Filled with the Holy Spirit vs. Being a JERK
I wrote the following at the top of the page in my Sunday School book: “Are you led by the Spirit or just being a JERK?”
Whoa. Do you respond to this question with an internal ouch or do you think to yourself, I’ve never even considered this?
At the beginning of this year I made the decision to choose a word for my year. Something I’ve never done. I have written out a list of unreachable goals in the past that were easily forgotten a few weeks into January. So, I decided, for me a long list of unattainable goals was pretty useless. Simply choosing one word seemed to be non-threatening. Easier to focus on. Easier to remember. One thing. One focus. I may have already told you about it…my word for the year is A B I D E. I figure if I can get this planted deeply into my soul it’ll take root. In one year’s time I would think this would become the habit of my life.
Christianity is lifestyle
Many of my conversations with my friends lately have been about this. Being a Christian is a lifestyle if we're doing it right, that is. It’s not just the appearance you put on for Sundays. Or at least it shouldn’t be. While I believe we absolutely should be setting aside special focused time to spend in prayer and in the Bible, it shouldn’t be separate from the rest of our day. What I mean is, it shouldn’t just be a time slot we fill. It shouldn’t just be 15 minutes a day with Jesus. He lives in us. He’s with us every day. Every moment.
Being Led by the spirit doesn't have to be hard
Abiding really doesn't have to be hard. It’s not like we have to conjure up God’s presence in our lives every day. We sure do act like it sometimes don’t we? Take fear for example, which is the opposite of boldness. When we’re faced with fear we act like we’re standing there all alone. But we aren’t. We have the Holy Spirit inside of us.
The Holy Spirit is boldness. In its purest form
I picture it like this. The Holy Spirit was planted in us from the day we accepted Christ. I picture a seed. As we water that seed everyday and take very special care in its growth focusing on it and letting it consume us, it begins to grow. I picture it vining its way through our limbs wrapping itself around our hearts and protruding out through the tips of our fingers and feet and blooming out through our eyes, ears and mouth. A big beautiful green vine with the prettiest most fragrant blooms you’ve ever seen that eventually become fruit. This is a picture of the Child of God abiding. Someone “filled” with the Holy Spirit.
What being filled with the Holy Spirit looks like
I love what Steven J. Cole says, “To be filled with the Spirit is to live every conscious area of your life yielded to the Spirit’s control...the filling of the Spirit is a habitual condition that we must seek.” In fact his article on the subject is worth your time, in my opinion.
"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him." Romans 8:9
"And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31
I also picture this. While the Holy Spirit absolutely does reside in the Child of God. That seed was planted there and was watered so well in the beginning and began to take root but then it was left alone one day not cared for and stopped growing. Its leaves are no longer the brightest green. They’re brown. Lifeless. Our selfish nature is bigger. It’s taking any water for itself. It’s consumed with other things and people. Someone “not filled” with the Holy Spirit.
"But I say, walk by the Spirit [live freely], and you will not gratify [feed] the desires [compulsions] of the flesh [selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit]." [the Message] Galatians 5:16
"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16
"Do not quench the Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 5:19
“Are you led by the Spirit or just being a JERK?” Is your boldness false or is it in its purest form? Consider this quote.
“If you do not plan to live the Christian life totally committed to knowing your God and to walking in obedience to Him, then don’t begin, for this this is what Christianity is all about. It is a change of…allegiance. If you have no intention of letting Christ rule your life, then forget Christianity; it is not for you.” – Kay Arthur
This may be something for another day, but this quote just gets straight to the heart of it, doesn't it?