“I was over in Johnsonville yesterday, visiting with the pastor of the community church,” Stan said. “I’m trying to help him with a discipleship class he’s putting together.”
“How’s it going?” I asked.
“As we follow, the Lord is leading through the indwelling Holy Spirit. When we were finished for the day and it was time for me to head home, I stopped by a bakery for a snack where I saw a great lesson on the necessity of being filled with the Spirit.”
“At a bakery? What was going on?”
“You know how much I like blueberries,” Stan replied. “The bakery I went to had some of the most beautiful puff pastries I’ve ever seen. I ordered a blueberry one, but was sorely disappointed.”
“Why, didn’t it taste good?”
“No,” Stan replied. “The place is called ‘Phill’s Puff Pastries’, and when Phill put the blueberry pastry in front of me, I was anticipating something special. But when I took the first bite, the whole thing collapsed because it was empty. No filling. No blueberries. Nothing but air. All puffed up, but no filling.”
“You must have been disappointed. Did you tell Phill?”
“Sure did,” Stan replied. “Phill was embarrassed and brought me another one. He apologized and said the baker must have been distracted when he made that one. Phill watched as I bit into pure delight. It was even better than I had originally hoped. Fabulous. I know exactly where I’m going the next time I’m in Johnsonville!”
“As I was driving home with a couple of extra blueberry pastries to share,” Stan continued, “I thought about the empty puff pastry and how it applies to my faith walk.”
“In what way?”
“The necessity of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and not being puffed up with the emptiness of self or anything else that is contrary to what God has to fill me.”
“And how do you do that?” I asked.
“Choose. I have to choose not to be filled with self and all of the emptiness that comes with that. Then I have to choose to be filled with the good stuff God has for me.”
“Sounds kind of like the steps of being a disciple.”
“More than ‘kind of like’,” Stan concluded with a smile.
Bible verses to consider:
And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts of the Apostles 2:38.
Be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18.
However you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Romans 8:9.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22, 23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for sending the Holy Spirit to live within me and within each person who accepts your free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption through Jesus. You intend that I be filled with the Holy Spirit, but too often I choose to be filled with self and with the emptiness of other things apart from you. Please forgive such foolishness. And please help me in following your lead so I am filled continuously with your Holy Spirit and with all you have for me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: What are you filled with? If it’s anything other than the Holy Spirit, why? What would your life look like if you were continually filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit? How would it make a difference in how you live, as well as in how others perceive how you live your Christianity? Is being continually filled in that way something you want? If so, do you know how that can happen?