Being Spirit Filled (Acts 4:8; Eph. 5:18)

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” (Ephesians 5:18–19, AV)

The previous devotion, mentioned the necessity of believers being Spirit filled. Sadly, many people do not understand what this means or how to get there.

When I was young, it was a real treat to get a glass of soda. When we did, we wanted to fill our glasses to the brim. We found we could fill the glass to the top and actually little higher than the top of the glass. So much that it was not possible to move the glass without some spilling out. Similarly, when we are filled with the Spirit, the manifestation of the Spirit naturally pours out from us in tangible ways.

The word translated “filled” is pleroo. It means to be filled so completely that nothing is lacking. The verb is in the present tense, passive imperative. It being an imperative means that we are commanded to be Spirit filled. Moreover, the present tense indicates that is a continuous command. We could say it this way, “be ye being filled with the Spirit.

The verb being passive also reveals that Spirit filling is something done to us rather than something we do to ourselves. Therefore, it commands us to have the Spirit fill us. The big question is then, “How do we obey a command such as this?”

We have a clue in the previous clause. “be not drunk with wine.” Wine when taken in excess, has the ability to influence and control our actions. There are many things in the world that can have the same affect. The love of money and material possessions can. Our emotions can. Our own fleshly passions can. Thus, we must conclude that we need to avoid having things other than the Holy Spirit control our attitudes, desires and actions. In short, we need to put ourselves in a position that permits the Holy Spirit to have full manifestation of His presence in our lives.

There are three key verses that a believer can consider in this regard. The first, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30, AV). The context of this verse has to do with avoiding sin. Sin grieves the Holy Spirit and known and unrepentant sin in one’s life will prevent the Holy Spirit’s filling.

The second is, “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19, AV). The context of this verse has to do with seeking the truth of God and being obedient to it. If one does not know the truth of God’s word, he or she will not know what to obey. However, even worse than this is knowing what God’s truth is and refusing to obey it. Both this open rebellion and a lack of seeking God’s truth will inhibit the work of the Spirit in filling the believer.

The third is, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, AV). This verse has to do with resisting the passions of the flesh and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit. The flesh wars against the Spirit. Those who live by their fleshly appetites, cannot be filled by the Spirit.

Thus, to obey the command to be filled with the Spirit, believers must seek to continuously keep themselves in a condition by which the Spirit can fill them. The filling of the Spirit is vital for the believer in every aspect of the Christian experience, in the believers’ ability to truly glorify God, to worship, to minister, to experience spiritual growth, etc. Seek to obey this most vital command.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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