I have drip-style coffee maker, you know, the kind were you fill the reservoir with water and put the coffee in a paper filter basket. It’s not the new-fangled Keurig, but that’s beside the point. Do you know what happens when you try to make a full pot of coffee but forget to empty the carafe of yesterday’s coffee? You get a mess. The carafe overflows and you have coffee all over the kitchen counter. But, the worst part is that you just ruined a perfectly good pot of coffee.
So here’s where I’m going with this. Christians talk often about “being filled with the Spirit.” Indeed the Scriptures also tell us this (Ephesians 5:18). And I wholeheartedly agree that we should seek to be so filled. The problem lies in what we are already full of. In other words, we have to make room in our hearts for the Holy Spirit to fill. There are many Scriptures that list the kinds of things that we could be full of. Here are just a few:
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice (Ephesians 4:31)
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. (Galatians 5:19-21)
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. (Matthew 15:19)
It’s quite a disturbing list isn’t it? Now I am not saying that all of us have all of that, but I do believe that most of us are full of some of those things listed. We walk through our lives reacting to the difficulties of life or unkindness and thoughtlessness of others and all sorts of ugliness rises up within us until we nearly overflow. The Holy Spirit is squeezed out because there is no room for Him. That’s not how God intended for us to live.
So what are we to do? LIVE DRAINED. Living drained means letting go of all those things causing us pain and causing us to be filled with the anger, strife, envy, etc. Living drained means emptying our hearts of the ugliness. It means making a deliberate choice not to hold grudges, seek revenge, keep an account of how we’ve been wronged or taking what we think we “deserve.” To live drained takes two very special steps every day, multiple times per day if necessary. To live drained we must be willing to forgive and we must be thankful. Nothing destroys the power of sin in our lives more than being willing to offer and receive forgiveness. And nothing draws us closer to Christ than have a grateful attitude towards every aspect of our lives as we receive it from Him.
Live drained my friends and you will soon find yourself full with the Holy Spirit and, as Jesus promised, you will find “rivers of living water” flowing – overflowing – out of your heart.