Sunday, January 11, 2009

Spiritual warfare and Spiritual filling - Copley

The Scriptures speak of being filled with the Spirit of God and being filled with the Word of God. Both fillings bring the same results. To head into battle without the power and filling of both the Holy Spirit and the Holy Word would be disastrous. Being filled by the Holy Spirit: Eph. 5:18-21 says, "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ." The Ephesians lived in a culture that worshiped the "god" dionysus, he was the "god" of wine and ecstacy. The Ephesians knew that worship of dionysus involved getting drunk and then inviting the "spirit of dionysus" to control them. Thus Paul is saying don't get drunk to come under the control of evil spirits, but rather allow the Holy Spirit to fill you. This filling is to be a continuous filling. In Colossians 3:16 we read "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." In both verses the verbs are passive; the Spirit is the initiator, we are the recipients. The results of that filling are essentially praise expressed in different forms: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord; and always thanking God for all things. Is this a "special filling"? The idea is to let Christ control and empower you (Col. 3:15: "let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts"), which would not need to carry the sense of an emotional experience, but a moment-by-moment walk. Spirit filling is for every believer. "Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." The fruit of Spirit filling causes us to be joyful, thankful and submissive. Satan hates all of the above because a Spirit filled believer has the power to do great damamge to his kingdom. Much has been made of the Spirit's filling in our current church culture. Filling involves an emptying of self, surrender to the Lord and a hearts desire to do His will. Filling is not an issue of how much of the Holy Spirit do I have, but how much of me does the Holy Spirit have.

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