“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18
Do you know the Spirit of God? Do you commune with Him? Do you fellowship with Him? The Spirit of God is co-equal, co-existent, and eternally existent with God the Father and God the Son. When we speak of the Holy Spirit, we speak of God.
When I received Christ, the Holy Spirit, who is God, came to live in me. I received all of God that I will ever receive at the moment I was saved, but He wants more and more of me with each passing day. When I trusted Him as my Saviour, He came into the throne room of my life, but day by day I must allow Him to be on the throne of my life.
There is a great deal of confusion about the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Many people are ignorant of the truth of God’s Word concerning the Holy Spirit and Holy Spirit fullness. However, there is something much more tragic than ignorance. It is Christians who are not ignorant, but who are indifferent to the work of the Holy Spirit of God.
The Bible sys, “Be filled with the Spirit.” Imagine taking a sponge and putting it in a bucket of water, allowing the water to be absorbed in the sponge. Is the water in the sponge, or is the sponge in the water? The answer is both. The water is in the sponge, and the sponge is in the water. When I trusted Christ as my Saviour, He came to live in me; but I was also placed in Him. By the marvelous work of the Holy Spirit, I was baptized into the body of Christ by the Spirit of God, and I became a part of the body of Christ.
When we read and hear about people being filled with the Holy Spirit, people who have been greatly used of God, sometimes the experience they talk about seems so far-reaching that it appears unattainable to the ordinary Christian. This is not what the Bible teaches. Being filled with the Spirit of God is something we should seek on a daily basis. Read Ephesians 5:18-25 and consider these things.
The Context of This Passage
The context or broader text of this passage is related to the everyday life of a family. This means that Dad cannot be the father he should be without being filled with the Holy Spirit. A Christian lady cannot be the wife God wants her to be without being filled with the Holy Spirit. A Christian child should be Spirit-filled in order to live the kind of Christian life that honors and obeys his parents.
The Command to Be Filled
Being a Spirit-filled Christian is not an option; it is a command. We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. To disobey this command would be like disobeying any other command in the Bible.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, God produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. There are nine graces in that one fruit. God gives us these nine graces in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The fruit of the Holy Spirit comes through Holy Spirit filling.
If I said that I cannot be the preacher I should be without being filled with the Holy Spirit, you would agree. You would agree with me that the filling of the Holy Spirit is necessary for us to be witnesses, however, if I said that I cannot be the husband to my wife, the father to my children, and the grandfather to my grandchildren that I should be without being filled with the Holy Spirit, you may raise an eyebrow a bit. Nevertheless, it is true.
A Christian who works in an office, answering the telephone, cannot answer the phone correctly without being Spirit-filled. As a Christian, you cannot be the boss you should be without being Spirit-filled. If you are an employee, you cannot be the employee you should be as a Christian without being filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Conditions of the Filling
We need His filling for our lives, our homes, our families, our churches, our jobs, and more importantly, for the glory and honor of our Saviour. Christ is honored and glorified the most from the life of a Spirit-filled Christian. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in this world is to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ. As we are filled with the Holy Spirit, our lives magnify the Lord.
What are the conditions of the Holy Spirit’s filling?
In John 7:37-39 the Bible says,
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Notice the word “thirst.” He said, “If any man thirst…” We must thirst for the Lord.
One great preacher of days gone by said that the secret to the filling of the Holy Spirit is absolute and total surrender to Jesus Christ, and anything the Spirit points out in your life that needs to be given to Him, at that moment, you give it to Him.
Dr. Lee Roberson said many times that there must be emptiness and willingness in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is true. We must thirst for God. Would it be good for God to make us thirsty? Yes, but we do not want to be thirsty. Many times, God must make us thirsty for His Holy Spirit’s filling.
In this same passage, in verse thirty-eight, we find that the second condition is believing Him. The Bible says, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” In verse thirty-nine, we find that Christ is speaking of the Holy Spirit. We must believe on Him. We come thirsting before the Lord and say, “Lord, I thirst to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to honor and magnify the Lord.”
If we believe God for this promise to be filled with the Spirit, we will serve God with more liberty and freedom. We will know in our hearts something of the nearness of Christ that we have not known. God will give us a peace we have not had to believe that He is in control and that all will be well.
The third condition has to do with asking. The Bible says in Luke 11:11-13,
“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not like going in for a blood transfusion and getting pumped up with new energy. The Holy Spirit is not a substance. He is a Person. We must ask for this Person to fill us. He already has residency. We need to give Him the presidency. He is already in the throne room. We need to give Him the throne. If we want to hold onto our lives and live the way we want to live, it cannot happen; but if we hunger and thirst after Him, and believe that He wants to fill us and will fill us, and we ask Him to do it, we have His promise that He will fill us.
Today, may each one of us come to the Lord and say, “Lord, fill me.”