Have you ever felt inadequate as a follower of Christ?
Maybe you couldn’t find the right words to say to comfort a grieving friend. Maybe you didn’t know how pray for something or someone. Maybe you had a hard time trusting God to provide for you and your family. Maybe you couldn’t resist a temptation. Maybe you were consumed by worry, fear, or doubt in a situation that felt out of your control.
Wisdom, compassion, love, patience, joy, endurance, peace, righteousness, faithfulness, prayer, kindness, hope, gentleness, generosity, forgiveness, goodness, self-control, and the list goes on…
In our own power, these things are limited resources. We simply do not have the capacity to continue in them day after day.
If these things are required from us alone, we will always be inadequate to produce them. The truth is that if they’re going to come out of us, they must first be put in us. And for that, there is very, very good news.
“For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10, emphasis mine)
The Apostle Paul wrote those words to believers in Colossae (Colossians 1:2), but they are true for everyone who has trusted Christ for salvation.
If you are a follower of Christ, then Christ has filled you with his Spirit (Romans 5:5; Romans 8:15). Not partially given. Filled. To the top. All the way. No room left for more.
That means the entire fullness of God’s nature now dwells in you! The One who is the head over every ruler and authority has filled you with HIS nature so that you are no longer ruled by yours (Romans 8:1-14).
Notice the verb tense. You have been filled. As in, it has already happened. It’s completed. And yet the results from that completed action are being realized with greater clarity in our day-to-day lives and will continue to be realized with greater clarity until we can see fully in eternity (1 Corinthians 13:12).
For the rest of our lives, we will overcome feelings of inadequacy as we grow to realize more and more that we have been filled with the fullness of Christ through his Holy Spirit. Isn’t that encouraging?
It means that you can comfort others more and more because you have been filled with Christ’s compassion and love.
It means that you can resist temptation more and more because you have been filled with Christ’s power and self-control.
It means that you can trust God more and more because you have been filled with Christ’s peace and hope.
It means that you can give sacrificially and joyfully more and more because you have been filled with Christ’s generosity and kindness.
It means that you can bear with one another more and more because you have been filled with Christ’s patience and forgiveness.
It means that you can withstand trials more and more because you have been filled with Christ’s endurance and strength.
Believer, you need to know that you have been filled. God’s fullness now dwells in you because his Spirit dwells in you. There is nothing you now lack.
From now on, whenever you have thoughts of inadequacy, you have something to fight back with – the truth that you have been filled. It’s not about you; it’s about God in you. And he has adequately supplied you with all you need.
Live as one who has been filled, because you have been filled!
Further reading: Ephesians 1; 2 Peter 1