The Mystical, Magical, Secret To Living The Christian Life. Not.
“I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:14-16).
Did you know that there is a secret to living the Christian life? Many people do not understand what it means to really follow Christ. Jesus talked openly about the need to cherish his word and live a life of obedience to him. But there is more. It’s like trying to drive without any gas in the car. The car may be a classic and look great. It’s seats may be comfortable and it’s radio may blast out favorite songs. But a car without fuel goes nowhere.
So, what is the fuel of the Christian life? Paul tells us in today’s passage. It is the Holy Spirit. He says that God wants to grant us strength and power, “Through his Spirit in your inner being.” Some people refer to this as being, filled with the Spirit. This idea comes from John the Baptist and from Jesus. Notice what they said.
When John was asked why he baptized he said that one was coming who would, “Baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Jesus affirmed this when he taught his disciples, “When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). He also said that the Holy Spirit would, “Dwell with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the secret to living the Christian life.
Now, this should not be taken mystically or superstitiously. This should be understood practically. The Holy Spirit wants us to live our lives in him so that we can exhibit the power of a changed life to others. Yes, the Spirit can do miracles. But, his first goal is to lead us in our day to day lives, even in the boring and mundane, to live a consistent life of obedience to Jesus. Paul went on to describe such a life like this: “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
Is this the kind of life you want?
“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
If your life feels powerless, then pray and ask the Lord to fill you with his Spirit so that you can live a life of obedience. Don’t look for big miracles, but look for the power to live out the commands of scripture and the Spirit’s leading.