No, I haven’t lost my mind (at least any more than I already had), the title will make some sense by the end of this, I promise.
This past Sunday we sang “One Thirst” by Bethel Worship…something stood out to me…these words:
We have gathered with one thirst and hunger
Here to drink of glory and wonder
Here to cry out, “Come and fill this place!”
So what place are we singing about? The church building? Why would we be singing for Him to fill the building…plus as has been stated many times before…the building isn’t the church.
So this place is the body, the real church…how does He fill “this place” if it’s the body?
To build from a post a couple of weeks ago (…we hiding I… ), He fills the body by filling each one of us individually. We are “this place.” The body of Christ is filled with the Spirit when each of us is filled with the Spirit.
But then as a follower of Christ aren’t we already indwelt with the Spirit?
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, [Ephesians 1:13 ESV]
Yes, we are indwelt at the time of salvation. He is the Helper Jesus promised us, the one who would be with us forever.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, [John 14:16 ESV]
However, we can also grieve and quench the Spirit.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [Ephesians 4:30 ESV]
Do not quench the Spirit. [1 Thessalonians 5:19 ESV]
Indwelt, but we can “lessen” (grieve and quench) how full of the Spirit we are…how we are influenced by Him.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. [Ephesians 5:18-21 ESV]
Drunk…sometimes called “under the influence” because the alcohol is in control. Odd thing to compare being filled with the Spirit too…but then not so odd when you think it through. Our actions, our thoughts should be driven by the influence of the Spirit…He guides, He controls. It’s living out Romans 12:1-2…
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:1-2 ESV]
Sacrificing self, transforming by the renewing of your mind (not your actions, behaviors, likes…your mind). Following the Spirits lead in your life.
How? Well, go back to the Ephesians 5 verses…
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
…you have to be active in your corporate worship, focused on Him as you join the body. You need to be invested in Him during the week, your mind transforming as you follow Him. Taking care of the “I” for the health of the “we”. You don’t get there by just showing up, sitting in your chair, singing the words on the screen that don’t go through your heart. Just showing up and Sunday and expecting to be filled because you go through the motions doesn’t work. Being a vegetable at church (just setting root and not investing) isn’t how to get filled…you have to be striving to focus on Him, holding on to Him all through the week.
You are not a tomato, and I’m not a carrot…we cannot just come to church and vegitate expecting to be filled by God just because we planted ourselves in the seat.