Devotional by Ray Stedman – Live a superabundant life – A daily devotion for March 23

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Topic:Live a superabundant life
DEVOTION OF MARCH 23
READ THE SCRIPTURE: EPHESIANS 5: 15-20

Do not get drunk with wine, in which there is dissolution; rather, be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18

Ray Stedman devotion
Ray Stedman

It is interesting that Paul contrasts these two things, comparing them to each other. “Do not get drunk with wine,” he says. This recognizes that in life there are things that can impel you to drink. There are pressures in life, demands that impose on you that are so severe that you feel the need for some stimulus, for something that sustains you a little, that makes you feel a bit of confidence and adds help and strength. “But do not let that be wine or any other artificial stimulant, because,” he says, “the problem with that is that it easily produces a lack of control.” The word here translated as debauchery is the Greek word meaning ” without any limit, with reckless abandon “. It refers to escapism and the tendency to throw away all restrictions, living without control.

But in contrast to this, he says that it is necessary to satisfy that need for something to stimulate and strengthen you by filling yourself with the Spirit, because that is God’s provision for this need in human life. There is no need for us to feel ashamed to feel this need. We are not created to be independent and self-sufficient creatures. Do not feel uneasy about needing something that helps you, that strengthens you, that makes you feel able to face life; Do not worry about that. You need something, but allow it to be something appropriate. “Be filled with the Spirit.”

Here he offers us the great secret of true Christianity: the possibility of being filled with the Spirit. When you became a Christian, when you believed in Jesus Christ and received him as Lord, the Holy Spirit came to live in you. So you have the Spirit, but the interesting paradox is that, although all Christians have the Holy Spirit, we need to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled, therefore, means taking from Him momentarily the resources you need to face the situation in which you find yourself. It has nothing to do with an experience, a feeling or a crisis; it is to drink quietly over and over again from that inner supply of strength.

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This is a truth that gives the impression that many Christians do not get it. They believe that Christianity means going to church, getting a blessing, and then leaving trying to live in the light and warmth of the blessing until it’s over, so they have to come back to be filled again, but that’s not the Christianity. When Jesus said about the person who drank of Him: “from his interior will flow rivers of living water”, John says: “This said of the Spirit that those who believed in him were to receive” (John 7: 39a). That is a strength that comes from within, and there is more than enough for each situation.

Father, I ask you to teach me how to draw water from the well of inner living water, knowing that each one of the demands made to me is a requirement that is made to You and that You are prepared to live Your life by means of me in every situation and manifest in this way Your grace.

Application to life
How do we react to the harsh demands and pressures of life? Are we learning to recognize the Spirit of Christ within us and to overflow with His Presence?

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