Stay Filled

This morning, we come together to celebrate the Day of Pentecost!!!!
Pentecost, meaning fiftieth, is the day on which Jewish men and women celebrate Shavuot; the festival of weeks.  It is celebrated seven full weeks (50 days) following Passover and is a time of sacrifice and offering.  It is now also a time of remembering the giving of the Torah; the first five books of our Bible.
Today, we celebrate it in remembrance of the day when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, which is now available for all believers from all nations and people!
Acts 2:1-4
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Two weeks ago, we learned about being filled with or baptized by the Holy Spirit.  This week, we’re going to learn about staying filled with the Holy Spirit.  We’re called to allow Jesus to fill us with the Holy Spirit, but this is not intended to just be a one time life experience.  We are called to walk every day in the Spirit, staying filled with Him.
Ephesians 5:15-20
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:18
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit
Debauchery is the excessive indulgence of the appetite to gratify sensual pleasure.  Some of its synonyms are: immorality, depravity, corruption, and sin.
God created us with our senses to be able to perceive and have revealed to us our surroundings.  Our senses open up to us whole new worlds of experience.  Our senses themselves (hearing, seeing, tasting, feeling, and smelling) are amoral meaning that of themselves, they are neither right or wrong.  In fact, God uses all of them to reveal Himself to us.
However, our senses also are gateways into our lives for the enemy to leverage.  Remember, the very first sin, which caused us all to be born into sin, became a temptation to Eve because she SAW that the fruit was desirable for food, pleasing to the eye, and desired for giving wisdom.   Notice that debauchery is not just satisfying the appetite of our senses, but it is the excessive indulgence of them.  Debauchery very well defines the culture in which we currently live in.  We have access to a never ending supply of things to excessively indulge the appetite to gratify our sensual pleasure.
Most places that we think of when it comes to sin offer indulgences to all of our senses.  Bars and clubs come to mind which have some of the best tasting and smelling food, plenty to drink, thumping music, neons and black lights, and plenty of griding and dancing.  They appeal to the indulgence of all of our senses.
We are always looking for new ways to indulge our senses.  While spending time in Las Vegas, I was introduced to a new craze: the oxygen bar.  People pay high prices to breath pure oxygen laced with various scents at these new age bars.  Sin city is a good example of debauchery as it is comprised of ways to excessively indulge in all of our senses.
The internet has also opened up to us a whole new type of access to this indulgence and addictions to games, social media, and pornography are ever increasing as our senses are simply never satisfied.
What I felt God is revealing this morning from Ephesians 5:8 is that even though getting drunk usually results in the excessive indulgence of our senses, we are called not to get drunk, but to be filled with the Spirit.  These two experiences are directly compared.  In the same way, the resulting fruits of indulging in our flesh versus indulging in the Spirit are compared in Galatians 5.
The Spirit satisfies the appetite of our senses, opening up to us the spiritual realm surrounding us and bringing a revelation to us of God through them.  Let’s take a look at some examples in scripture:
Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the Lord is good
Ezekiel 3:3
Then God said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is with you … He will take great delight in you … he will rejoice over you with singing.
Isaiah 40:11
God tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers us in his arms and carries us close to his heart
All throughout scripture, God spoke to people.
All throughout scripture, God showed people amazing and overwhelming visions and dreams.
So although Satan leverages the appetite of our senses to tempt us to sin, God satisfies our appetite with good things.
Psalm 103:2;5
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
5 who satisfies our desires with good things
 
We were created to have this sensual appetite.  However, we choose what we have an appetite for.  For example, a person who has never experienced chocolate with their senses will not have a craving for chocolate.  A person who has never smoked with never have the craving to go light one up.
A person who has never experienced God will not crave Him.  Regarding this Jesus said to His disciples:
Acts 1:8
you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.
Through the Holy Spirit, people enter into an experience with God that they can tangibly grasp with their senses.  God chose to use us to bring people into this encounter with God for them to experience!  For example, we may speak a word of knowledge or wisdom to them, do a work of service for them, bring healing or deliverance to them, etc.
Every gift of the Spirit is a physical and tangible manifestation of God’s love to them that is experienced with our senses.  We receive power to be God’s witness when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  We cannot forget this simple truth about why we are filled with the Holy Spirit!  Being filled with the Spirit is not just so that we can be empowered to overcome sin and experience God.  Being filled with the Spirit is in actually far more about others and their experience with Jesus than it is about us!  Jesus fills us with the Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit can flow from us into the lives of others!  We are empowered by Him to be His witnesses!
John 7:37b-39
37b Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Jesus still calls out to anyone who is thirsty to come and drink and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The key to staying filled with the Holy Spirit is to maintain an appetite and craving for the Holy Spirit.  The things that we fill ourselves with will be the things that we desire and crave.  Once we accept Christ’s salvation, we are empowered to choose either to indulge in the flesh or to indulge in the Spirit.
The transition from satisfying the desires of our flesh to walking in the Spirit and satisfying His desires is not an easy one, but it is one of complete freedom and a life from which the rivers of living water, the Spirit Himself, can flow from.  To experience all of the signs, miracles, and wonders that will follow a life filled with the Spirit, we must continually make the choice to walk in the Spirit (to be lead by God and obedient to Him) and no longer to satisfy the desires of our flesh.
Galatians 5:13-25
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Let’s take a more practical analogy regarding staying filled with the Spirit.
Many of you recognize this.  This is a rechargeable battery.  This battery is like us.  We have the potential to be filled with extraordinary power.  Once charged up and filled with this power, we carry it with us wherever we go.
However, there are also things that drain the power contained within this battery.  Anytime that this battery is met by resistance, normally some sort of electronic device, it begins to become drained of its power.
For us, the two primary drains from being filled with the Spirit are sin, doubt, and by simply serving others.
As a battery is drained of its power, it must be brought back into contact with its power source in order to be filled back up and ready to be used again and again.
For us, we must always stay connected with our power source, God Himself, to remain filled with the Holy Spirit and His power.  We have to make every effort not to short circuit our lives by getting caught up in sin or doubt and choose to be lead and guided by the Holy Spirit.  We need to stay thirsty for Him and keep our appetite for Him alone.
Just like this battery, even if it is completely drained of its power, it is still a battery.  However, it is completely ineffective to perform the purpose for which it was created.
We also must stay filled with the Holy Spirit to remain effective and to perform the purposes for which we were created.
We stay connected to our power source and filled up by:
1. Praying continually and in the Spirit (speaking with Him)
2. Reading and meditating on His word (listening to Him)
3. Worshiping Him (abandoning self, honoring Him)
Every believer has the awesome opportunity to live a life of adventure filled with the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for God.  Jesus, Himself, said that all of us who believe in Him will do even greater things than He did.  He said that we WILL drive out demons, speak in new tongues, lay hands on sick people and heal them, receive His salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, proclaim His word boldly and see lives transformed as a direct result.
Through us, people will not just learn about God, they will have a firsthand encounter and experience with God.  It’s not about us and our strengths and weaknesses, it is primarily about God and His ability to work in and through any person who is thirsty for Him and willing to cooperate with Him.
If you want to live a life filled with His Spirit this morning, please pray with me.