YOU CAN BE FILLED WITH AND WALK IN THE SPIRIT

For years I have read: “They were filled with the Holy Spirit.” Then I would hear: “They were walking in the Spirit.” I understand how the Holy Spirit convicts, teaches, guides, intercedes, comforts and warns but didn’t know whether I was “filled or walking in” the Spirit.

The Bible states that those empowered by the Holy Spirit lived an abundant life, free from worry and have their needs met. That is a very outstanding promise and wouldn’t any Christian want that? Therefore, shouldn’t we then want to know how we can be filled with and walk in the Holy Spirit? I honestly believe that I have been living a holy life, have had that abundant life and have had my needs met but am I walking in and am I filled with the Holy Spirit? My study and research has concluded that being filled with the Holy Spirit is to be filled with Christ.

John 14:16-20 – “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (It is Christ’s Spirit that lives in us wanting to help us be filled with His Spirit and walk with him.)

God’s purpose for us is to make our life a reflection of Christ. This is done by surrendering our self-centeredness, getting rid of pride, lust, selfishness, covetousness, envy or jealousy and self-righteousness. It requires studying the life of Christ in order to develop the “mind of Christ”. We are to take on a servant’s heart and live a humble life as He did.

There are Christians with confrontational personalities and feel a need to have total control and are unwilling to surrender and allow Christ to live through them. Often they live in dysfunctional families and have problems with life. There are those who have never taken the time to study the Bible and learn that Jesus is trying to live through them. They struggle with feelings of unworthiness and often lack faith and confidence. They miss so much in life. Then there are those who talk the talk but never walk the walk.

I also learned that we are all filled with the Spirit who are believers. We are not filled a little bit, we are filled totally. However, many Christians do not allow Christ to walk with them. If your personality is such that you are unwilling to give up control or do not have the knowledge enough to realize that Christ wants to live through you; you are probably struggling with being a Christian and missing what God promises.

To be filled with the Spirit and walk in the Spirit requires a real commitment. Your chances of becoming Christ-like probably won’t happen if all you do is attend church on the weekend. It takes effort and discipline to commit to living as Christ lived and to change our personality. Jesus lived with the fruits of the Spirit as given in Galatians 5:22 – 23 – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We see Christ’s love for God and for man.

We are to love as Jesus loved. John 13:34 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” We are to love those who may not love us. We are to do well to those who may not return the favor. We must be willing to give to those who need even though they may not be able to give anything in return.

Jesus says we must live a joyful life. John 15:11 – “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” `We must be positive and have hope in the future. We must live sensing God’s approval. There is joy in sharing the gospel to others and doing God’s will.

Christ says we must have peace. Philippians 4:6 – 7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We must be at peace with ourselves to walk with the Lord. We are told not to be anxious about anything.

I Peter 2:19 – 20 – “For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.” (NLT) We must have the Spirit of longsuffering and patience. We must be able and willing to suffer patiently for Christ. God allows problems to come in order to build our character and our faith. He allowed Christ to suffer for each of us.

We are to show kindness to others. Mathew 25:39 – 40 – “When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” A kind person is a giving person, a happy person who is not self-centered. They enjoy pleasing others and they have a pleasant personality. They are gentle and warm hearted, unselfish and generous. They are understanding and considerate. They are thoughtful and merciful and use kind words. They are helpful and courteous and excuse the mistakes of others. They treat everyone equally as they would like to be treated. There will be times when we must be stern or discipline others; it can be done in a kind way. Kindness will make us appeal to others. Wouldn’t you want a friend like that; then be one?

Faithfulness means absolute devotion to God or to a specific cause. Matthew 12:30 – “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

To be Christ-like we must be gentle. Matthew 11:28 – ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” We must be aware that we are continually in the presence of God. We are expected to have a gentle spirit.
We must have the self-control to not be tempted to sin. I Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Realize that Christ’s Spirit is in us wanting to live through us. We know that He would not yield to temptation and He would not want us doing so either. We must not allow ourselves to live as the world lives but as Jesus would live. We are not to stop Him from living through us as God intended. If we do, we are allowing Satan to tempt us to live as the world lives.

Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

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