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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

To Be Filled

A new preacher came to deliver his first sermon in a prairie church, but no one showed up but one cowhand. The preacher asked the cowhand if he should proceed with the services. The cowhand replied, “If I came to feed my cows and only one showed up, I would feed her.” The preacher thanked him and gave the prepared hour-long sermon that stretched to an hour and a half. When he finished, he asked the cowhand if he liked the sermon. The cowhand replied, “I don’t know much about sermons, but if I came to feed my cows and only one showed up, I sure wouldn’t give her the whole load.”

I find myself feeling this way sometimes. We like part of what we hear or we like part of the scripture verse. I heard someone say recently, we ask to be led by the Holy Spirit then we try to lead. We need to let Him guide! I have all intentions of being led by the Holy Spirit until I have a good idea, get impatient, and the list goes on. Even when it is something I feel God has led me to do, I still try to do it on my own.

While studying Ephesians 5: 18 I realized a new meaning for being filled with the Spirit. "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit..." "Filled" means wind filling a sail. When a sail is filled with the wind, it carries the boat along just as the Spirit carries us along in life. "Filled" also means to be continuously filled - over and over with the Holy Spirit. "Filled" is also translated to "permeate" which means spread throughout. We need to let the Holy Spirit permeate our lives, our spiritual life, our marriage, our work, every area of our life!

When we asked Jesus into our lives, we were forgiven from our sins and we were promised heaven for eternity. We were made right with God. We were filled with the Holy Spirit but that does not mean we always act like it. Ephesians 1: 13, "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit..." That seal is mentioned again in 2 Corinthians 1: 22, "and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.[" That is the Holy Spirit vouching for our salvation.

Every day, every hour, every decision we have a conscious choice to make. Are we going to lead or let the Holy Spirit lead? We have been given a huge gift and by not letting the Holy Spirit lead we are leaving part of the gift in the box. Acts 4: 1-8, "On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: 'Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' Then they gathered around him and asked him, 'Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?' He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'”

Jesus knew we can not live the Christian life alone. We all need the power of the Holy Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit, we rely on His strength to accomplish God’s will. When we do it God's way it is so much better and less stressful! We do not get burned out doing it all by ourselves. We do not become overwhelmed because we know the Spirit will help us do whatever God is calling us to accomplish. It is like having a personal assistant who is there 24/7 to help you. And I say personal because He knows you better than you know yourself and He knows the unique plan that is just for you! He is the smartest, wisest, most creative! Sounds like we need to let The Spirit lead and us be the assistant. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be led by the Holy Spirit!


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