PURSUING THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Third, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily, to “buy oil” every day. Matthew 25:1-10 clearly tells us the significance of buying oil. Many readers of the Bible know how rich the meaning of the word buy is. It includes confession of sins, prayer, dealing with negative things, obedience, paying the price, and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is related to pursuing the growth in life. Without being filled with the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to pursue the growth in life—the growth in life is simply unattainable. Our growth in life is altogether determined by the measure of the filling of the Holy Spirit within us. The infilling of the Holy Spirit fosters the growth in life. Without being filled with the Holy Spirit, a follower of the Lord is just like a plant without soil, water, sunlight, and air; even if he lives, he is merely prolonging his life temporarily. In biblical figures, we are God’s plants (cf. 1 Cor. 3:6; Col. 2:7), and the Triune God is our soil (cf. Col. 2:7), sunlight (Mal. 4:2; Luke 1:78), air (Ezek. 37:9-10, 14a; John 20:22), and water, including rain (Exo. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:4; John 4:10, 14; 7:38-39; Rev. 22:1; cf. Gen. 2:5; Deut. 11:14; Joel 2:23, 28-29; Hosea 6:3; Zech. 10:1; Acts 2:16-18). The Holy Spirit is the processed and consummated Triune God; therefore, to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the Triune God. When we are filled with the Triune God, we have soil, water, sunlight, and air, and the result is that we grow and become full-grown in life. We cannot say that because we were thoroughly filled with the Holy Spirit yesterday, we do not need to be filled today. We need to buy oil daily; that is, we need to experience the infilling of the Holy Spirit every day.
In the Philippines, the wind from March to May is very humid. Thus, a person easily gets sick if he is exposed to the wind. The local people prevent all kinds of illnesses by taking showers, at least once daily. People who live in the north do not need to shower every day, but if they go to the Philippines they have to take a shower daily, and each time they must shower until they are thoroughly wet. They cannot say that they do not need a shower today because they already took one yesterday. Sometimes they may even need to take a shower three times a day. This is a good illustration of being filled with the Holy Spirit. We have to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day, and every time we have to be filled through and through. Sometimes we should be filled even three times a day. We surely have to exercise ourselves seriously in these three matters: growing in life, pursuing the truth, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
PURSUING CHARACTER TRAINING
The fourth and most important point is the training of our character. Why is character training so important? It is because the result of our pursuit in the preceding three matters depends entirely on the extent of our character training.
Character Being Related to Transformation
Character is a common term, but the training of a Christian’s character is related to the transformation referred to in the Bible. The real character training of a Christian is accomplished not by outward improvement but by inward transformation. This means that although you were not born this way, after a certain kind of element has been added into you and has been mingled with you, you become different, and thus your character is changed.
(The Economy of God and the Mystery of the Transmission of the Divine Trinity, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)