Growing up my father owned a gas station and my two brothers and myself spent a lot of time down there filling cars up with gas and doing other odd jobs. Although both of my brothers were quite talented around cars, everything that I touched seemed to turn into utter catastrophe.
Case in point. One time my dad was his usual frustrated self toward me and in almost utter despair told me to go outside and fill “it” up with water. When I arrived at the car I was confronted with a totally dumbfounding choice. On the one hand there was an empty car radiator that my father had just drained and needed to be filled. Right in front of the car there was also a half-filled can of gasoline.
Well of course I dared not ask my father which one to fill up so I decided to put water in the gas can. A couple of minutes later my dad came out and looked at the still empty radiator and asked why I didn’t fill it up. His frustration knew no bounds when I meekly explained that I had put the water in the gas can. Needless to say, he didn’t entrust me with any heavy responsibilities for the rest of the day.
Draining of the heart
Luke 11:13 tells us that the Father in heaven really wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit. But just as water ruins gas, so our sinful hearts will ruin the work of the Spirit in our lives. Therefore, before God fills us with His Spirit, the vessel of the human heart must be drained of sin and self. This draining of the heart is often a painful, but ultimately, fruitful process: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces the fruit of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
Just as it would make no sense to change your car’s oil without draining the old oil out first, God is waiting with wrench in hand to remove the drain plug and replenish our hearts with the fresh oil of His Spirit. Drain and fill. May we all be willing to empty our hearts so God’s Spirit can fill us with wisdom and power from above.