Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The True Measure of Being Spirit-Filled

I had a substantial amount of exposure and time in a charismatic Baptist church while in college.  I even spent 5 years on staff after graduating from seminary.  So what I'm about to say is with the utmost sympathy to that branch of Bible-believing evangelicals.

Ephesians 5.18 tells us to be filled with the Spirit.  It's a command, so it's not optional.  It's a present-tense command, meaning it's not a one-time fulfillment but an ongoing point of obedience.  And it's a passive command, meaning it's something that has to be done to us but is still ours to follow.

What it looks like is as diverse as the individuals who seek to follow that command.  Physical manifestations.  Emotional outbursts.  Any number of things.

But the experience is not truest measure of the Spirit's filling.  It's what comes after the experience that matters.  It's the fruit that will help determine whether or not it was a emotional experience or a true infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Is our worship different?

Is our perspective different?

Are our relationships different?

I'm all for the experience.  But I long for the expression, not just in my life but in the lives of those God has put in my sphere.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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