What I Put in Is What Comes Out
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh . . . Joel 2:28
When I went to residency, my lifestyle radically changed. I spent more time in the hospital, had less time for exercise, and abandoned healthy eating habits. After a year, I couldn’t quite figure out why the guy in the mirror was so round . . . and why none of my pants fit. I wanted to live the life of a glutton without the consequences and was frustrated to find that I could not circumvent God’s laws of nature.
I did the same thing in my addiction. I used in the dark, hoping that no one would ever noticed. I found again however, that I could not fill myself with something without it leaking out into my life. When my drug use erupted in catastrophic consequences, I relearned God’s principle that what I put into me, inevitably comes out.
Today’s passage, written several hundred years before Christ, described a day when God would fill his people with his Spirit. On the day of the prophecy’s fulfillment, the day of Pentecost, some of those who witnessed this filling of the Spirit, thought those affected by it, were intoxicated. Others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine” (Acts 2:13).
Filled with God, those early Christians could not help but act strangely. What was inside of them necessarily affected their behavior. This is the positive application of the lesson I learned with drugs and food. What I fill myself with is what comes out of me.
The passage is clear, that it is God who fills us, but other passages further reveal that he allows us to be filled a little or a lot. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you (James 4:8). Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
What we fill ourselves with is what comes out. If we spend our time and efforts pursuing our own appetites, filling ourselves with the unhealthy, that will inevitably spill out of us. If, however, we daily read, pray, and meditate, that too will pour out of us. If we truly want to know life, joy, and peace, then we must daily fill ourselves with God.