Being an Instrument Allowing Change to Occur

Contributor:  Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.

“Be Filled with the Spirit”
-The Apostle Paul, Ephesians 5:18

girl-15599_1280I learned recently in a lecture that those 5 words are what we would call a “present, passive, progressive, imperative.”  I know what you’re thinking right now…”that sounds like Greek to me!!”  Let me explain real quick:

  • Present- It’s happening now
  • Passive- It’s happening to me
  • Progressive- It’s not a one time deal, I have to let it keep happening
  • Imperative- This is a command, not a suggestion

So here is what this means; we must allow God’s Spirit (what Jesus called “The Holy Spirit”) to enter our hearts, minds and wills and we need to figuratively and literally hand him the control of our lives and become submissive to His direction, His wisdom, and His ways.  The interesting part about this is that it is paradoxical in nature.

Proper Guidance

We are deceived by the world; our own desires and ultimately the Devil to believe that God’s commands, guardrails and created order are cosmic killjoys that limit our fun.  So instead of seeing Scripture as a sacred manual that best describes how to maximize life and how to best relate to one another, we’re coaxed into a totally unbiblical perspective; one that reduces Scripture to some kind of hate mail from God that wants to limit our joy and keep us from what’s really, truly life-giving.

cross-918459_1280What’s so fascinating about Paul’s teaching in Ephesians right before the command to “be filled with the Spirit” is the opposite teaching viewed from a negative perspective, “Do not be drunk with wine”.   Seems that Paul is comparing the power of drunkenness (being out of control, at the mercy of the booze, etc.) with the same effect that God’s Spirit can have if we allow His presence to take control of our lives.

There is at one level an “intoxication” of God’s presence that can and does move in our lives as we allow His Spirit to take further and deeper residence in our hearts.  He will do the work, we must do our part however, we must LET HIM do the work.

So recovery, though very complex, is quite simple as well.  At its core it’s about who is in charge?  Who’s calling the shots?  Who’s running point at the command center of your life?

Someone or something will be the central pursuit of your life (family, money, success, partying, drugs, booze, sex, etc) what Paul is suggesting is that the Holy Spirit can so fill your life that the “lesser pursuits” become exposed for exactly what they are….LESSER PURSUITS!

So, may you and I drain the stuff that is cluttering the central point of life (the Heart) and may we allow the on-going work of God through His Spirit to fill us up and do for us what we could never do for ourselves.


Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What was the central pursuit of your life in your past?  What is the central pursuit of your life now and what do you see as the central pursuit in the future?

About the Author:

Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.

Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions and co-occurring disorders.  These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.  We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.  

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on September 18, 2015. Published on

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