Paul urged the Ephesians to walk in a new way. In a manner worthy of their calling. The word for walk in Hebrew is Halak and is the root of the word Halakah. Halkah is the word used by Jewish people to describe God’s Law. The Torah, God’s Word or Law was given to God’s people that they might know how to walk rightly before Him and others. We belong to the Lord and as such we are to walk in a certain manner. As we continue in our study on how to walk we come to an essential element. Walking in God’s Spirit. Let’s look at Ephesians 5:15-18:
Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:
How many of us enjoy going to gas station these days? It is crazy how much money we pay for a gallon of gas. But we’ll pay it because we like our cars and the help they are to us. We know that without fuel we won’t go very far. But What about our “Spiritual fuel”? Just like fuel for our car, we are dependent on Spiritual fuel. When the Temple stood the fuel that kept the light in the Holy Place burning was oil. Oil is a picture of the spiritual fuel we need in order to walk in God’s Spirit and in His Light.
Two thousand years ago on the anniversary of the Giving of the Law on Sinai God poured out His Spirit. God Poured out His Spirit to those who came to faith in Messiah. The evidence of this was Fire and Wind. The 120 in the upper room were baptized in the Holy Spirit and the New Halakah was put in their hearts. From that day to this day when men come to faith in Yeshua God baptizes them in His Spirit.
There is only one baptism of God’s Spirit but many fillings. An essential of the New Halakah is to be filled with God’s Spirit. Sadly when we sin we lose the filling of God’s Spirit. How do we get filled with God’s Spirit? In Luke 11:13. God says that He gives the Holy Spirit “to them that obey Him” (Acts 5:32). You must be willing to remove every hindrance. We need to first surrender to God. We remove hindrances by confession, renunciation, and surrender. Let me express them in four simple words confess, renounce, surrender, believe.
Confess: In 1 John 1:9 we read: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Sin confessed is sin forgiven, and sin forgiven is sin cleansed. “The blood of Yeshua cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). It is the Believer who is to confess his sins. God never tells an unbeliever to confess his sins. Unless one is born of God’s Spirit he won’t understand such things. If we tell a lost person to confess his sins we would be putting salvation on a basis of works, and salvation is not of works, but by faith.
When an unbeliever wants to come to God you don’t start with confession of sins. You point them to Yeshua. All a lost person can do is confess that he is a sinner and that he needs salvation. The tax collector cried: “God be merciful to me, a sinner”. He didn’t confess his sins. He simply admitted he was a sinner and needed mercy. With a Believer it is entirely different. The Believer who has has gone off the road must return. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins”. God will never pour out His Spirit on the flesh. Sin and spirituality cannot coexist.
So for the filling of God’s Spirit confession is first and foremost. Then must come renunciation. This is totally putting your bad behavior away. It grieves God’s Spirit to return to it. Some of us might believe we cannot give up some sin. Being a slave to it, or loving it. There are some whose sin has a stranglehold on them and believe they can’t let go of it. If this might be you, you need to ask yourself this question. Are you willing to forsake this sin? There are many who are not willing. Yeshua asked the man at the Bethesda “Do you want to be healed?” If not you need to pray “Lord, I am willing to be made willing,” The Prodigal finally came to the place where he wanted to be restored.
If you’re willing, God will set you free. It’s one thing to confess and renounce, it’s another to surrender. The Bible says, “Yield yourselves to God” (Romans 6:13). In order to serve Him you must be surrendered to Him. All must be laid on the altar. Living Sacrifice.
The reason we have trouble in our walk is because our will is not God’s will. The Psalmist told us what God wants most from us in Psalm 40 – “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, But A body You have prepared for ME; IN whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. “ Then I said, ‘ Behold, I have come (IN the scroll of the book it is written of ME) TO do Your will, O God.”
Once God’s will become ours the conflict will be over. The trouble with most of us is we have never been broken (surrendered). God wants us yielded in every area of our lives to Him. If we still chose our will instead of His, we can never be filled with God’s Spirit
We must be broken, yielded, surrendered, if we are to be filled.
Finally Believe – If you’ve confessed, renounced and surrendered, then all you have to do is to believe. God will give you a supernatural faith and you will be able to trust Him for the fullness of the Holy Spirit. As soon as our hearts are ready He will come in and complete the transformation until we are changed into Messiah likeness.
You may not feel anything. But God fulfills His promises. The result will be seen in your walk and life. God will work in you and through you for His glory. He will use you as you have never been used before. You will then know both power over sin and power in service, and you will glorify Him.
Will you take these steps? Get alone with God, and pour out your heart in confession, tell Him that you renounce every sin. Then yield to Him, surrender to Him, become His slave. After that it will be easy to trust Him, to believe Him for the fullness of the Spirit, and you’ll live in a way you have never known before. This is what it means to fulfill the injunction of Ephesians 5:18, “Be filled with the Spirit.” If we don’t want to experience God’s closeness here on earth, why would we want to go to heaven?
Jim Cymbala rightly asks, Why would he send anyone there who doesn’t long for him passionately here on earth?” Revival – personal revival – will bring great joy. But to have it, we must cut loose the sin that so easily entangles us. The command to “Be filled with the Spirit” is a command to be continually filled, not a one time event. If we’re going to have any effect on the world, we need to have the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.