Empowered to Serve

Posted on http://messengerinternational.org On August 14, 2014 by John & Lisa Bevere

When people refer to the so-called “marriage passage” in Ephesians 5, they typically start with verse 22—the one that tells wives to submit. But Paul’s exhortation actually begins earlier in the chapter. To fully grasp how our marriages are to portray the relationship between Christ and the Church, let’s look back at verse 18:

 …Ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18 AMP)

In the original Greek, the word translated here as filled describes the process of being saturated with the Spirit as an ongoing experience. Once isn’t enough. When we are not continually filled with and stimulated by God’s Spirit, we will look to our spouses to fill needs only God can fill.

No matter how great your spouse is, he or she can never replace God. If you expect your spouse to infuse your life with purpose and meaning, blessings only God can offer, then you will find yourself disappointed, frustrated, and unable to demonstrate the love of God.

Trying to love and serve like Christ apart from His Spirit is like trying to get water out of a hose that isn’t connected to a faucet. A hose cannot produce water on its own; it is merely a conduit. Likewise, only when we embrace the empowerment of the Holy Spirit can we love and serve our spouses the way God desires.

Is your love propelled by the Spirit’s power?

This excerpt was adapted from John and Lisa’s new book, The Story of Marriage (Messenger International, 2014).