Be ye filled with the Spirit—Eph. 5: 18.
The measure of our filling will correspond with the measure of our emptying of the spirit of self-will, and filling with the spirit of faith and obedience. And although the obedience cannot do otherwise than manifest itself in the daily life, nevertheless, it is the obedience of the intention, of the will, of the heart, that the Lord regards in His consecrated people. Hence some whose hearts are thoroughly loyal to the Lord may be pleasing to Him, while not the most pleasing to some of those with whom they come in contact; while others, "highly esteemed among men" because of outward moralities, may be an "abomination" in the sight of God, because of coldness or dishonesty of heart. Nevertheless, he that hath the new hope in him, and the new spirit, will seek to purify himself, not only in his thoughts but also in his words and deeds and all his affairs, inward and outward.
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To be filled with the Spirit means, as disciples of Christ, to be dominated by the primary graces, harmoniously adjusted one to another. To receive such a filling implies a faithful use of the Spirit, Word and providences of God; and to remain so filled results not only in the crystallization of a character like Christ's but also in a fitness for the Kingdom with Him. Such Spirit-filling has the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come.
Parallel passages: Mark 13: 11; Luke 11: 13; John 3: 34; 7: 38, 39; 14: 16, 17, 26; Acts 4: 8, 31; 5: 32; 6: 5; 9: 31; 11: 24; 13: 52; Rom. 5: 3-5; 8: 1-16; 1Cor. 2: 4, 10-14; 3: 16; 2Cor. 3: 3, 6, 17, 18; Gal. 5: 16, 17, 22, 25.
Questions: Was I filled with the Spirit this week? How did it take place? What was helpful or hindersome? With what results?
THE WATERED LILIES
THE Master stood in His garden,
Among the lilies fair,
Which His own right hand had planted,
And trained with tend'rest care;
He looked at their snowy blossoms,
And marked with observant eye
That the flowers were sadly drooping,
For their leaves were parched and dry.
"My lilies need to be watered,"
The heavenly Master said;
"Wherein shall I draw it for them,
And raise each drooping head?"
Close to His feet on the pathway,
Empty, and frail, and small,
An earthen vessel was lying,
Which seemed of no use at all;
But the Master saw, and raised it
From the dust in which it lay,
And smiled, as He gently whispered,
"This shall do My work today:
"It is but an earthen vessel,
But it lay so close to Me;
It is small but it is empty—
That is all it needs to be."
So to the fountain He took it,
And filled it full to the brim;
How glad was the earthen vessel
To be of some use to Him!
He poured forth the living water
Over His lilies fair,
Until the vessel was empty,
And again He filled it there.
He watered the drooping lilies
Until they revived again;
And the Master saw with pleasure
That His labor had not been vain.
His own hand had drawn the water
Which refreshed the thirsty flowers;
But He used the earthen vessel
To convey the living showers.
And to itself it whispered,
As he laid it aside once more,
"Still will I lie in His pathway,
just where I did before.
"Close would I keep to the Master,
Empty would I remain,
And perhaps some day He may use me
To water His flowers again."
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