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So be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 this is a command. (View Command) One of the reasons the church is not as dynamic and as effective as God wants us to be as a group of believers is we are disobedient to this command, aren’t we? We are not consistently repenting of sin, believing that God can do this, surrendering to the Father’s will, abiding in Christ and being filled with the Spirit. So, we are not filled with the Spirit, we are led by the flesh. So, a great percentage of the church is living in disobedience moment by moment each day.

This is kind of an interesting point. The filling is passive. It says “Be filled with the Spirit.” (View Explanation) Okay? It is not….Fill yourself with the spirit. It is not: Be filled by the Spirit.” The filling is done by the Father. As we abide in Christ, as we talk to Jesus throughout the day, as we walk with Him, we are being filled. As we abide, we are being filled. Many times people in church try to work up some worship service, or some ecstatic experience which creates an emotion thinking that that is filling them with the Spirit. (View Matthew 5:6) (View Illustration)

I went to the Diamondbacks and they won the seventh game of the World Series, I was one of 400,000 who said they were there that night in a 40,000 seat stadium and the enthusiasm went out of control. I have never been more ecstatic in my whole life. That was not causing me to be filled with the Spirit; that was just emotion. We can have emotion in church that has nothing to do with being filled with the Spirit. So many times there are church services that create emotion which has nothing to do with the Spirit. If people are in there creating tremendous emotion, they still may not be repentant of their sin, or believing that Christ can live His life out through us, or surrendering or abiding in Christ. Those people who saw that seventh game of the World Series with the Diamondbacks, many of them were not believers. Were they having an ecstatic experience? Sure. They were having a fantastic experience, but the next day it was gone, and many of the people who were having that ecstatic experience weren’t believers in the first place. Emotions have nothing to do with being filled with the Spirit.

About six years ago, I was working with a clients (I work in financial planning), and I would say, “How much do you save each month?” They would say…“$500.00 a month.” I’d look at their savings and it would not have anything in it. I said, “If you have $500.00 to save each month, why isn’t there anything in your savings?” Over a period of a few weeks, God just started showing me how delusional some of these very nice people clients were about their finances. God had just led me, even though I wasn’t pursuing Him eagerly moment by moment. I was getting up at 5 in the morning and reading the Bible, and as I was reading the Bible and God started impressing (inaudible) – what I was seeing at work, I was recognizing that we as humans kid ourselves. We kid ourselves about how we are.

I thought…“Well, how do I know that I am not kidding myself about how I am?” So I started praying, “Lord, let me see the way that you see me. Show me the truth. How do you see me? I went to Julie, my wife, and said: “What do you think God is going to show me from this prayer?” She said, “I think He is going to show you that He loves you more than you know.” I said, “I think He is going to show me a sin that I am not aware of.” We both ended up being right, because a few weeks later, we were standing by the front door and we were having a fight, and it was a big fight. I don’t remember what it was about, exactly, but as we were fighting I realized that we fight about this so many times, I’ve got to let her see how wrong she is, and how right I am. So I went over…I did something I have never done before. I grabbed a dish, and I came back over and I smashed this dish right at her feet. As my arm came down, our little boy, Daniel, came around the corner. He was four-years-old at the time. He saw me in this hysterics. When he saw me like that, he became hysterical.

I asked the Lord, “How do you see me?” He saw me as a man filled with pride. Pride was coming out in anger. I realized that my legacy was going to be that of _____ dad and a ____ father if I didn’t do something about this, yet I didn’t have any idea what to do. This was the core of me, this was who I was. I was getting up at 5 o’clock every morning to do Bible study, and yet I had this anger and this stuff coming out of me. (View Scripture)

As Paul said, “Who will save me from this body of death?” I was broken, humbled, and repentant. About six-weeks later having no idea what to do…I mean I knew I couldn’t go to a Psychologist, or get some pills to take care of this, this was something deep in my heart.

About six weeks later Julie came up and said, “What has happened to you?” “I don’t know.” She said, “Something is different about you. Your anger is gone, it just disappeared.” ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m not suppressing it, or forcing it down, I don’t know what you are talking about. “Something is gone; maybe Kevin’s anger is underneath the carpet, maybe the chair, where did Kevin’s anger go?

So I was curious as to what happened, because I had not had any emotional experience, I had not asked for anything specific. I just said, “God, I need help. Yes I was repented, and was humbled, and knew I could not help myself. In effect, I surrendered my right to be angry and applied faith. Just a mustard-seed of faith turned and repented to God and said, “Help me, I need you.” When I became empty of self, God filled me with His Holy Spirit. So the Fruit of the Spirit (the love, joy, and peace) that she saw coming out, that was really God living His life out through me.

Now, when that happened, we really did not know what it meant because that had been defined in our minds. So, I started pursuing that—what is this that had happened, and what is it to continue it? Can you make it happen again and again? Can you continue to be filled with the Spirit? Can you continue to abide in Christ? How would you teach others to do it as well? That is kind of where all this class and all these slides came from. In that moment when God started taking control, I didn’t know how to act. I didn’t know what being filled with the Spirit was. I didn’t know how to act. We do not fill ourselves, we humble ourselves, and God does the filling. So when we repent and believe it is something active we do. When we surrender to the Father’s will, that is something active; when you abide in the son, that is something active, but when we are filled with the Spirit, that is passive. I truly believe this is not taught. I’ve read 40-50 books on walking in the Spirit, abiding in Christ, and revival. I do not think this is hardly taught at all. The connection between each of these….you might read a book on repentance, or one on faith and believing, or one on a surrendered life, or on one abiding in Christ. Very seldom are they put together. When you read those books, they aren’t linked. In addition, when we talk about walking in the Spirit, they tend not to link them to these, and they don’t talk about it being passive.

What we have to do is realize that our role is to repent, believe, surrender, abide, and God will fill us with His Spirit. God wants to fills us. He knows how to fill a temple. In the Old Testament, God filled the temple. What did the people do? The people cleansed the temple, the people purified the temple. It is God who fills the temple. Our part is to get out of His way and become pure and clean so that He can fill us.

So what do I do to get filled with the Spirit? (View Revelations 3:20) First of all, Jesus said, “Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens it, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Now you usually hear that about salvation. Usually you’re doing an invitation???? To accept Christ, right? This is Jesus talking to the church. He is actually talking to these people right here. This is to the church at Laodicea, the lukewarm church. He’s actually talking to these people saying, “I’m standing at this door and knocking.” We always hear it from the evangelist over here. He is talking about this one, and inviting us to come in and be filled with the Spirit, and dine with Him—an abiding experience. Ask God to show your blind spot. This is also a prayer that I’ve been praying….“Lord, let me see me the way you see me. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24. (View Scripture)

In reading about repentance and abiding in Christ, I almost get the feeling that pastors out there need to teach on this. (View Details) One is to try to find better verses than these, but they probably can’t. These verses are so complete. If you pray this prayer over and over, this is a pray God answers. “Search me O, God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. Do your anxious thoughts reveal things? It tells us what we’re thinking about, right? What matters to us? What makes us anxious? Many times our anxious thoughts are revealing in what manner we are not surrendered. Sometimes things we are anxious about having nothing ????????? I know I find myself anxious about….Will I get my bills paid in time. Oh, my taxes are due. The kids are driving me crazy. Those are things that create anxiety. Search me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any offensive way, or sin in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (View Explanation)

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