Living to love with Jesus is only possible if we are on good terms with the Holy Spirit. Last month I introduced four practices regarding the Holy Spirit that are essential if we are going to live to love with Jesus. If you missed last month’s Chariot of Fire, you can find it here. The Spirit of God lives in His children, and we have the calling, privilege, and blessing to walk by the Spirit. I suggested that we are to keep the conversation going with the Holy Spirit like we would with anyone else. This first practice is essential if we are to be channels of God’s love.
Be Filled With the Holy Spirit
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The second vital thing to practice if you expect God to answer your prayer to live to love with Jesus has to do with being filled with the Holy Spirit. We have been commanded in Scripture to be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit. This is emphasized in Paul’s verb tense which literally says, be being filled. The importance of obeying this command seems evident by our experiences. Whatever you are filled with is what is going to come out of you as you live your life each day. If a cup is filled with orange juice when it is shaken, there’s going to be orange juice all over things. If you’ve been drinking from things and experiences to be found in this world, or as Paul put it, “setting your mind on the things that are on the earth”,1 using everything and everyone around you to find happiness and satisfaction in life, and seeking to feel at home in the culture surrounding you, then when you get shaken, you’ll create quite a mess. In stark contrast, if you’ve been filling yourself up with knowing, loving, and trusting God by keeping the conversation going with the Holy Spirit, you have been filling up the space in your soul with the life and love of Jesus. When the things of this life shake you, His love will come out of you onto those around you. To God, that’s a sweet-smelling aroma of Christ that makes Him happy! “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:2).
We gain insight from Paul in how to be filled with the Spirit. He instructs us to join the Spirit in what He loves to do and talk about. Paul wrote,
…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ (Ephesians 5:19-21).
As I read this passage above, it seems to me that Paul was telling them how to walk in love (5:2) with each other and how to be filled with the Spirit. As God puts other brothers and sisters in our paths, we are to encourage one another by speaking and singing about what fills our hearts—the things of the Spirit contained in hymns, songs, and Scripture.
As God sets blessings and storms in our lives, the Spirit will lead us into thanksgiving that we have access to the Father through Jesus Christ so we can discover how best to make much of Jesus’ name. The Spirit also helps us “be subject to one another,” which is thinking of others as more important than ourselves so we can serve their highest good. By walking by the Spirit and being filled with His presence, we know and love God and live to love with Jesus. We simply walk with Him in what He’s doing so we can be filled with the concerns, attitudes, and perspectives of the Holy Spirit.
Okay, I said, “simply.” What was I thinking? Is anything about walking with God simple in this life? No, it’s a battle! The flesh wars against the Spirit.2Although we should know that a disciple of Jesus Christ follows Christ and not those who are seeking to be at home in this world, the attraction of the world and the flesh and the devil all pose significant challenges to our goal. That’s why I suggest that walking by the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit are practices we must adopt as disciples who want to live to love with Jesus. We need to practice putting living to love on the front burner and lead others to do the same.
I find that if I don’t practice walking by the Holy Spirit daily and keeping my mind engaged with the things of the Spirit so I can be filled with Him, my flesh and the world will side-track me or trip me up. Can you relate? This practice is important because of this truth: Whatever we are filled with is going to come out of us when we are shaken by situations that don’t go our way or people who hurt or disappoint us. If you are filled with the Spirit, love will come out. I hope you are encouraged to consider what spirit fills you, and I hope you’ll be motivated and inspired to obey Paul’s command to be filled with the Holy Spirit as a lifelong practice.
Living to love with Jesus requires keeping the fire of the Spirit burning in our souls. Because this is true, next month we’ll consider a third aspect of walking by the Spirit so we can live to love with Jesus.
- “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).
- “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Galatians 5:16-17).