Discipline Two—Spirit-Filled Living: An Overflowing Life
In I Timothy 4:7 Paul says we are to discipline ourselves towards godliness. What are the disciplines that encourage a godly life? I call them The Disciplines of a Godly Life. The second discipline is the Discipline of Spirit Filled Living.
The first discipline is the Discipline of Scripture. Time alone with God in His Word, the Scriptures, is the great necessity of our spiritual lives. We need to be alone with God daily! We need to find times to get away alone. Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
The Lord God of the Universe wants to arrange your life, and accompany your trip through life, and authorize everything needed from now on. Wow, that is the best life there is.
The second Discipline of a Godly Life: Spirit Filled Living. Jesus explained the Holy Spirit in our lives by using the image of a strong river of water flowing out of us. Let’s turn there to John 7:37-38. Rivers of water is the way Jesus describes the normal life of believers, His children.
- Rivers of water would mean that when we were saved He flowed out of our lives making us joyous and thankful.
- He flowed out of our lives making us so excited about all our sins being gone.
- He flowed out of our lives so that when we read the Bible it seemed just like God was talking to us.
- He flowed out of our lives making prayer was so natural and uncluttered. It felt like the stars overhead had parted and we were walking right into Heaven before God’s Throne. We just talked and walked with the Lord through. And each day it seemed like all of life was brand new.
And that is life as God made it to be with that mighty river of water flowing out of our lives. We were refreshed, we were victorious, we were rejoicing, we were serving joyfully. The Holy Spirit was flowing through our new lives. That is the life of a believer as God intended it to be.
Then slowly something happened. It seemed that we didn’t find God's Word so exciting, and soon we hardly understood what we read each day. We also experienced troubles in prayer, it seemed we talked to ourselves and all those words just bounced around inside our heads.
That is exactly what happens when the water valve of our spiritual lives is twisted shut by sin. And that is what the Bible describes as Quenching and Grieving the Holy Spirit. We are let with the command to keep our lives filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to walk in Him, live through Him, bear fruit by Him, and overcome sin with Him as our Sword of the Word.
For all of our earthly life it is God’s Holy Spirit that is our lifeline for all that we need to make it. Because of this vital supply line that we share with Him we must protect our relationship. Why? Listen to Paul the great training coach of the winning lifestyle believers are to share. We must not hinder the Holy Spirit in our lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify (aorist active imperative) God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Rather, we are to actively follow the Lord by reading the Word, praying, and obeying His will.
Galatians 5:16, 25 I say then: Walk (present active imperative) in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
But if we give in to sin (like the lying, bitterness, and course talking) by disobeying God, we are grieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30)
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve (present active imperative) the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
A pattern of sin that we continue to do leads us further away from the vital ministry of the Holy Spirit as we quench the Spirit (1 Thes. 5:19).
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench (present active imperative) the Spirit.
Quenching does not mean that the Holy Spirit leaves us. We know this because Jesus promised that His Spirit would abide in us forever. But quenching means that the Holy Spirit ceases to supply us the joy and power that we need for daily Christian living.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
As believers we are commanded to stay filled with the Spirit, which simply means “controlled by the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled (present passive imperative) with the Spirit,
This is a continuous experience, like drinking water from a fresh stream (John 7:37–39).
John 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink (present active imperative). He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.