Never Too Much

Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18, esv).

You can never wring quite as much refreshment from a week’s vacation as you anticipated in the months leading up to it. You can never maintain the thrill and excitement of a big weekend football game, not at the level you felt it in those final, nail-biting moments. You can never make quite as much room as you’d like for another helping or two of your favorites from Thanksgiving dinner.

But when it comes to experiencing life with the Holy Spirit, who lives right there on the inside of you, there is no way to get too much of Him.

He is unlike any other filling you think you want from any other source.

You especially recognize this distinction whenever you seek satisfaction from a sinful pleasure or indulgence. Sin advertises itself as a sure, long-lasting solution to whatever you seem to be missing. It claims to be as inexhaustible as your thirst for feeling better. But in the process of gravitating there, you find yourself not only losing control to it but eventually dragging the bottom of it. You went too far, you fell for the promise, and you discovered again—as all of us do—why each and every sinful substitute is always so lacking.

But there’s no such thing as too much in the matter of the Holy Spirit. You can’t want Him too much, can’t talk about Him too much, can’t put Him in charge of too much, and can’t enjoy His peace and presence too much. Even when you forfeit His filling by living counter to His wise and truthful direction, by grieving and quenching Him, by resisting His management of your life, you can be filled back up with Him in a moment by simply returning in repentance and surrender.

I’ve been preaching on the Holy Spirit for as many years as I’ve been a pastor, which is getting to be a really long time now. And every time I do, even if I’m focusing on Him for the entirety of the message, I’m left only barely scratching the surface . . . because what can be learned of he Spirit never ends. What can be observed of His constant working and ministry is more than anyone can fathom. Nothing that’s become torn and divided in your life or relationships is beyond His unifying capabilities. The places the Spirit of God can reach through His loving conviction and transform through His life-giving power are as deep as any addiction that has entwined itself around your heart.

So why attempt to live another day without doing it under His complete empowerment? Trying to live the Christian life without Him is like trying to run a marathon without water, like trying to turn on a lamp without electricity, like trying to operate a car without gasoline. To live without the filling of the Holy Spirit is absolutely impossible.

But nothing is impossible to the one He fills and permeates, controls and influences.

And that’s a lot more than we can say for everything else.


  • The older you get, where do you most frequently notice life being disappointing and unsatisfying?
  • What would change for you by completely trusting that the Holy Spirit is always enough for you?

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to make me a new person from the inside out. And thank You for proving all other things to be insufficient at providing what I truly want and need. In all those places where You know I’ve been resisting Your presence and not trusting Your loving commands, lead me to surrender and discover the truth—that Your Spirit is more than enough for me. Now and forever. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.