Our family loves the outdoors. When the kids were young we loved to go camping. We have all manner of propane powered appliances in our garage; propane barbecues, propane lanterns, propane stoves. Of course all these appliances need propane gas bottles.
Our kids are grown now so we don’t camp any more but our back deck still has a propane cooktop and a propane fireplace, we even have a few of those propane space heaters for when the weather turns cooler. I have quite the collection of propane bottles. I’m confident I could survive a zombie apocalypse or maybe even another Covid outbreak.
Not long ago the government passed a law that said old propane bottles need to be examined every 10 years and re-certified as safe for use. All newer gas bottles have the manufacture date stamped on them so you can easily tell it’s age. Eventually some bottles just get to old or too rusty to be safely refilled. That’s when you have to go to the store and buy a new one.
You would think that when you buy a propane bottle from the store that it would be empty, and that all you would have to do is take it to the gas station and have it filled. Apparently this is not the case. You see when a gas bottle is made it is not empty it is full… of air. So when you take your new “empty” gas bottle be filled they must purge it first. If they don’t your battle would end up only partially filled with a contaminated mixture of propane and air. Your barbecue and heater would not burn very well at all!
So the first time your new bottle is filled they must first partially fill your new bottle with gas which in turn forces any air or residual gases left in the bottle out! They purge off the contaminated gas and air so that your bottle can be made ready to be filled completely with clean pure propane.
In a funny sort of way this is what happens when we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is of course referred to as Pneuma, which means breath or air. Our bodies are like the “empty” propane bottles. We are intended to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but just like those gas bottles we are initially filled with contamination, the old spirit must be purged out before we can be filled with the new spirit… and we MUST be filled with His Spirit.
Consider this teaching by Jesus.
And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven. But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
Here are some quick points:
Are you feeling empty, contaminated, vulnerable?
Be filled with the Holy Spirit today…
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for [e]bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”