“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18
Have you ever felt spiritually like you were almost on empty? Perhaps what you need is to be filled with the Holy Spirit . . . again and again. The Greek grammar is revealing in this passage. The phrase, “be filled with the Spirit” literally says, “Be you continually being filled with the Spirit,” and it’s a command. Now that’s an interesting command to believers who have already received the indwelling Holy Spirit. Why?
In the introduction to his book, Twelve Lies You Hear About The Holy Spirit, author Tim Riter asks these questions:
“Why do some Christians seem to have no gusto in their faith? They attend church services, they serve the Lord and others, they give of their time and their material possessions, but they never seem to burn with passion for God. They don’t dig deep into him. They have a genuine faith, and they love God, but they clearly are missing something in their spiritual lives. Other Christians are different. They have no more talent or intelligence, but their lives have a spiritual zest. Passion motivates their actions. What’s the difference? The key to the dynamic Christian life is being filled with the Spirit . . .”
Many Christians have been taught that once they receive the indwelling Holy Spirit at conversion, that’s it. But in Ephesians 5:18, the apostle Paul commands us to go deeper in the Christian life by being continually filled. If that were not necessary, there would be no need to command something that intrinsically happens to all believers.
We can be filled with the Holy Spirit when we allow God access and control over all aspects of our lives; as we seek and surrender to His will and guidance completely. However, being filled with the Spirit, is not automatic. We need to actively seek it every day. It’s the battle of our flesh against the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17).
It’s remarkable how many times the New Testament points out when someone is “filled with the Spirit,” some for the first time and others again. John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit even from his mother’s womb. So were his dad and his mother, Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:67-80). Jesus as a man was filled with the Spirit (Matthew 3:16; Luke 4:14), and so was His church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4).
Peter and John were filled again (Acts. 4:8, 13) as were all of the disciples after praying for help (Acts 4:29-31). The first deacons were filled again (Acts 7:3) as was Stephen the church’s first martyr (Acts 7:55). The apostles Paul and Barnabas were filled with the Spirit continuously (Acts 9:17, 11:24), as were the other disciples (Acts 13:52). The Holy Spirit was their power source and He continues to be for every believer in the church today.
So how about you? What are you waiting for? Do you want to add supernatural zeal to your faith and burn with a fearless intensity for Jesus continually? Galatians 5:25 says it this way, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” I believe as we do, we’ll find ourselves living the Christian life in victory.
God wants his church to be the most potent institution on the face of the earth and it can be if you and I will continually seek Him each and every day and ask Him to fill us with His Spirit. How do we do that? Jesus said, all we have to do is ask (Luke 11:9-13). Let’s be the church and show the world His love and power. Maranatha!
“We receive Him (the Holy Spirit) by faith as we receive the Lord in salvation by faith. He comes as a gift of God to us in power. First He comes in some degree and measure when we are converted, otherwise we couldn’t be converted. Without Him we couldn’t be born again, because we are born of the Spirit. But I am talking about something different now, an advance over that. I am talking about His coming and possessing the full.” (This classic by A.W. Tozer is now available on Kindle from Amazon.com for only $1.97.