Here is a great object lesson to illustrate why we need to be filled and saturated by the Holy Spirit.
Supplies Needed: flat sponge, bowl of water
Ephesians 5:18 Do not be drunk with wine. That will ruin you spiritually. But be filled with the Spirit.
The Bible talks a lot about being filled with the Holy Spirit. The word used in this verse for filled means being continually filled. That means being filled, and filled, and filled again. It means to keep being filled with the Holy Spirit.
(show flat sponge) Can anyone tell me what this is? (If the children don’t know, let them know it’s a sponge that has never been wet. It’s called a flat sponge. Talk about how useless this sponge is without water just as the Christian is useless unless he’s filled with the Holy Spirit.
The sponge is hard. God doesn’t want us to have a hard heart toward Him. He wants to fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
This sponge is dry. Without the Holy Spirit filling us, our lives and passion for God can be dry. God wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that rivers of living water can flow out of us.
John 7:37-39 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
This sponge can’t wash or clean anything. Being filled with the Holy Spirit keeps us cleansed from sin.
John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
Romans 8:2 Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Object Lesson Experiment:
(Dip the sponge in the bowl of water so it is a little wet. Let the children make observations on how the sponge has changed. It is wetter, bigger, softer, more useful. Dip the sponge again until it gets saturated.)
The more this sponge gets saturated with water, the more useful it is. The more we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the more useful we are to the Kingdom of God.
If I were to leave this wet sponge on the shelf, what would happen to it? It would get dried out and hard again. That’s the way we will get if we don’t continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit.