Filling of the Holy Spirit

One of my favorite American spiritual heroes is a man named D. L. Moody. Moody was sent off to live with his uncle in Boston, who sold shoes for a living. One of the requirements of his being there was that he had to attend church every week. A Sunday School teacher, named Edward Kimball, eventually led Moody to Christ.

During the Civil War, Moody ministered to the Union soldiers. Then, he built a vibrant Sunday School that worked with younger children. That effort led to the establishment of a large church in Chicago. Eventually, Moody made his way over to Europe where he held massive revival meetings.

Keep in mind, Moody only had a 5th grade education. He was not an incredible orator. He just believed in the old rugged cross and took every opportunity to share the Gospel message. He relied on the Holy Spirit to take his words and use them to bring others to a saving knowledge of the Savior.

Once, while he was speaking about the power of the Holy Spirit, Moody held up a glass and asked the group this question: “How can I get the air out of this glass?” Apparently one man shouted, “Suck it out with a pump!”

Moody replied that such a move would create a vacuum and would shatter the glass. There were a number of other suggestions, and then Moody spoke again. He picked up a pitcher of water and filled the glass. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.”

And then he went on to explain that the victories we accomplish in the Christian life are only accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not just the idea of sucking out a sin here or there that brings victory, but it is the ongoing need to remain filled by His Spirit.

This week, Chet’s message focused on the movement of the Spirit of God. In the account written in Acts 16, we saw evidence of men following the Spirit as they responded to the call to go to Macedonia. We also saw the power of His Spirit at work that allowed Paul and Silas to rejoice and worship during a very difficult time.

Clearly, they were filled with the Spirit. Like Moody’s example, all of the “air” (sin, the flesh, the inclinations of selfish hearts…) were overcome by the presence of the Spirit of God. As Paul and Silas sang and prayed, the other prisoners listened. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit made a tangible difference in all of their lives.

And that same Spirit longs to fill us, as well. When we resist His work, marginalize His impact, or ignore His leading, we suffer a great loss.

So, this week, let’s intentionally make our “glasses” available to the Trinity. Let’s actively ask the Lord to fill us to the very brim, leaving no room for the works of our flesh.

I wonder what prison doors will swing open for us. I wonder what chains will be broken…

Sherry Worel


Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.
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