Our water filter went out recently. Yes, I know this is an uptown problem, but until I could get another filter, I decided to pick up some bottled water.
One thing I notice when bottled water is around our place . . . we tend to waste it.
Abandoned bottles of water turn up half-empty (or half-full), daring someone to take a drink and find out how stale they are.
I’m certain I’m responsible for this.
Seeing these bottles with various amounts of water in them reminded me how we as Christians can walk around with varying degrees of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives.
When we trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are given the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul asserts this in Ephesians 1:13:
“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit”
But, it is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit through sin. Paul warns us about this in Ephesians 4:30:
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
1 Thessalonians 5:19 tells us “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.”
We have an active role in how much the Holy Spirit makes a difference in our lives and subsequently, in the lives of others as we engage them on a daily basis.
On the flip side, we also have the ability to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 reads, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”
How do we fill ourselves with the Spirit?
Well, I’m certain it has more to do with God than it does with us.
He makes the forgiveness of our sins possible due to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. James 5:11 states, “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
We can have confidence in our salvation and trust God will always remain available for us to draw near to. This trust is for our benefit.
I appreciate the picture Jeremiah 17:7-8 gives:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
This is a picture of health. In this picture, water refreshes and has not grown stagnant. Fruit is produced if our trust and confidence remains in the Lord and not in sinful behavior.
An example of bearing good fruit exists in Galatians 5:22-26:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Philippians 4:8-9 gives us a directive on how to accomplish this:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Romans 8:6 says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
We are definitely given a task in the previous verses. We are to trust the Lord, to think in a way pleasing to the Lord and to bear fruit as a result. Left alone to our flesh, we can’t accomplish this. We will only continue to grieve the Holy Spirit.
It’s a blessing to each Christian that we have the Holy Spirit as our helper to keep us from grieving the Holy Spirit.
The great thing about having a water filter that works is the unlimited water you can draw out to quench your thirst. But as this water only remains as pure as the filter, we can take great joy that if we ask for the help from the Holy Spirit, we will always have the ability to filter out what keeps us from bearing good fruit.
A commitment to accepting this help on a continuous basis will keep all of our bottles full. We might just overflow with the love of Christ onto a hurting world that desperately needs Him.