Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC

Ephesians 3:14-19
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

The other day I was at the Waffle House with a group of friends. Conversation was light and we all were having a good time. After a few hours we all decided it was time to go home so we all got up and made our way to the register to pay for our food. I handed the waitress my ticket for my $3 hash browns along with my debit card and made small talk as I was checking out. The lady swiped my card but almost immediately made a face. “It didn’t go through.” She swiped again, same thing. She embarrassingly hands me back my card and tells me it was declined. “Wait, what?” I said, “It was $3 hash browns.” Now I may not be rolling in money but I knew for a fact I had money to cover the tab. A friend of mine swoops in and hands the lady their card, “No worries, I got it.” I pick up my card all sorts of confused and slightly embarrassed. What in the world is going on… I pull out my phone and check my banking app. Sure enough I had money in the account, in fact I had just been paid. What was wrong with my card? I took a closer look and saw it. The expiration date. My card was declined because it was past the expiration. I had assumed that the bank would send me a new card when the time came but they didn’t. And I never looked at the expiration date so I had no idea it was even close to expiring. That night I checked all my automatic bills and made sure they were all set up via bank draft and not connected to my bank card. I also called the bank and made sure that a new card was sent to me right away. All in all it was a pretty simple fix, but it got me thinking about our spiritual lives. 

In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus he tells them that through faith and being rooted in Christ believers will have strength to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love. In that believers are filled with all the fullness of God. But what does that mean as far as being filled up with the Spirit? The sad part of it all is many treat their relationship like a one and done transaction. I believe, I say a prayer, Jesus fills me up, and that’s the end of it. But scripture never says that’s how it works. In fact, in Ephesians 3:19 it says, “that you may be filled.” Later on in chapter 5 Paul tells the church to “be filled with the Spirit.” The literal translation of that verse is “be on being filled with the Spirit.” It’s not a one and done, it’s more over and over. We must continue in working out our faith and growing in our relationship with the Father so that we will continue to be filled up. Yesterday’s filling of the Spirit is not enough to get you through today, it is a continual action and a daily need as we grow in Christ. And we get filled by spending time with the Father, reading His Word, praying and meditating on His goodness. Yesterday’s filling will expire and we need to be renewed each morning. 

What about you? Has your spiritual filling expired? I have good news, run to Jesus and be filled! And unlike the bank where I have to wait 5-7 business days to receive my new card, Jesus fills on the spot and He fills to the brim. All we need to do is ask! 

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Spirit that fills us! Lord, give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word! Fill me with Your Spirit and make me more like You! Teach me to know You! In Jesus name, amen!

Psalm 118:1
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!