Being Spirit Filled – A Lifelong Faith
“6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
Colossians 2:6-8 NIV (emphasis mine)
A few months ago, Laura and I celebrated 10 years of marriage! As I sit back, I remember the time and effort we put into planning and preparing for the wedding (almost one year). We (mostly Laura) needed to have the right flowers, the right centerpieces, favors, gifts for out of town guests, pictures taken at the right places, food take care of, programming for the reception put in place with someone dancing a Hula, sound system, and another person serving as an Emcee. The church needed to be decorated, the pictures taken, the tuxedos rented, the brides maids fitted, the makeup put on, the hair arranged, and the minister in place. And then comes the honeymoon (that is the part I was looking forward to). Whew! I get tired just thinking of the process!
As I think back I remember all the energy and effort we put in throughout the year planning and preparing for the wedding and reception (which lasted maybe 4 hours total) compared with very little preparation for our marriage. I find it interesting that like us, most couples would agree that the important part of their relationship is their marriage relationship, but prior to being married, there is very little preparation for the relationship itself, but great amounts of the preparation into the wedding and reception.
I am not by any means against planning weddings, but the point I’d like to make is this.
It is not the wedding that defines the success of a marriage, but rather, it is the day-to-day relationship within the marriage that makes it either successful or a failure.
In church, I have found that often we will take all the time and preparation needed to have that initial experience of being filled with the Spirit of God or being Baptized in the Spirit, but we often forget to place the energy and effort into the everyday walk and relationship with Jesus and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
As Pentecostals, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to bring people to come to the initial place of encountering the Holy Spirit, but forget that of utmost importance is to encounter the Holy Spirit daily, not only on one day.
In Colossians, Paul encourages a church consisting of mostly new gentile believers, not to simply dwell on receiving Jesus Christ as Lord, but also on continuing to live with Him on a daily basis and to get deeply rooted in their faith in Him.
Being a Spirit-led, Spirit-filled believer means more than coming to church and speaking in tongues or being “slain in the Spirit”. Rather, it means that in my daily walk with God, I am sensitive to, and act on the promptings of the Spirit of God. Someone once said it this way, “Being led by the Spirit of God is not about how high you can jump or how loud you can pray, but rather, it is about how straight you can walk.” I agree. It is not that one time encounter at church that defines a Spirit-filled believer. Rather it is my day-to-day relationship with the Spirit of God that defines a Spirit-filled believer.
Lord Jesus may You be glorified in me. Not just in saving me, but in walking with me everyday. Amen.