The Light Washed Path

BE FILLED-1 “Who Should Be FILLED”

Eph. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

Eph. 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

Welcome To The Light-Washed Path,

Being filled with the Spirit is not a suggestion. It’’s a command. Being full of the Spirit, to the point of overflowing, is not uniquely reserved for select Christians with special callings. There’’s a prevailing notion among Christians that being full of the Holy Spirit is for those who “need it” in order to fulfill special ministry functions.  But that whole line of reasoning is backwards, because God’’s idea was that ministry would flow from filling and not filling flow from ministry. In short, it’s wrong to think that God reserves the outpouring of His Spirit for those who are committed to the type of ministry that requires it. Truth is that the need and potential for ministry is all around us, and just waiting for Christians to be “filled with the Spirit” in order to fulfill that ministry. The result of being filled with the Spirit, is that we suddenly become aware, equipped and led by the Spirit, into ministry. Ministry is the result of being filled, and not the other way around. True ministry is simply fulfilling Jesus’ command to all believers:

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Because of the institutionalization of the Church, we have mistakenly institutionalized the call of every Christian. The error goes something like this: We are supposed to preach the Gospel to the Lost. So let’’s pray for the Spirit to work through the missionaries and evangelists who will actually be doing that work. In this model, the Holy Spirit is like some kind of abstract, divine accessory, that we hope, works through the efforts of our frontline laborers, who will do witnessing. But in reality, the call of every Christian is to be filled with the Spirit and receive power to be a witness. The doing comes from the being, not the being from the doing. The ministry of witnessing comes from being filled with the Spirit, and not from responding to a call to go preaching

Having the Truth is not enough of a qualification to go preaching to the world. If it were, Jesus would have let His disciples immediately go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth, the moment they had the Truth. But in spite of the fact that Jesus had indeed raised from the dead, and in spite of the fact that His disciples now believed it, and had gotten the message straight, Jesus still ordered them to wait until they had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Because the ministry of the gospel is not accomplished by Christians armed with Truth, but by the Holy Spirit armed with Christians.

Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but wait YOU in the city of Jerusalem, until YOU be endued with power from on high.

If the disciples who saw the risen Christ were not qualified to witness without first being filled with the Holy Spirit, and empowered to be witnesses, then obviously the accuracy of the message alone wasn’t enough without the presence of the Spirit in the messengers. Then how is it considered progress if two thousand years later we’re processing young people through our institutions and thenpraying that God will “go with them”? Compare the results of the first few chapters of Acts with our averages today. With all our advances, maybe we’ve forgotten something and need to go back and pick it up. Consider the great example of the Apostle Paul.

1 Cor. 2:1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.

1 Cor. 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

1 Cor. 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.

1 Cor. 2:4 And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

1 Cor. 2:5 that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

There are many forgettable preachers among us today, with a lot less intellectual prowess than that of the Apostle Paul. Yet Paul’’s enduring influence surprisingly, has little to do with his great intellect, and everything to do a trait we are all able to exhibit: dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Paul’’s great secret? It’’s simple. He didn’t try to get by on the greatness of his call, but on the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Paul knew that the power to affect the lost with the Gospel of Jesus didn’t come to him as an awareness of the Truth but when he received the Holy Spirit’’s Baptism. It was the filling of the Spirit that transformed his own life. He knew that the secret, indispensable element of transformation, in the life of the believer, was being filled with the Spirit. Everything else needed would flow from that. That is God’’s simple formula and model for taking the Gospel to the world. And if taking the Gospel to the lost is going to be the ministry of a few authorized reps of religious institutions, then maybe only a few special vessels need to be filled with the Spirit. But if the world is meant to be reached by the “affected” and not the “educated”, then who should be filled with the Spirit?

Eph. 5:18 …but be (YOU) filled with the Spirit,…

Stay On The Path!