A few weeks ago, I wrote about “What Would Happen If We Fully Surrendered To God?” in reflection on a D.L. Moody quote.
As I wrote it, another quote of His came to mind that I couldn’t shake and felt was the perfect follow up:
“I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit, ambition and self-seeking, pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. I also believe that many a man is praying to God to fill him, when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray that He would empty us. There must be an emptying before there can be a filling; and when the heart is turned upside down, and everything that is contrary to God is turned out, then the Spirit will come…”D.L. Moody
To put this idea into a bit-sized summary:
If we desire to be filled more with God’s Spirit,
We have to be empty of the things that are not of God.
As a note: I believe that all Christians are filled with the Spirit of God at the time of salvation, but that our sanctification process (becoming more like and nearer to Jesus until we reach heaven) is what D.L. Moody means by being more “filled” with His Spirit. That the idea of being “filled more” with God’s Spirit is more about empowerment and more surrender to God and His Spirit and not regarding salvation.
This idea of further emptying ourselves of things that are not of God is complemented with how there are so many verses that tell us to focus on “things above, and not on things below” (Colossians 3:2) or to dwell on good things (Philippians 4:8), or to not be drunk with wine but filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
Because when we’re full of something,
We can’t be filled with something else.
When we’re full of things that are not of God,
We can’t be filled more completely by God.
The writer of the book of Hebrews puts it another way:
“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”Hebrews 12:1
When we cling to other things (and are full of other things)
They keep us from fully pursuing and following Jesus (and being filled more fully by His Spirit)
Have you been praying for God to fill you with His Spirit?
Maybe it’s time to complement those prayers with additional surrender in your life.
Surrender is an ongoing practice and journey that God has us all on,
And it won’t be over until heaven.
So, what area do you need to surrender in?
What area do you need to let go?
What/who are you clinging to?
What/who are you “filled” with?
Give it all to Jesus.
Surrender fully to Him and His plan.
And may you be able to cling to Him all the more,
And enjoy even more of His Spirit in your life.