With what are we Filled?

Keith PateSunday, Dr. Dale Huff had a very inspiring, challenging and convicting sermon as we seek God’s leadership in the search for a new senior pastor. He challenged us to “grow” during this interim. He shared we must BE: 1) Prayerful (for His will not our own); 2) Faithful (in our Attendance, Service and Giving); 3) Patient…it will take time. Don’t run ahead of God.

Dr. Huff’s Scripture passage was Philippians 2:12-13. Consider a portion of this passage…..continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose. (NIV)

Dr. Huff pointed out this passage is not pointing us toward a “works” philosophy. We are saved by GRACE and GRACE alone (unmerited favor), but the process of being conformed into the image of Christ is the “followship” to which we are called. We are “being saved” through the process of “sanctification” to become like Christ in all we do and say.

I found the following on a website recently that explains the process of “sanctification” most clearly. Sanctification – A Continuing Process Sanctification does not stop with salvation, but rather it is a progressive process that continues in a Christian’s life. Unlike the things and places that are sanctified by God in the Bible, people have the capacity to sin. Even though we have been “set apart” as God’s children, we continue to behave in ways that are contrary. As Christians, we realize shortly after we have been saved that there is a new inner battle being waged within us – a battle between our old sin-led nature and new Spirit-led nature. Paul in Galatians best describes this inner struggle in Galatians 5:17: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

Like Paul, our heart’s desire is to please and obey God, but our flesh is weak making sin difficult to resist. Yet, it is in our continual struggle with sin and obedience to God that sanctification does its work. Dr. Huff ended his sermon with a visual of an empty glove, useless on its own. It is only when a hand fills it that it is enlivened to what it was created to do. As followers of Christ we are to be FILLED (like an empty glove) with the HOLY SPIRIT. It is in this surrender of ourselves to Him that we move forward in this “sanctification” process. As we are daily… hourly… minute by minute… filled with the Spirit, a TRANSFORMATION occurs that cannot occur by sheer determination or resolution.

The hymn “Moment by Moment” by Daniel Whittle expresses it well. Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine; Living with Jesus, a new life divine; Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine, Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

The walk of faith is a “moment by moment” process. As we look to what God has in store for us, may we each look to the one who calls us to draw nearer, so that we will shine more brightly for His Kingdom! When we do, we will be able to discern His will for our lives individually and as the family of God at Eastern Hills.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and
approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Keith Pate About Keith Pate

Keith is originally from Castleberry, AL in Conecuh County. He joined Eastern Hills as Minister of Music in January of 2005 from Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine, FL.