Eph 5:18 says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (crammed full of and influenced) (present tense – habitually, continually) with the Spirit; Act 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Let’s get into God’s Word.
Last week we talked about the initial filling with the Holy Spirit, that experience subsequent to salvation, also referred to as “Being filled,” “The Spirit coming upon you,” and “The Baptism with the Holy Spirit.” This week we will take a look at the subject of continuously being filled with the Spirit. Let’s get into God’s Word.
As we see in the above verse, we are commanded to literally “be being filled” with the Spirit. We are not to be filled once, and then we are done. We see in Acts 4:31 that the Apostles were filled again with the Spirit, after the initial filling on the day of Pentecost. Eph. 5:18 makes clear that there must be an effort, or agreement, on our part, to be continuously filled with the Spirit. It does not happen automatically. It does not happen without your agreement.
Being filled again with the Spirit does not mean the Holy Spirit departed, and now you must do something to get Him to come back. The Holy Spirit does not leave you (Jn 14:16-17). We must know there is a difference between the third Person of the Godhead dwelling within us, and the release of His power in our lives. There is the Holy Spirit – the Person; and there is Holy Spirit power. Every Christian has the Person of the Holy Spirit living inside them. Much fewer have experienced the initial infilling, and even fewer continue to be habitually filled with Holy Spirit power. Hence, the abundance of carnal, worldly Christians that occupy our society.
So, what must we do to be continually filled with the Spirit? First of all, we must walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25). Walking in the Spirit means being Spirit led. It means, that since we live in the Spirit (in truth), we should walk after the Spirit (in practice). How do I know If I am walking in the Spirit? Well, one way is to look at the works of the flesh, and then the fruits of the Spirit. Which category best describes you? Remember, another work of the flesh is lying!
We also need to give our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, and renew our mind in the Scriptures (Rom 12:1-2). Our bodies are not our own. We are bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, and He has purchased us out of darkness. We are His possession. We are new Creations in Christ. When our old spirit man died, he left behind a mind that must be reprogrammed with truth; and a body that must be brought into subjection. If they are not, there will be no evidence that there was ever true conversion; and you will not be continuously filled.
We must yield our lives to the Holy Spirit (Rom 6:13-19). The key word for being filled with Holy Spirit power is yield! Absolutely no area of your life should be kept “off limits” to God. He has the divine right to every fiber of your being. We are to yield every aspect of our life to Him. Many Christians are not filled with the Spirit, because they are not yielded to God. You can’t have it both ways. Choose you this day who you are going to serve – yourself (aka the flesh and the devil) or God.
We must not grieve (distress, make sad or sorrowful) the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30). This is counter productive to our being filled. How do we grieve Him? By walking after the flesh. Being carnal. Willfully sinning against God. Ignoring His voice of conviction, when we know He wants us to deal with sin our life. This grieves Him. He loves you, and wants the best for you. He sees your potential. It hurts Him when we rebel against His leading. Repent today if you are grieving the Holy Spirit, and be filled!
We must not quench (stifle, suppress) the Spirit (1Thess 5:19). This means, when the Spirit is prompting us to service, we should be quick to obey. It’s no use praying for God to use you, then when He tells you to go over and pray for somebody, you say no. Let the Spirit of God flow from you to others. Listen to His leading. If you are serious about serving God, He will fill you for the mission!
Finally, pray in the Spirit. Paul said he prayed in the Spirit, and prayed with the understanding (1Cor 14:15). When you pray in the Spirit, you: build up your faith (Jude 20); you edify and strengthen yourself (1Cor 14:4); you speak to God, and mysteries in the spirit (1Cor 14:2); you find rest and refreshing (1Cor 14:21, Isa 28:11-12); you bless God (1Cor 14:16); you give thanks beautifully (1Cor 14:17); you pray the perfect will of God (Rom 8:26-27). There are obviously many benefits to praying in the Spirit. Did the Apostle Paul’s supernatural ministry have something to do with 1Cor. 14:18? Until next time, rejoice in The Lord, and be filled with the Spirit!