Remaining Full of the Holy Spirit:
“9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:9-14
How do I remain filled with the Spirit of God? How do I know if I am continually living in the love of God? Maybe I know I am living in God’s love because I have had an emotional experience with God in a church service. Perhaps I know because I feel, “Holy Ghost bumps”, when we sign praise and worship in church. Maybe I know that because God loves me and always will, and as a result, no matter what I am doing, I am always living in His love. Maybe there is more to it. While receiving the Holy Spirit is a one-time event, living a life being filled with the Holy Spirit is an ongoing process.
What if living (or abiding) in God’s love is more than just about how I am feeling at a given moment? What if living in God’s love isn’t just about getting the, “warm fuzzies”, when I am in His presence? Could it be something deeper? Could it be something more meaningful? Could I be living in His presence even in those times when He doesn’t feel close? How can I know that I am living in the love of God? Jesus answers that question in the book of John. “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love…”
Interesting. Jesus does not give some mystical or magical formula, to know that I am continually living in the love of God. He simply says that in order to remain living in the love of God, I must obey His commands. It is not about an emotional or mystical experience. It is not about how many “amen’s” I say or how many, “hallelujah’s” I can yell.
Living in God’s love is about how obedient I am to do what He says. Someone once said, “Being Spirit led is not about how high you can jump, how loud you can yell. It is about how straight you walk.” I agree.
I must let God’s Spirit flow to me and then through me. If I want to be living in God’s love, it means loving my neighbor as I love myself. It means honoring and loving my wife as Christ loved the church. It means being kind to others even if they are not kind to me. It means serving God in the church even if no one notices. It means spending time regularly with God in His word and in prayer. It means apologizing at times even when I feel I am right. It means walking in integrity, even when no one is looking. It doesn’t sound like the most spiritual way to live a Spirit-filled life, but it is the biblical way.
Jesus would teach me that in being, “Spirit-filled”, the question doesn’t end there. I must continue on to ask if I am being, “Spirit-spilled.” Jesus would remind me that being a Christian is not so much about what I get, but about what I give. It is about how much I am allowing God to pour Himself out through me.