Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Spirit-filled Life

We have been challenged by Pastor Mark this week to embrace the Spirit-filled life and allow our day-to-day lives be led by the Holy Spirit. Not a new concept for me, but seems to be something that I definitely haven't gotten a handle on either. He is focusing on the addressing the family unit in the body of Christ right now and how we should build a foundation in our families that we can build a lasting Spirit-filled life on. He is going through Ephesians 5 right now and it has truly spoken volumes to me about things that I know need to change in my approach to parenting and in my marriage. Probaby the biggest thing is just what I let come out of my mouth to my children and my husband. Or how greedy I am with what I think is my time, my space, etc. The foolish talk, the empty words that can come out of my mouth to my children, which can lead to deception on their part as to who they are or what they will believe in their lives. It's just all very yucky to think about. But in Ephesians, it talks about what can happen when we allow our lives to be surrendered fully to the Spirit-filled life. and I know that it actually begins with obedience in one area, which is feeding myself with the Word daily and that has probably been one of the toughest things for me to stay constant with my whole life and therefore, I struggle keeping in step with the Spirit daily.

Ephesians says:

8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." (5:15)
" filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. "(5: 18-20)

To be filled with the Spirit, I must be surrendered daily to it. I must make the most of every opportunity to fill myself with the Christ and His Word. I must let go of my rights, my fleshly desires, and allow the Spirit to take over. It says in Ephesians, that when we are filled with the Spirit, we will speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual psalms. That we will be always giving thanks to God for everything. I'm thinking that sounds like a fantastic way to be.
I have been finding this week that having a thankful heart is another mind-shift that is so vital in our spirit-filled life. I have been making a conscious effort to thank God in every circumstance, every day this past week and it has made the world of difference for my soul. Joy has been returning in areas that I had been losing it. It was amazing. But now to actually have a heart that automatically gives thanks without even trying sounds even better, which is what can come from a life surrendered to the Holy Spirit.
I was convicted today after the sermon that I have not been very active in introducing my children to the Spirit-filled life like I should. Why is it that I so whole-heartedly believe in this way of living, but I don't find opportunities to share it with my children. It's probably because I haven't surrendered to it fully myself, therefore making it hard to be able to teach it. We need to practice what we preach, amen? That is something the Lord and I are working out and I believe He wants to lead us to a way of parenting that all the parenting advice books don't tell you, which is parenting under the authority of the Holy Spirit.