I'm tearing up my New Year's Resolution list this year because there is only one resolution I need to keep:
"Be filled with the Spirit." Eph. 5:18.
I love what Oswald Smith said about being filled with the Spirit:
"This is a command. As a matter of fact it is the most important commandment in the Bible, because when you obey it you automatically obey all the others. The fullness of the Spirit settles every problem. Why this command? Because God wants you to be filled. You are not to get more of the Holy Spirit; He is to get more, yea, all, of you. No longer are you to use Him; He is to use you." ~ Oswald Smith
So, Holy Spirit, get more of me, yea, get all of me! May 2013 be a year the filling of the Holy Spirit enables me to live as God commanded. Not by rules, but by freedom of living all love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.
I learned about the filling of the Spirit last fall when I was asked to speak four times on the Holy Spirit at an Alliance Women retreat in Texas. With fear and trembling, I went away for a month of study, armed with the Bible and nine books by great authors explaining the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the Holy Spirit. Thirty days later I understood this "most important" commandment.
Studying and seeking and filling led me to believing the Holy Spirit is the missing link in me and in many Christians and in our churches.
If the church and God's people were filled with the Holy Spirit, we would overflow with the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. The world would run to us asking What is this joy and peace and faithfulness you have? But people don't run to us and are not filling our churches. Perhaps because we are filled with the things of this world more than the Spirit of God.
If interested in doing your own study, the books I read which lead me to understanding this Third Person of the Trinity were: Lead Me, Holy Spirit by Stormie Omartian, The Spirit-Filled Life by Oswald J. Smith, How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer, The Christ Life by A.B. Simpson, The Baptism with the Holy Spirit by R.A. Torrey, and By the Power of the Holy Spirit by David M. Howard.
This New Year I hope all of us are making spiritual resolves to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit.
This isn't a New Year's resolution to be broken. This is a spiritual mandate from God to us.
Get ready for the splashes of serenity the fullness of the Spirit brings to your life in 2013! A Spirit-filled New Year prayed for each of you! And for me too!