Be Filled With The Spirit
Arranged from B. McCall Barbour
The supreme need of every believer is to "be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18)--all our needs are comprehended in being thus filled.
God has commanded it (Eph. 5:18). It is possible (Acts 2:4; 4:8, etc.). We ought to be filled! Those of the early church "were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 4:31-35).
Being thus filled, they "Spoke the Word of God with boldness." They "were of one heart and of one soul." "They had all things common." (This can be possible in a group of Christians only as they are all entirely filled with the Spirit.) "With great power gave they witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus." "And great grace was upon them all."
Such are the worthwhile things of Christian living; but can be had only as we are filled with the Spirit. It will mean eternal loss to us if we are not filled with the Spirit, for "every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12). In such degree as we are not filled with the Spirit, in such degree will our work be "wood, hay and stubble"--only to be burned!
Not filled is the explanation of all the weakness, faultiness, fruitlessness, faithlessness, and failure in our spiritual experience (Gal. 5:16-17).
Why is the Christian life commonly so cold, callous and unconcerned about spiritual things? Because not filled! Why so conceited, inconsiderate and covetous? Not filled!
Let us frankly acknowledge it, confess our indifference and accept the only cure--"Be filled with the Spirit!" For every sphere and circumstance in life, the Holy Spirit is needed--and He is enough! Only He can overcome our weakness, waywardness and wickedness; our failure, fault and fear. Only He can supply the deficient ability and power. This He will do if we appropriate Him--yes, yield to Him! If we yield ourselves to "the Overcomer" in His fullness, then shall we overcome in fullness.
The supply is God Himself--God the Holy Spirit. Beloved, think of it! It is the Lord God Almighty Himself who seeks to fill us--weak, worthless, and unlovely vessels that we are. He waits for us to let Him meet the every deficiency and discrepancy of our daily lives!
How grievous it must be to His great heart of love to behold our so oft impoverished spiritual condition, while He has made such rich and all-sufficient provision to satisfy our every need.
This is perhaps the saddest tragedy of the Christian experience! Countless souls who bear the name of Christ live out their days in spiritual poverty and powerlessness, yes, and in perversity as well, while the Almighty and all-loving God and Father seeks to fill them with Himself, and to make them strong, victorious, and free!
It is needful to keep filled with the Spirit continuously. There must be a constant and persevering yielding to the Holy Spirit within the Christian. There is no such thing as being filled with the Spirit once for all. We shall be kept filled as long as we keep empty and appropriate Him as our life moment by moment. To grieve the Holy Spirit by indulgence in anything known to be contrary to His will, or even doubtful, will instantly reduce in us His power.
Oh, the sin of not being filled with the Holy Spirit--for surely it is sin! What awful loss to others! What unknown loss to God! And what eternal loss to ourselves!