There is a much misused verse in the Old Testament which says; Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart (Psalm 37:4). This verse is not a blank check to fulfill one’s wildest dreams nor is it a promise of independent wealth. It is a promise that if a believer will delight himself in the Lord, then the Lord will place His desires within the believer’s heart.
So, how do we delight ourselves in the Lord? In John 5, Messiah Jesus is talking to the religious leaders of the Jews and He says; And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he (the Father) hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they (the Scriptures) are they which testify of me (Jesus Christ). And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”
To know Christ we must come to the Scriptures. Scripture testifies of Christ. If we have little or no interest in the Bible, we have little or no interest in Him. The Holy Spirit will draw us to the Bible. Satan will drive us away from it. Delighting in Christ involves reading, studying and meditating on the Scriptures because these are they which testify of Him. After the Lord’s resurrection, He instructed two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus as follows: And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Ephesians 5:18 says; And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the Holy Spirit. The command here is twofold; to not be drunk (controlled by alcohol or anything else for that matter), but to be being controlled (continuous action) by the Holy Spirit.
Drunkenness illustrates how behaviour is affected when one is controlled by alcohol. On the contrary, being controlled by the Holy Spirit is in vivid contrast to the world’s behaviour. All Christians are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The characteristics of a Spirit filled believer are found in Ephesians 5:19-21.
So how are we to be filled with the Holy Spirit? There is a parallel passage to Ephesians 5:18-6:9 in Colossians 3:16-22 which deals with the same subject matter as Ephesians 5. Instead of using the phrase be filled with the Spirit, the Colossians passage substitutes; Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Being controlled by the Holy Spirit is the filling of our hearts and minds with the Scriptures by listening, studying, meditating on, and obeying the word of God out of a willing heart. The transformation of our inward man takes place as God’s word, the sword of the Spirit, is wielded in our hearts by Him.
Are you struggling to experience power over sin? Stop wasting effort on outward conformation! Stop pursuing some mystical experience! Believers are to be transformed inwardly by the renewing of our mind through the Word, which is God’s desire; that we may know the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). When inward transformation occurs, the outward man will follow suit. Outward conformity without inward transformation is hypocrisy.
Inward transformation begins when one is saved or born again; when a personal relationship with God is established by trusting Jesus Christ as one’s only hope of salvation. Inward transformation continues as believers partake of the meat, milk, bread, and honey of God’s Word. As Christ said in John 6:63b; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Note: Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a feeling, it is a choice.
Letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly is a way of life.
Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.