God Filled in 2014

God Filled in 2014

It’s a new year. We’ve got a new theme.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19, ESV).

Since I’m preaching on this passage today, I don’t want to just tell you all about it in this article. But I do hope to get you excited about what is coming this year. I hope it can be a year of revival, a year of remembering what we are all about. It is so easy to get distracted by the rat race of life that Christianity becomes little more than “going to church” and “going to church” becomes just an item to check off our to-do list.

Christianity is not about “going to church,” keeping a list of rules, being a little bit better than everyone else, or even being significantly different from everyone else. Christianity is about glorifying God. As Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14 demonstrate, we are to be to the praise of God’s glory. That is the goal. That goal may cause us to attend assemblies, keep some rules, and even be different from a lot of other people. But the goal is God’s glory.

And, to quote one popular religious author, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” When we want Him more than we want anything or anyone else, God is glorified. When we can say along with Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (ESV), we truly bring glory to God.

But there is one thing that keeps us from being most satisfied with God. Actually, there are hundreds of things, perhaps thousands. In fact, it may be different things for each of us. That thing is distraction and there are tons of them. Satan has laid out so many distractions that promise so many things that we often turn from the glory of God and pursue the glory of other things, even ourselves. For some it is money. For others fame. For yet others recreation and entertainment. For some it is lust. For others it is food. For yet others it is arrogance and selfishness. On and on we can go. If we are not careful, like Eve, we can get our heads turned and our feet will follow.

There is actually only one way to overcome distraction. It is found in Proverbs 27:7. “One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet” (ESV).

If we are running on empty, then every little spiritual distraction is going to catch our eyes. They are going to pull us away. They are going to beg for us to taste them. If we’re spiritually starved, we will sample even those things that are bitter and disgusting. However, if we are full, Satan can lay out something as tempting and sweet as honey, but we will not be led astray by it. We’re full. We don’t need it.

How do we overcome Satan’s distractions? We must learn to be full on God. We must become God Filled. Psalm 16:5, 11 says, “The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup…You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (ESV). When we grasp this, when we realize that nothing can taste as sweet as the pleasures and joys found in God, we will drink deeply of Him, His will, His Way, His Spirit, His Son. We will become so full of what is truly satisfying that the bittersweet promises of Satan will hold no sway over us.

That is what this year’s theme is about. We will learn about God, His nature, His essence, His character. We will learn about His promises, His love, His mercy. We will learn about His Son and His Spirit. We will learn about the joys and pleasures that come from pursuing Him. We will learn where true happiness and holiness can be found. We will learn that there is nothing we can do that will be greater, more meaningful, more fulfilling, than drinking from the deep and living waters of God.

Join us in every class, assembly, and opportunity as we learn what it means to be God Filled.

—Edwin L. Crozier