by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
These readings focus on the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant (or Testament), the Spirit "anoints" one person here and one there to perform a special work for God. In the New Covenant, the Spirit is "poured out" like rain on the whole church of Christ.
Ephesians 5: 15–20
Do not get drunk on wine.... Instead, be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
People who become drunk on liquor are ruled by the power of the bottle. Likewise, people who are filled with the Holy Spirit are not their own boss. Yet the differences between being drunk and being Spirit-filled are greater than the similarities. The drunkard runs away from God, while the Spirit-filled Christian turns to God. The drunkard hates himself, while the Spirit-filled Christian finds herself. Liquor robs us of control, while the fruit of the Spirit is love and self-control.
To be filled with the Spirit means more than to have the Spirit, just as to "have sorrow" is different than to "be full of sorrow." When we have sorrow, we experience some pain, but when we are full of sorrow, pain fills every moment and affects everything. All Christians have the Spirit. But when we are filled with the Spirit, all of our expressions are affected.
"Be filled" is a command for all of us. A Spirit-filled life is not an exceptional thing for a few but a rule for all Christians. God says, "You already live by the Spirit of Christ; now I want you to be filled with that Holy Spirit."
"Be filled" is passive, not active. It is not something we can do. God must do it. But we are responsible to seek that state of fullness.
We will not be filled continuously. But we seek the fullness of the Spirit diligently. And, ultimately, we shall be filled.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version