What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I’ve been told that in order to demonstrate that I am a Christian I need to physically and emotionally express myself in worship to God. Is this true, and if not, what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? – S.F.
A: The tides of civilization have risen, the courses of nations have been changed, and the pages of history have been brightened by people who have been filled with the Spirit of God.
But what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? It is not necessarily an emotional experience, nor will it necessarily bring us some type of spiritual experience. To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit. It is to be so yielded to Christ that our supreme desire is to do His will. When we come to Christ, the Spirit comes to dwell within us — whether we are aware of His presence or not. But as we grow in Christ, our goal is to be controlled by the Spirit. Human beings don’t like the idea of being controlled by others, or submitting, but humbling ourselves before the Lord brings us to obedience. Submission involves getting rid of everything that hinders God’s control over our lives.
We must yield our life to Christ without reserve, asking Him to fill us and use us for His glory. When the Spirit of God dwells in us, He will produce the fruit of good works. Gardens don’t grow by themselves; they need to be tended and cultivated and weeded. We should pray that our souls would be cultivated, that He might find favorable ground to produce that which He will use.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10, NKJV). The world needs to be touched by Christians who are Spirit filled, Spirit led, and Spirit empowered.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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