Devotionals & Walk with God · Faith · Fatherhood & Faith · The Husband

Emptied to be Filled

Post by The Husband

Ephesians 5:18 says “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit”

It’s a curious thing that many Christians sing and pray “fill me”, yet have little desire to be filled. I know that because despite singing a particular song, I have at times lacked any desire to be filled.

Yet even in the times that I have genuinely wanted some filling (notice the “some”!), my heart has been in no position to receive any of the Spirit.

The simple reason is that if I lack any desire to be emptied, I cannot be filled. As Ephesians 5:18 says “Do not get drunk on wine” – if I’m filled with the wine of the world, I’m already full of something.

If I choose to hold on to anger, I cannot be filled with love. If I choose to be full of pride, I cannot have humility, and if I choose to hold onto lust, I cannot have purity.

The fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control” (Gal 5:22). The opposite of these are (probably something like) hate, hopelessness, unrest, impatience, badness, malice, unfaithfulness, harshness and self-indulgence.

Hence to be filled with the Spirit we would need to be emptied of the flesh.

In my life, I have often self-indulged. For example, during these holidays, there is ample opportunity to indulge in :

  1. food
  2. movies
  3. doing nothing
  4. spending money
  5. drawing attention to myself (by being loud and silly in public places – not that I would ever do that… (: )
  6. sleeping late, waking late
  7. blogging

If I want to be “filled with the Spirit”, that would mean “filled with self-control”, and furthermore, knowing that God is actually infinite, then this “self-control” is actually infinite control of oneself. To be filled with infinite control of myself, I would need to get rid of those things that make me self-indulgent. Hence, some or all of those things listed above must be brought into line so that I am emptied of this, that my heart may be filled with the spirit of self-control.

In practical terms, I sometimes have to declare a “Holy fast” (as God commanded in the book of Joel). If you’re finding that you don’t seem to be getting filled with the Spirit, it’s probably because you’re full of something else, and fasting from that is a good start.

The Husband (post originally found here)

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