Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage for Meditation: John 3:1-16
Key Verse: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8, NASB)
“Don’t you think it’s about time for you to get rid of that box?” Leah asked. We had just gotten engaged the night before.
“What box? . . . Oh, that box,” I responded, seeing the box she was referring to hiding in the back corner of my closet.
It wasn’t very noticeable. Just a small box that I rarely opened. However, Leah knew about it because I’d told her that inside were old notes, pictures, and so on, from a previous girlfriend. And Leah was unwilling to marry someone who was giving less than his whole heart.
Do you think I even hesitated to get rid of it? With all the love Leah had given me, with the joy of a happy future before us, I had no desire to cling to some dusty old love notes that represented an old life that God had thankfully asked me to leave behind.
So what about when we ask Jesus to fill us with His Holy Spirit?
After Jesus shocked Nicodemus by telling him that he needed to be born again, He used the metaphor of wind to explain how one could be born of the Spirit (John 3:8). Wind is incredibly powerful. It can create everything from massive waves and hurricanes to tornados and dust storms. Wind is the simple result of changes in barometric pressure. Air always blows toward areas of lower pressure. This is also how a vacuum cleaner works. The engine expels air from the chamber, making it a lower pressure area, which causes air to rush in, sucking up dirt and debris along with it. A space becomes a “vacuum” when it is completely empty of any matter.
This is incredibly significant for you and me, because we are living in the time when we are to pray for the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 10:1). If we want to see a more powerful outpouring, we need to become a vacuum and become emptied of self so that the “mighty rushing wind” will fill us, as it did the disciples on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2).
Inspiration tells us, “We cannot retain self and yet be filled with the fullness of God. We must be emptied of self. If heaven is gained by us at last, it will be only through the renunciation of self, and the receiving of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified, and the vacuum supplied with the Spirit and power of God. Are we willing to pay the price required of us for eternal life? Are we ready to sit down and count the cost, and conclude that heaven is worth the sacrifice of dying to self, of having our will brought into perfect conformity with the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of God will not be manifested upon us. When we present our emptied nature to God, He will by His Holy Spirit supply the vacuum made by the renunciation of self, and give us of His fullness” (Signs of the Times, Nov. 21, 1892, par. 4).
I can tell you from my marriage to Leah that love grows deeper when we are willing to clean out the old boxes in the back corners of our hearts! Jesus is longing to fill our hearts with His Spirit, but He can’t share the space with the little sins we so carefully cherish. If I want to see the Latter Rain, if I want power to witness, if I want the Holy Spirit to fill me more fully, I have to be willing to be emptied. “When one is fully emptied of self, when every false god is cast out of the soul, the vacuum is filled by the inflowing of the Spirit of Christ” (Lift Him Up, p. 142).
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Father, we are desperate for the rain that You have promised to send us. Please open our eyes to the little boxes in the corners of our hearts that are keeping You from pouring out Your Spirit in its fullness. We long to be bright witnesses for You. Please empty our hearts of all that takes away from our love for Jesus, and fill us with Your wonderful Spirit. Thank You that the promise is sure if we comply with the conditions. Please fill us today! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Pastor Zac Page
(To read another powerful devotional by Pastor Zac called “Our Jesus Getaway,” click here.)
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