1 Samuel 10:6 “And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.”
We all have something we do not like about ourselves; something we are working on.
We make New Year’s resolutions.
We join support groups.
We draw a friend to be our accountability partner.
But there are some stubborn habits, even addictions – sins – that we cannot seem to shake.
It might be overeating.
It might be anger.
It could be cursing.
Something; some sin has taken its residence in us, and we just cannot seem to shake it. We may have character enough to stop for a while. We may even be able to lessen the effects of the activity to some acceptable form of living. We call that being a ‘functioning addict’.
For many of us, that word “addict” is harsh. It connotes a particular image that feels more like an orange jumpsuit than a badge of honor. We shy away from such things and label those who exhibit such as being in ‘deep’ trouble or deep sin.
But then, God does a work in that one. He removes the desire for the sin and replaces it with the power to overcome and serve Him. We stand back and wonder at the work God is doing, and it gives us hope that God could do the same for us.
That kind of testimony is all throughout the Bible.
Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Joseph, Saul, and David. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many more Old Testament men and women.
We see Peter, James, and John; Barnabus, Luke, Timothy, and we cannot forget Saul who became Paul. Each displayed a definitive change when they allowed God to take control. Each stood boldly in the assurance that God would use them and deliver them. When even faced with certain death, they boldly declared their love for their God.
When God moves in, things happen.
So, how does this happen?
John the Baptist said:
John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Dying to self is elemental to Spirit-filled living. God even gives us a ‘recipe’ if you will:
Ephesians 5:18-21 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
First, we are commanded to be filled. We cannot fill something that is already full. We must be empty. Empty of selfish desires, pleasures, and amusements. We must clean our soul of any and all sin that lives there.
You are only as clean as you want to be.
Second, what influences our spirit will both pave the way for the filling of the Holy Spirit and maintain that spirit once we are clean. Music; specifically good, godly music will do three things. Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs singing and making melody in your heart unto the Lord will point our hearts in the right direction.
Good, godly music calms the emotions from anxiousness, depression, anger and the like. It soothes my body to relax and not rise up to control me.
Thirdly, its message speaks to my heart and draws me unto God.
All three parts of music; melody, harmony, and rhythm work together, and no one part is greater than the whole. The melody carries the message. The harmony adorns it and the rhythm gives it order. When anyone or all three are vying for control, we fall prey to its control.
Lastly, thankfulness and gratefulness are earmarks of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
The transformation of a life can only come when we stop trying to change and obey God and allow Him to do the work. Saul just obeyed Samuel’s instructions. Samuel obeyed what instructions he received from God.
One changed life is amazing. A changed and transformed church will do great things for God. The book of Acts is evidence that when God is in control, great things happen!