No Vacancy After Victory
…to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3: 19)
These words were taken from a devotional article written by W. Glyn Evans, a college friend of mine. His thesis was that when God drives out a spiritual enemy from our lives, we must be sure that there is a positive replacement . To proclaim the need for emptying ourselves of flesh domination without presenting the need for the Spirit’s filling is folly and futility. I tilled a plot of ground in our yard but didn’t get around to planting anything in it. It looked neat and orderly at first, but it became filled with weeds that thrived on the newly turned soil.
Jesus used a parallel illustration when He told of the tragedy of a life that was emptied of an unclean spirit but left vacant. When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first (Matthew 12: 43-45).
For years America’s Keswick has been declaring to those seeking to be rid of life-dominating sins that they are not only to be reckoning themselves dead to sin but alive to God through Jesus Christ (Romans 6: 11). They must no longer present themselves as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin but to present themselves to God (v. 13). The negative act of renunciation must be followed by the positive renewing of the Holy Spirit.
Mary Maxwell , in a hymn often sung at past Keswick conferences – “Channels Only” – declares, “Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me, A clean vessel in Thine hand; With no power but as Thou givest Graciously with each command.” In her final stanza she says, “Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit Hearts that full surrender know, That the streams of living water From our inner man may flow.” Let’s not short circuit God’s purpose by settling for evicting the old occupant without enthroning the new. Rev. William A. Raws served for six decades at America’s Keswick and is the grandson of our founder. Pastor Bill wrote many devotionals for our daily devotional guides, Real Victory Volumes 1 and 2
Keswick, America’s (2012-12-13). Real Victory for Real Life Volume 2 (Kindle Locations 6509-6532). . Kindle Edition.
Think About This:Assurance is in God’s word, not in our hopes and feelings. This is the whole purpose of the Bible–to state God’s conditions and provisions, not only for the beginning of the life in Christ but also for the continuity of this life.Stanley Tam
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17