Word of the Month

Filled with things divine

October 2011

The letter to the Ephesians expresses the wish that the Ephesians might be “filled with all the fullness of God” (cf. Ephesians 3: 19). There are so many things that can fill us human beings: sporting activities, politics, our careers, and even our cares and burdens. Our view is not directed at the earthly, though, but upon that which is spiritual. Let us look into our own hearts and think about what fills us? How wonderful it is if we are filled with all the fullness of God! But what does this mean? Allow me to refer to some examples from Scripture to illustrate what is meant by this. Jesus was filled with the desire to be near to His heavenly Father. When He was twelve years old, He stayed behind in Jerusalem. When His parents noticed that He was missing they went to look for Him and found Him in the temple. He said to them: “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (cf. Luke 2: 42-49). That was what filled Him! Often we read in the Bible that He went up to the mountain top and prayed, at times even through the entire night (cf. e.g. Matthew 26: 39-44; Mark 1: 35; Luke 5: 16). If we are filled by the desire to be near to God, we will attend the divine services because that is where God is very close to us.

When the Lord was on the lake with His disciples on one occasion, a storm came up that threatened to capsize the boat. The disciples started to become restless. They did not know what they were to do. They were very afraid. And what was Jesus doing? He was lying in the boat asleep! He must have been filled with complete peace and calm. He was also certain that He was in the hand of God (cf. Matthew 8: 23-26).

May we too be filled with such peace in the storms of life, knowing that we are in the hand of God!

In the parable of the Good Samaritan (cf. Luke 10: 30-37), the Lord gave an example of how a person acts if he is filled with love for his neighbour. How beautiful if we are filled with such love and if we do not look away, but rather help uplift others and come to their aid so that they can carry on! It is wonderful if there is such a basic attitude in the congregation, such that the members help each other and that all are filled with love and kindness. That is what makes a strong and lively congregation which radiates love. All of this will be felt. People will also be able to tell if we are filled with the desire to serve the Lord. Apostle Paul was also filled with this desire. It is truly astounding that he never gave up in spite of all the difficulties he faced. He was permeated by the desire to serve the Lord.

Our heart is like a vessel that has a limited capacity. If we are filled up with earthly matters, then there will be no more room for spiritual things. That is where I see a great danger in our time. We are so inundated by earthly matters, by our problems and needs, that there is no more room left for that which the Lord offers.

Let us therefore take care that there is always enough room in our hearts for the Holy Spirit. If that is the case, we will also act accordingly. Let us pay heed to that which fills our hearts. After all, to be filled with all the fullness of God means that everything will always revolve around divine matters. Let us strive for this!

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)