"Be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things."?X. EPH. v. 18-20. R. V.
If we had the expression, "filled with the Spirit," only in regard to the story of Pentecost, we might naturally think that it was something special, and not meant for ordinary life. But our text teaches us the great lesson that it is meant for every Christian and for everyday life.
To realise this more fully, think of what the Holy Spirit was in Christ Jesus, and what the conditions were under which He, as man, was filled with the Spirit. He received the Spirit when He was praying, and had yielded Himself as a sacrifice to God in going down into the sinner's baptism. And full of the Holy Spirit He was led to the forty days' fasting, sacrificing the needs of the body to be free for fellowship with the Father and the victory over Satan. He even refused, when He was an hungered, to listen to the temptation of the Evil One to use His power to make bread to supply His hunger. And so He was led by the Spirit all through life until He, by the Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without blem¬ish unto God. In Christ the Spirit meant prayer, obedience, and sacrifice.
Even so we, if we are to follow Christ, to have His mind in us, to live out His life, must seek to regard the fullness of the Spirit as a daily supply, as a daily provision, if we are to live the life of obedience, of joy, of self-sacrifice, and of power for service. There may be occasions when that fullness of the Spirit will become specially manifest, but every day and all the day it is only as we are led by the Spirit that we can abide in Christ Jesus, conquer the flesh and the world, and live the life with God in prayer, and with our fellow-men in humble, holy, fruitful service.
Above all, it is only as we are filled with the Spirit that the words of Jesus can be fully understood and experienced: "Lo, I am with you alway." Let no one think this is too high; this is impossible. "Impossible with men, possible with God!" And if we cannot attain to it at once, let us at least make it, in an act of holy decision, our definite aim, our unceasing prayer, our childlike expectation. "Lo, I am with you alway," was meant for daily life, and that not without but with the sure and all-sufficient aid of that blessed Spirit of whom Jesus said: "He that believeth in Me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water." Our faith in Christ will be the measure of our fullness of the Spirit. The measure of the power of the Spirit in us will be the measure of our experience of the presence of Christ.
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