only Christ can live the Christian life, and only God can glorify God, only the Spirit can fill you so that you’re controlled by the Spirit.  You need to continually be aware of who you are and who God is.  Do you know who you are?  Turn for a moment to Galatians 6:3, and let me build up your self-esteem as Paul wraps up this letter, “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”  We are nothing–feel built up yet?

We are to die to self, die to pride, surrender daily, put no confidence in our flesh, our thoughts, our strength, our ideas, even our abilities.  Be aware of who you are–you are nothing, Christ is all.  Do you believe that?  Let me test you with a shocking statement—you are nothing and I am nothing.  Now understand, I love you, I don’t want to unnecessarily hurt you, I value your lives, I have grown close to many of you like true brothers and sisters.  But what are you and I apart from the grace of God?  Nothing.

Sometimes God has to allow trials, crisis, pains, and unbelievable hurts in your life to remind you that you’re nothing–maybe He is doing that now.  I know I am nothing, super nothing.  Be aware, friend–all your scholarship, all your gifts, all your abilities for the work of the Lord is nothing still, unless He fills you for each and every task.  Nothing you and I ever do will count for eternity unless it is done in the power of the Spirit for the glory of God.  Be aware of who you are and who God is.  Be aware you can’t do anything in your own strength.  You and I need to be dependent to be filled.

Be aware also, this is not mystical or self-centered.  A mystical response would say, “Well I am not filled with the Spirit, so I don’t have to love my husband or serve my wife today.”  A self-centered response is where you’re walking toward a hurting believer and you say, “Well, I am not filled, so tough luck, Chuck,” and you walk by.  No, you obey because it’s right until it feels right.  You don’t wait to be filled, or feel happy, or empowered–you step out by faith, obey and expect God to fill you.  So your pass to the Spirit-filled life is dwell on a passage and be aware that you can’t and God must.  Add to that . . .

Third  Deal with all known sin

The Holy Spirit, God Himself dwells in you.  This in and of itself should keep you from sin.  Paul reminded the Corinthians in 6:18 and 19, “Flee immorality.  Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”  The third person of the trinity dwells in you.  And He is called the Holy Spirit, which obviously would make Him at the very least sensitive to sin in your life.  He’s holy.  This is why the Scripture talks about our sin grieving and quenching the Spirit.

Turn back to Ephesians 4:30 to 32 and take a look at what grieving the Spirit is, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Obviously the Spirit’s feelings are different than our emotions–His are a sovereign choice of His will, where ours are typically reactions to circumstances.  But there is a similarity, in that as a person, our sin grieves Him.  Like the poor choices our children can make, we understand what it means to be grieved, and here the Spirit is grieved by our unwillingness to deal with disobedience to His Word, specifically here, misusing our tongue and not forgiving others, but generally sins of commission, sins that violate what we know to be true in His Word.  Sin grieves the Spirit, but it also quenches Him.

Turn back to I Thessalonians 5:19 and 20, which talks about quenching the Spirit.  In this young church early in the Apostolic era, Paul says to this baby church, “Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances.”  Specifically, the Thessalonians were apparently stopping the proclamation of the Word in the early Church.  This stopping what they knew they should do, a sin of omission, not doing what the Lord commanded them to do, quenched the Spirit.  It was stifling or extinguishing the work of the Spirit.  Like putting out a fire, sin will quench the Spirit.

Obviously, if we are going to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we will deal with sin in our lives.  Whether it is sin of commission, committed acts against what we know the Bible forbids, or sins of omission, not doing what the Lord commands–part of being filled, yielded and dependent upon God’s Spirit will involve confession, which is to admit that God is right and you are wrong, and repentance which will ultimately result in you turning away from known sin.  Finally, your pass to the Spirit-filled life is dwell on a passage, be aware that you can’t and God must, deal with all known sin, and last . . .

Fourth  Seek to serve and share

If you were to study the New Testament teaching on spiritual gifts, you would quickly discover that spiritual gifts are often literally called spirituals, or that which is from the spirit.  Spiritual gifts are God-given abilities for service within the body, and these unique abilities that our Lord gives us to show Him off are of the Spirit.  If you desire to see the Holy Spirit manifested in and through your life, if you desire to be filled with the Spirit, then as a way of life serve, and specifically serve the body of Christ.

But it even goes a step further–as you walk through the book of Acts, you will again find in Acts 4 Peter filled with the Spirit to give testimony of Christ.  Again Acts 4, the early Christians were filled with the Spirit and spoke of Christ with boldness.  Again Acts 9, they were filled with the Spirit and testified about Christ.

In the Old Testament, the Spirit came upon certain men to accomplish certain tasks, even to build the furniture for the temple.  In the New Testament, the Spirit manifests Himself in service to the body and in the proclamation of the Gospel, declaring the person and work of Christ to those without Christ in this world.  In other words, being filled is not a life lived like a bucket, collecting the presence and blessing of the Spirit.  But it is more a life lived like a hose, sharing the life of the Spirit to both Christians and non-Christians, as we give ourselves away in service and sharing.

Christ came to serve, and He calls us to serve.  As you dwell upon a passage, are aware that you can’t live for Him in your own strength, deal to confess all known sin, and seek to serve others in the body and proclaiming the Gospel to the lost around you, you will find the Spirit of God will empower you and bless you in ways you can’t even imagine.  And friends, it’s not merely big acts of service, but little ones–letting someone go ahead of you.  You say, “No-o-o, 20 seconds off my life.”  That’s when you will begin to see the Spirit bless in great ways.  You say, “Is it really that good?”  Look at . . .

#5  What are the results of being filled with the Spirit?

Look one last time at Ephesians 5:18 to 21 and notice four immediate results.  “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 [mutual ministry] speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [inner joy] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 [gratitude] always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 [submission] and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”  Wow, can you see how the results of being filled with the Spirit lay the foundation for an incredible marriage, fruitful parenting, and becoming an amazing employee or employer?  You ask, “But Chris, what do these incredible blessings mean?”  For the answer to that you will have to come back next week.  Practically, be being kept filled with the Spirit will result in you . . .

First  Rising above frustrations and discontent

The danger of being a decade disciple (a Christian for over ten years) is that you have certain things figured out.  But if we could see your heart like God does, we would discover that you have been serving in your strength or maybe not serving at all.  Overly frustrated and discontent Christians are not living in the Spirit.  Those who are filled have joy, are grateful and content.  Practically, to be filled with the Spirit will result in you . . .

Second  Bringing joy to your family and ministry

Has your marriage grown a little stale, is your parenting overwhelming you, and has your work turned into drudgery?  That sounded like an infomercial?  Then PASS this test.  Focus on a passage, be aware of your great moment-by-moment need, deal with your sin, and seek to serve in those situations and watch what the Spirit will do–renewing love, joy, peace and patience, kindness and more.  Practically, to be filled with the Spirit will result in you . . .

Third  Developing a godly lifestyle

If you leave here committed to moment-by-moment filling of the Spirit, over time I believe you are going to develop a lifestyle the Bible calls walking in the Spirit.  As you walk in the Spirit, you will not carry out the desire of the flesh, you will overcome more sin and become more like Christ.  But remember it is a process.  It doesn’t happen all at once.

Do you remember Mr. Rogers, when he showed us how crayons and chalkboards were made?  It was so interesting, and that was just last year.  On his website he tells us why he did those “how-things-were-made” clips.  He said, “Seeing the factory visits can help children understand that most things happen through a process–with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  When they make something, they will know that everything takes time to accomplish.  Then they may not give up so easily when they’re frustrated in the early stages.”  It is the same with us–a truly godly lifestyle is not born in a day.  It will take time.  But as you are filled, you will develop a walk, and as you do, your life will never be the same.  And finally, to be filled with the Spirit will result in . . .

Fourth  Loving Christ more now and longing for heaven later

It’s the work of the Spirit to point to Christ.  As He does, you’ll love Him more for all He has done and continues to do for you.  As He does, you will desire His ways more than yours.  As the Spirit allows you to commune with God, you will want to be free of this fallen, sinful, difficult world, and be with Him forever in bliss.

Now I could go on and on–which is what the preacher says when he runs out of material.  “I could go on and on”–but I won’t.  Let’s pray.


About Chris Mueller

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.