Sunday, May 31, 2009

Filled For What

Today is the day on the Christian calendar when we celebrate Pentecost. It is the celebration of when the promised Holy Spirit was imparted upon the believers. Another time and place we can discuss the fact the day of Pentecost was around before Acts 2, not today. This is the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming for more than a passing visit, like the Old Testament, rather the Spirit was sent to dwell in and amongst us. Out of this giving of the Spirit many wonderful gifts have been poured out. Some of those gifts are celebrated, some are feared and some are plain misunderstood. More than giver of gifts the Holy Spirit is our counselor, guide and accountability partner on this journey.

Through out the New Testament we find accounts of people being filled with the Holy Spirit. Even now you can go to the book store and buy a Spirit-Filled Bible. I have people ask me all the time about being Spirit filled. I want to know for what reason we are so concerned with being Spirit filled. Understand, I believe and live that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and our lives are continually shaped and formed through the work of the Holy Spirit. But for what are we filled for?

Is it so we can speak in tongues, is it so we can show how "spiritual" we are? Often when I hear someone talk about being Spirit filled it is contrasted with those who are not, and the contrast is in a elitist form. Do we want the Spirit so we can be better than another person? For what is it do we crave the presence of the Holy Spirit?

As I read the New Testament I find the filling of the Holy Spirit moves people to mission. Peter and the gang in Acts 2, proclaim the Good News. Peter and John in Acts 3 heal. Paul has the scales removed from his eyes, is filled with the Holy Spirit and then launches on the greatest church planting tour known to history. We are filled with the Holy Spirit for the sake of God's mission. Not so we can do ecclesial parlor tricks. The power of the Spirit and the gifts are wonderful, and feel blessed to participate in them. These gifts and special abilities are not the end they are the means to the end. So what is the end? To see the people of God live as the already, not yet kingdom of God.

We are filled so we can go and be about the mission God has called each one of us. May the Spirit invade your life today and everyday as we work in the Kingdom which will never pass away.

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