This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
In Acts 2, after Jesus had ascended into heaven, he fulfilled his promise by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell within his followers. Everyone who turns to Jesus in faith, repenting from a life of sin, receives the Spirit–God himself dwelling within us.
The Holy Spirit, as God, shares every attribute of the Father and the Son. He is the God who was intimately involved in creation and redemption, and every miraculous act throughout history.
The all-powerful, all-wise God resides in every Christian. So, what does a life that is filled with the Spirit look like?
From Paul’s description, it’s actually quite ordinary but in an extraordinary way.
In Ephesians 5:18-21, Paul wrote not to be drunk on wine, but:
Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father int he name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.
This is ordinary, because it defines everyday life and the regular rhythms of our weeks. We’re to gather to worship, encouraging one another and praising God with our songs. We’re to be people of thankfulness, all the more as we understand the depths of the grace of God. We’re to love and serve one another and seek each other’s best. This should be Christian normalcy.
Yet, this is ordinary in an extraordinary way, because we will fail to do it without the Spirit’s help.
We are all tempted to busyness and the “tyranny of the urgent” as it is sometimes called. We must be intentional in our increasingly busy world to set aside time to worship together as a church family. It is the Spirit who works in our hearts to long to make this a priority during our week.
We are prone to be thankful when things go well. But it’s much more difficult to give thanks “always and for everything.” The Spirit, however, illumines our hearts and minds through God’s word to be ever-thankful for our salvation and eternal hope during the difficult times in life. It’s the Spirit who reminds us that the glories to come through Christ far out weigh any momentary suffering and affliction in this life.
We are also tempted to pride and individualism. We don’t want to submit and at times we’d rather be served than serve. The Spirit, however, binds our hearts together in the love of Christ and heightens our compassion for those who hurt. He helps us to lay aside ourselves that we might lift up and build up those around us.
So, in a sense, Paul’s description is ordinary. Yet it is also far from it. The Spirit grows us to overcome the temptations of selfish pride and to live daily filled with his power.
All scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible.