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Seeds of the Kingdom

Good Pressure

by John Berry

25 February 2012

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Be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18, NIV

‘Be filled with the Spirit’- maybe these are words we’ve read many times, and probably often heard people speak of. But do they just remain words, without the truth of them becoming part of our experience?

This was brought home to me recently when I had a problem with a radiator which wasn’t getting warm. Water from the boiler is pumped around the house to fill the radiators in various locations, so they can do what their name suggests – radiate heat. This particular one is situated at the end of a long run of pipes, and whilst all the other radiators were performing efficiently this one wouldn’t get hot. I checked the connections, turned all the valves to make sure they were open, and ‘bled’ any air out, all to no avail.

The problem was found to be that the main system had suffered a drop in pressure – it wasn’t filled up sufficiently. Although everything was connected there wasn’t enough hot water pressure to feed this radiator, so it remained cold. Is that like our spiritual lives? We may be all ‘connected’ with no major blockages, but we’re not able to get ‘hot’ for Jesus, because we’re not really filled with Him.

There are some of us who know all the right things from God’s Word, who live a righteous life to the best of our ability, and who were once really on fire for the Lord. But over the years the pressure has dropped, either through leakage – where we allow the enemy to drain off our love and fervour, through overwork – or through neglect.

In the case of my radiator I had omitted to keep the boiler pressure topped up. It was a simple matter to turn the tap and re-pressurise the heating system. And it’s really not that hard to be ‘filled with the Spirit’ as Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 5:18. That verb is in the present continuous tense, which means go on being filled with the Spirit. If you do that you’ll remain effective for whatever the Lord has called you to. But when the pressure drops dramatically it takes more time and effort to return to the ‘filled up’ state.

May I suggest that we check out our spiritual pressure valves daily and ask Jesus to keep us continually filled with His Spirit? I know I need to do that. I know how far short I fall from that which God intends for me when I run on low pressure with the Holy Spirit!

Prayer: Dear Father, please forgive me for trying to fulfil my calling without asking for You to keep filling me up with Your Holy Spirit. I recognise my emptiness and ask You now to refill me. May this infilling become a constant, ongoing reality in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.


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