Summary: This sermon delves into the things that hold us back from the experiencing the fullness of God’s Spirit in our lives and what to do about it. Sin, Competition, and misconceptions are all explored.
Filled To the Fullness of God
This past few weeks we have been talking about Walking In The Spirit.
Last week we talked about the signs of a spirit filled life ¡V Sanctified hunger, Powerful Presence, Intimate Fellowship, Real Worship, Impacting Testimony, and True Kingdom Expansion. - This morning I want to continue in this series looking at the early church and the power that the Holy Spirit gives us for living.
Look at Ephesians 3:14-19 with me. Paul expresses his prayer for the churches around Ephesis. He has been writing to them about becoming what God has called them to be ¡V now he prays for them that they be ¡§filled to the fullness of God.¡¨
This letter to the Ephesians is a letter sharing with them the transformation process of becoming Christians. In Chapter 2 Paul lays out for them the plan for which he prays. He talks to them about the process of being filled with the Spirit of God.
1) Sin has to be cleaned out ¡V 2:1 - Oil and water don¡¦t mix no matter how much you would like them to. Neither do sin and the Spirit of God. Most of us can look in the mirror and we don¡¦t see a Thief, Adulterer, Murderer, a idol worshipper- and because we don¡¦t see any of these ¡§gross sins¡¨ we feel that we are OK. But what about the ¡§smaller sins¡¨ - Pride, envy, unforgiveness, gossip, hurtful speech, failure to love as God loves, etc. These may seem to you to be small sins - but they are not- they are just as deadly as murder and sometimes worse because you don¡¦t see it coming- The baby Cobra is very small- but its bite carries a toxin just as deadly and concentrated as its 8 foot parents- and you don¡¦t see it coming. These sins in our lives that catch up to us are a poison at work in our systems- and slowly they sap our joy, our strength, and our life as surely as does blatant rebellion. These sins take up space in your heart that God desires to occupy.
„« We have to face Sin head on - stop making excuses for our bad behavior- Wrong is never solved until we admit it is wrong. If you have a problem in your home, your marriage, your work, your children or your character- face it head on. It may be painful but it¡¦s the only way to get well.
„« We have to deal with Sin in our lives severely- Jesus said that if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell. Now I don¡¦t for one moment believe that Jesus was advocating self mutilation and cutting off body parts. He was making a point however. That is that sin in our lives needs to be dealt with severely. Do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to get it right.
2) Our Lives must be Consecrated ¡V 2:10; 2:19, To consecrate means to set aside for. God calls us to consecrate our lives to Him. We want to have it both ways ¡V we want to be in Christ but also in the world. Let me tell you the truth ¡V Some of our hearts are so full of other things that there is little room for the Spirit. Some of them are good things. But good is often the enemy of best. Our hearts are full of money, cars, houses, sports, recreation, relationships, work, and just about everything else you can think of. The good things that God gives us are often substituted for the best that God wants for us. Our hearts remain so cluttered with stuff that God has no room to fill us. Folks God will not compete for your affections ¡V He will suffer no rivals for your heart. He calls us to live in that place where He is all in all. A W Tozer wrote ¡§We ought to be where God is everything, where we walk into a meeting and see God and think God and feel God. We ought to see God all around us, where He comes down over us and we see Him in the cool of the day. We ought to see Him in a mountain, in thunder and fire. We ought to see Him on the cross in blood and tears, and coming down through the sky, riding a white horse, and sitting on a throne judging the nations. But always we see God and God is everything.¡¨ How many of you have things touching your heart this morning that you need to remove so the Spirit of God can have His way.