Last Sunday the Crossroads Fellowship motto and vision for 2017 were unveiled by our Lead Pastor, Jim Horne. Our motto this year is “Be Real”. Our focus this year will be what it means to be a real follower of Jesus Christ and how to be one. A church member, after they saw the “Be Real” banner on top of the stage, asked me, “Why “Be Real”? Does it mean there are fake [followers of Jesus]?” I think this is a good and valid question.
In Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, Jesus told a story to illustrate the truth that in the world there are sons of God’s kingdom (true or real followers of Christ) and sons of the evil one (fake followers of Christ). They will coexist until Jesus returns. But, it is not our job to tell who the son of the kingdom is and who is not. Our responsibility as followers of Christ is to live like children of God’s kingdom. Our responsibility is to be real, real follower of Jesus.
So what is involved in being a real follower of Jesus? What does a real follower look like? This is not easy to answer conclusively in this short article. But I want to mention something that is absolutely essential to being a real follower of Jesus. This is paramount: You and I cannot be real followers of Christ in our own strength. Willpower, human effort, ingenuity, etc. are not enough to help us or make us what God wants us to be. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can “be real”. In fact, without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to be a real follower of Christ.
That is why we are commanded in Ephesians 5:18 to be filled with the Holy Spirit. To be a real disciple of Christ is to live a Spirit-filled life. Show me a real follower of Christ and I will show you someone who is filled with the Spirit of God. For us to be filled with the Spirit we must continually seek to be filled by Him (Luke 11:13) then we must continuously submit to Him (Galatians 5:16). When we do this the result will be obvious (Ephesians 5:19-21; Galatians 5:22-23).
One more thing: being filled with the Spirit is not a onetime experience. The command to be filled in Ephesians 5:18 is in the present continuous tense, meaning we are to be filled with the Spirit every moment of our lives. It is a daily, moment by moment business.
Are you filled with the Spirit? I am not asking if you have ever been filled with the Holy Spirit; or if you were filled with the Spirit yesterday.
My question is: are you filled with the God’s Spirit now?