The Spirit Takes Control of Our Lives

December 9, 2012  |  By Derick Parfan  |  Scripture: Ephesians 5:18-21

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Christmas Wish

Kung tatanungin natin ang mga tao kung ano ang Christmas wish nila – prayer nila siguro sa Dios o wish lang na mangyari o magkaroon sila – makikita natin kung ano ang problema sa puso ng mga tao. Tignan n’yo halimbawa ang ilang posts sa Twitter – teddy bear, jewelry, concert of favorite artists, new job, new earrings, new boyfriend, iPhone 5, maka-move on sa ex, lose weight, no failing grade. Hindi ko sinasabi na mali ang mga wishes na ito o masama ang mga iyon.  Pero nagpapakita ito ng trend sa panahon natin ngayon na dapat magbago – lalo na sa ating mga Christians.

Ito ang maoobserbahan nating problema – gusto nating ng marami at dagdag na mga materyal na bagay, mga bagay na magbibigay kasiyahan sa atin o comfort, mga bagay na makakapagpagaan ng mga kabigatang dinaranas natin. Ang problema, hinahanap natin na mapunan ang mga kulang sa buhay natin sa mga bagay dito sa mundo.

Ganoon din ang problemang hinaharap ng mga Cristiano sa Efeso. Kahit 2,000 taon na ang nakakaraan, di naman masyadong nagbabago ang problema ng tao – naging mas high-tech lang tayo ngayon, pero same basic problem. Kaya kahit nakakulong si Pablo dahil sa kanyang katapatan sa pagsunod sa Dios na ipangaral ang gospel, sumulat siya sa iglesia sa Efeso para ipaalala sa kanila kung paano mamuhay bilang mga tagasunod ni Jesus sa mundong ang takbo ay palayo sa kalooban ng Dios. Pagkatapos niyang maglaan ng tatlong chapters sa pagpapaalala sa kanila ng kanilang bagong posisyon kay Cristo (Eph. 1), ng laki ng biyaya ng Dios sa kanila (Eph. 2) at ng plano ng Dios para mundo (Eph. 3), mula chapters 4-6 ay nagbigay siya ng mga tagubilin sa kanila bilang tugon sa mga katotohanang ito. Doctrinal foundation sa chapters 1-3; life application sa chapters 4-6. Ganito naman ang pattern ng iba rin niyang mga sulat.

The Spirit-Filled Christian Life

Ngayon, let’s focus on Ephesians 5:18-21: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Kung akala n’yong ang problemang gustong tugunan dito ni Pablo ay iyong paglalasing o sobrang pag-inom ng alak, nagkakamali kayo. Kasi kanino lang ba sa atin applicable ‘to? Maaaring sa iilan, pero bakit pa kayo makikinig sa mga sasabihin ni Pablo tungkol dito kung ito lang ang concern niya dito? So his concern is more than just being drunk. Totoo ngang masamang maglasing. Pero hindi ba’t anumang kalabisan ay masama rin? So the point is not just telling them not to get drunk. Kung ganoon, di ok na tayong lahat dito, wala namang lasing sa inyo di ba?

Ang point niya ay ito: Sa halip na mapuno ang katawan n’yo ng alak at ang utak n’yo ng espiritu o impluwensiya ng alak, hayaan n’yong mapuspos kayo ng Espiritu ng Dios. Be filled with the Spirit. Yun bang sa halip na sabihin natin tungkol sa pera o sa materyal na bagay, “Gusto ko noon” (kung wala ka pa) o, “Gusto ko pa noon” (kahit meron ka na), naisin natin na mapuno ng Espiritu. Oo nga’t nasa atin na ang Espiritu – hindi 1/4 hindi kalahati kundi buong-buo nasa atin. Pero hindi natin nararanasan nang buo ang kapangyarihan o pagkilos o pagbabagong bunga ng Espiritu kasi we are not filled with the Spirit. So I pray that today, ang maging Christmas wish n’yo (hindi lang pala Christmas, kundi everyday, 24/7 gaya ng makikita natin mamaya) ay ito: “I want more of God, I want more of Jesus, I want more of the Spirit.”

Our concern sa nagdaang dalawang linggo ay hindi lang tungkol sa paglaban at pagpatay sa kasalanan. Oo, gusto nating mawala iyon pero gusto ng Dios na palitan ang kasalanan ng Espiritu at ng bunga ng Espiritu sa buhay natin. So, be filled with the Spirit. Para mas maintindihan natin ‘to, gusto kong sagutin ngayon ang tatlong tanong: (1) Ano ba ang kahulugan ng pagiging Spirit-filled?; (2) Ano ang epekto o resulta sa buhay ng isang taong Spirit-filled?; at (3) Paano o anu-anong paraan ang puwede nating gawin para maging Spirit-filled tayo? Pero bago iyon, pansinin muna natin ang apat na bagay tungkol sa utos na ito ng Dios.

Some Observations in Being Spirit-Filled

Necessary, not optional. Ito ay utos ng Dios. At tulad ng anumang utos galing sa Dios, dapat sundin. Hindi ito suggestion o proposal sa atin ng Dios na tatanungin pa tayo, “Now, what do you think?” Alam naman nating lahat ng utos ng Dios makakabuti. Kaya sabi ni Pablo sa naunang tatlong verses (5:15-17) na ito ang paraan para mamuhay nang may karunungan hindi kahangalan. Kailangan nating maintindihan ang kalooban ng Dios at sundin ito. Kung hindi maaayon tayo sa takbo ng kasamaan sa mundong ito. Since it is a command, we have a decision to make. Susunod ka ba o hindi? Pipiliin mo ba ang living wisely o foolishly? Pipiliin mo ba ang daan ng Dios o ng mundong ito na pinaghaharian ng demonyo (2:1-2).

Moment by moment, not a single event. Ang utos na ito ay nasa present form sa Greek. Ano iyon? Ibig sabihin hindi minsanan lang tulad ng initial repentance at baptism na sinabi ni Pedro sa mga tao, “Repent and be baptized…” Hindi present tense ang ginamit diyan kundi aorist, ibig sabihin minsanang desisyon lang (bagamat may continuous repentance din sa Christian life). Ang baptism isang beses lang. Pero ang filling of the Spirit ay dapat tuluy-tuloy na pagsunod natin, hindi lingguhan lang. Hindi kapag may retreat lang o youth camp lang na spiritual high ka. Hindi! Dapat 24/7 we are filled with the Spirit. Kaya sabi din ni Pablo na “making the best use of the time” ang buhay ng Cristiano dapat. Walang sinasayang. Hindi lang during quiet time, kundi kahit nagluluto, naglalaba, nagtatrabaho, gumigimik kasama ang mga kaibigan, nag-aaral.

For all Christians, not a select few. Ang utos na ito ay nasa plural form. Ibig sabihin, hindi lang iilan ang kausap niya dito. Kundi lahat ng mga Cristiano. Lahat tayo, hindi lang mga pastor o mga leaders sa church. Kapag sinabi kasi nating Spirit-filled, naiisip natin iyon bang mga taong may special anointing. Hindi! Lahat ng Christian may anointing ng Holy Spirit. Lahat ay sealed ng Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13). Kaya nga binanggit ni Pedro ang salita ng Dios kay propeta Joel sa mga taong nag-aakalang lasing sila nang magsalita sila sa iba’t ibang wika nang bumaba ang Espiritu, “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18) – bata o matanda, pastor o caretaker, single o married, educated o hindi, mayaman o mahirap. This is available for all Christians. The Spirit-filled Christian life is not a super-Christian life, but the normal Christian life. So make it part of your daily prayer to ask God to fill you with his Spirit. Kasi, it’s…

God’s work, not ours. Ang utos na ito ay nasa passive form, hindi active. Kapag active, ikaw ang gagawa, “Binuhusan ko ng tubig ang sarili ko.” Kapag passive, “Hinayaan kong buhusan ako ng tubig ng kaibigan ko.” Kaya ang translation sa Tagalog, “Hayaan n’yong mapuspos kayo…” So para makasunod tayo sa utos na ito, ang gagawin lang natin ay ilagay ang sarili natin sa posisyon na hayaan ang pagkilos ng Dios, na huwag hadlangan ang pagkilos niya. Kung naintindihan natin ang apat na observations na ito, mas madali na ngayong malaman kung ano ang kahulugan ng pagiging Spirit-filled.

The Meaning of Being Spirit-Filled

Kaya sinabi ni Pablo na wag maglalasing ay upang ipakita ang pagkakaiba at pagkakatulad ng pagiging Spirit-filled sa paglalasing. Ano ang pagkakatulad? Kapag ang isang tao lasing, espiritu ng alak ang kumokontrol diyan. Ang pag-iisip niya ay naiimpluwensiyahan ng alak. Wala na siyang kontrol sa sarili niya. Pag uwi sa bahay ng mister mong lasing, iisipin mo, Anong nangyari sa kanya? Bakit nagkaganyan siya? Hindi naman siya ganyan dati. Alam mong lasing siya, hindi lang basta nakainom. Ganoon din sa pagiging Spirit-filled. Hindi lang we have a little of the Spirit, kundi punung-puno. Obvious and dominating ang influence ng Spirit sa atin. Ito ang ibig sabihin ng pagiging Spirit-filled: we let the Spirit take total control of our lives. Parang sa driving, dati gusto mo ikaw palagi ang nasa manibela, kasi siyempre ayaw mong ipaubaya sa iba iyan kasi bilib na bilib ka sa sarili mo. Pero kung Spirit-filled ka, makikipagpalit ka sa Dios na siya na ang nasa driver’s seat at buong tiwala ka na dadalhin ka nang ligtas at payapa sa nais niyang mabuti para sa iyo. Kaya nga sabi din ni Pablo, “Walk by the Spirit…if you are led by the Spirit…live by the Spirit…keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:17, 18, 25).

Hindi ibig sabihing kinokontrol tayo na parang robot, na wala na tayong self-will. Kundi ang nangyayari, ang gusto ko ay naka-align na sa gusto ng Dios. Parang noong pumunta kami ng Subic para magbakasyon nitong nakaraang araw, hinayaan ko na si Daddy mag-drive, kasi siyempre mas experienced siya. At pareho naman din ang gusto naming puntahan. Ito ang malaking pagkakaiba ng pagiging lasing sa pagiging Spirit-filled. Kapag ang isang tao lasing, wala na siyang kontrol sa sarili niya, kung anu-ano ang sinasabi, nananakit, ni hindi nga makayang umuwing mag-isa. Kaya sabi ni Paul, “Do not be drunk with wine, for that is debauchery.” Ibig sabihin, magulong pamumuhay. Ang kahahantungan niyan ay kung anu-anong kapahamakan. Paano mag-drive ang lasing? Pag ang tatay mo umuwing lasing, masasabi mo bang, “Nice. Nakaka-relax. Oks talaga si tatay.” Iyon ang kaibahan ng Spirit-filled, we have total control of our lives. Kaya nga isang bunga ng Espiritu sa buhay natin ay “self-control” (Gal. 5:22).

When we let the Spirit take total control of our lives, we have total control of our lives. Nasa ayos. Nasa tamang direksyon. So ano ngayon? No one get drunks with a little wine. A drunkard drinks and drinks until he is completely under the control of wine. A Christian do not get Spirit-filled with a little thought of the Spirit. We let ourselves be under the Spirit’s lead until our will is totally submitted to his. So we pray like Paul that we will be “filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:19).

Results of Being Spirit-Filled

Kung ang isang tao filled ng Holy Spirit, makikita ang resulta noon. Hindi puwedeng itago. Tulad ng unang pagdating ng Espiritu sa mga tagasunod ni Jesus sa Acts 2, hindi nila naitago. Kita sa paraan ng pagsasalita nila, ng katapangan nila, ng relasyon nila sa Dios at sa isa’t isa. Dito din sa teksto natin, makikita natin ang apat na resulta nito na binanggit ni Pablo.

Addressing one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. This relates to how they talk to one another. The Spirit-filled life will be evident in how they relate to each other – the words they used, the motivations they have, the love that empowers their relationships. But what does it mean to talk to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs? The psalms probably refers to the Book of Psalms they use in worship, along with other hymns and spiritual songs they compose. The obvious context of fellowship here is worshipping together. The relationship that binds us is first our relationship with God. When we gather, it is not merely a social gathering, but a worship gathering. Our love for God flows into our love for each other. We usually sing when there’s abundant joy in our hearts. So the way we relate with each other in the church is with joyful and loving hearts. The parallel in Colossians states: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom” (Col. 3:16). So, we address one another in ways that we are built up by the Word of God (see 4:29).

Singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. That there can be no true fellowship without worship is evident here. When we are Spirit-filled, our hearts overflow in worship to the Lord. The Spirit empowers true spiritual worship (with your heart). Without the Spirit, our worship will be merely external.

Giving thanks. To whom? To God the Father. When we give thanks, we recognize that behind every good thing and every bad thing turning out for God is the sovereign hand of God. The Spirit helps us see this and move our hearts to thanksgiving instead of grumbling or murmuring for bad things happening in our lives and instead of boasting for any good things we are experiencing. So how do we give thanks? Always and for everything. This does not mean that there is no place for grieving, there is. We mourn the loss of a loved one. We are horrified by the evil happening around us. But when we are Spirit-filled, it enables us to see beyond the pain and the evil and see that everything is a piece or a part of a Story God is working out for the world. We thank God also in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is, we recognize that every blessing we receive and every bad thing that will turn out for our good is given to us because fo our union with Christ and it will also be for his glory (from him and for him).

Submitting to one another. The heart that is Spirit-filled, so satisfied with God, is a submissive and humble heart. Meaning, he is willing to put himself in a position to serve the needs of others, instead of trying or expecting others to serve his needs. We recognize that all our needs are met in Christ, so we stop relying on others to satisfy our hearts. Instead, our hearts are overflowing with satisfaction that we only think of giving to them instead of getting from them. It is thinking that others’ needs are more important.

Why do we do this? Out of reverence for Christ. We follow Christ. We serve him out of reverence for his name. We submit to him as Lord. To make that submission to him tangible, we submit to others. We are willing to see Christ in others. That other people represent Christ and we are willing to submit to them as we submit to Christ. What follows are three examples of humble submission to each other. The first ones (wives, children, slaves) submit to the authority of the second (husbands, parents, masters). However, the second also in their leadership roles submit themselves to the other in meeting their needs and in leading with a Christ-like sacrificial love and servanthood. Wives serve the needs of their husbands by gladly submitting to their God-ordained leadership; Husbands serve the needs of their wives by sacrificially and lovingly leading their family (5:22-33); Children serve the needs of their parents by obeying them;  Parents serve the needs of their children by training them to obey the Lord (6:1-4); Slaves, serve the needs of their masters by their joyful service; Masters serve the needs of their servants by their good will toward them (6:5-9). So, the Spirit-filled life is worked out in our day-to-day relationship with others – inside the home and outside the home.

So we become joyful, worshipful, thankful, and humble. This is the Spirit-filled heart. The Spirit breaks our natural tendency to serve the self, instead he helps us love God and love others. We grow in our love relationship with God, we also grow in our relationship with others. The fruit of the Spirit is “love…” (Gal. 5:22-23). So kung ito ang gusto n’yo sa buhay n’yo (at dapat lang dahil ito ang gusto ng Dios sa atin), then “be filled with the Spirit.” There is no other way.

Means of Being Spirit-Filled

Ngayon, ang tanong, “Paano magiging Spirit-filled? O anu-anong paraan ang puwede nating gawin”? Bago natin pag-uusapan iyan alalahanin natin na ito ay gawa ng Dios. Walang secret formula dito na kapag ginawa natin ay Spirit-filled na tayo. Pero may nais ang Dios na gawin tayo para maging malaya siya at sagana nating tanggapin ang pagkilos ng Espiritu.

Magsisimula ito sa attitude natin sa Word of God – na naisulat naman sa pamamagitan ng Espritu (2 Pet. 1:20-21). Dito nakasaad ang kalooban ng Dios na dapat nating sundin. At anong response natin ang gusto ng Dios sa kanyang salita? Receive it by faith! Anong description ni Luke (author ng Acts) kay Stephen? “A man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5). Kay Barnabas? “Full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (11:24). Being full of the Spirit and full of faith cannot be separated. Dahil doon…

Read Scripture. Sabi sa parallel passage ng text natin sa Col. 3:16, sa halip na “Be filled with the Spirit,” sabi ni Paul doon, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Huwag mong asahan ang filling ng Spirit kung hindi naman babad sa salita ng Dios ang utak mo. Huwag kang magtaka kung bakit kung anu-anong salita lang ang lumalabas sa bibig mo kung di ka naman nagbabasa ng Bibliya.

Repent of sin. Kapag nagbabasa ka, may makikita kang bahagi ng puso mo na di sang-ayon sa kalooban ng Dios. Dapat handa kang talikuran ito. Tulad ng isang basong may bato sa loob, puno nga ng tubig, pero hindi punung-puno kasi may espasyong occupied ng bato. Kung tanggalin ito, saka pa lang talagang mapupuspos ng Espiritu.

Receive God’s will. Papaniwalaan kong ito ang mabuti para sa akin, ang katotohanan ng Dios, ang mga utos ng Dios, ang mga pangako ng Dios, ang mga plano ng Dios. So I request God’s help. Hihilingan ko ngayon ang Dios na kumilos sa buhay ko at baguhin ako ayon sa wangis ni Cristo.

For the first half (30 mins) of my quiet time every morning, ganito ang ginagawa ko. I hope and pray na ganito din ang maging daily practice n’yo. Here’s my prayer after reading 1 Corinthians 1-4, Nov. 20, 2012, 6:10 am:

Father, I praise you for the Lord Jesus. For sending him to die in my place. Thank you for the cross, Lord. For its power to save sinners. For your wisdom in salvation. Working in ways we do not expect. For choosing me to he a recipient of your grace. For your grace and because of you I am now in Christ Jesus, who became to me wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

I praise you for sending your Spirit to give light to my dark soul. So Spirit, shine the light of your presence in my heart and reveal the remaining dirts in my heart. Forgive me, Father for boasting in my own accomplishments, my own wisdom and righteousness. For believing that my preparation and delivery of my sermons are more important than the work of the Spirit.

I pray that as I prepare lessons and sermons that you will grant me wisdom from your Spirit. That you will remind me that even during the times that I did not prepare well, you still love me. That my acceptance with you is secured because of the cross not because of my accomplishments. And when I preach I will preach in my own weakness and in the strength of your presence and the wisdom of the cross and the power of your Spirit. That the faith of our church may not rest in me but in you as they see the demonstration of your power in my weakness. Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.

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