Holiness by Displacement

Paul Hostetter

READ : Ephesians 5:8-20

This twist on the familiar words “be filled with the Spirit” triggered my imagination. When I get home from my garden in the country after strenuous work on a hot day, sweated and weary, I replenish my dehydrated body with a 20-ounce glass of lemonade. What a wonderful feeling!

We all experience moments when we are empty: lonely, disappointed, desperate, grasping for something or someone to fill us. Paul says, “Don’t fill up on wine but instead with the Spirit of God.” His advice would not be popular in a baseball park on a hot July afternoon! But we are not looking for mere temporary relief from our human thirst. We want a supply that fully satisfies. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.

Have you experienced the filling of the Spirit, a season when you reveled in the presence and power of God within you? I have. God wants to replace our cheap wine with the exciting, renewing fulness of his Spirit. Ask for it. Wait for it. Pray for it. Expect it. Call it “baptism,” “a second blessing” or “an answer to prayer.” It does not matter to God. He wants to fill you up!


Lord, I’m empty right now. Fill me up!