Focus: Being filled with joy and peace
Romans 15:13 (NKJV) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We look for many ways to fill the void and hunger in our hearts. Some would say there’s something wrong with a person who keeps feeling ‘empty’ after they’ve been ‘filled’ by the Holy Spirit. Some who have been filled with the Holy Spirit—and later feel ‘empty’—might think they missed something, or that the experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit must not be all that great, if later on, you feel empty again. They think that being filled with the Holy Spirit is supposed to be like the experience of being ‘saved’…but it’s not the same thing.
It’s like this. You were born as a baby. Once you’re born as a person, you can’t be born as a person again. It’s a one time thing, for sure. Being born of the Spirit is something like being born of the flesh, in that you are born to a newness of spiritual life through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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In the times of Jesus, a man named Nicodemus came to Jesus one night. Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews. He recognized that Jesus was a teacher who had come from God. He called Jesus, ‘Rabbi.’ Nicodemus acknowledged that no one could do the things that Jesus was able to do, unless God was with him.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”
Jesus went on to say, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John chapter 3 NKJV)
The Bible says we should be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit on an ongoing basis. When you are born in the flesh, you need to eat physical food and keep eating to stay filled and live. The same thing is true in a spiritual sense. You are born of the Spirit, but you need to feed your spirit to stay filled in order to have lasting joy and peace in Christ. You won’t be filled with the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit by watching a ‘feel good’ movie or listening to music you love. True joy and peace only come from the God of hope through fellowship in prayer and feeding on the Word of God consistently.
Declaration: I will not let my spirit starve by withholding the kind of nourishment it needs in order to thrive. I will find new strength as I am fed and regenerated in the Spirit through prayer and feeding on the Word of God.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.