Is it possible to be a Christian, yet be unwise, unproductive, and asleep spiritually? The Apostle Paul thought so when he penned the following:
This is why it said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:14-17
What Is The Lord’s Will?
Paul continues: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery [wickedness]. Instead be filled with the Spirit.” – vs. 18
A synonym for filling is control. Paul is contrasting the negative influence/control of alcohol to the positive influence/control of the Holy Spirit.
Four Observations About The Spirit’s Filling
(Source: Tony Evans, The Promise)
- God’s Command – Interestingly, there is no biblical command to be baptized by the Spirit or indwelt by the Spirit. Those are automatic blessings when we come to Christ through faith. But we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This relates to our daily experience of His influence. Our sincerity alone is not enough.
- For Every Believer – Ephesians 5:18 is plural in the Greek text. Although the Spirit’s filling isn’t automatic, every believer is commanded to submit to the Spirit’s control.
- God Does It – This command is passive: We are to “be filled,” not fill ourselves. We are the object of the action—filling of the Holy Spirit. If our soul is full of something other than the Holy Spirit, our life will be very unfulfilling. God has no provision for filling, satisfying, and giving us His power other than the filling of the Holy Spirit.
- Keep It Up – This plural, passive command is also in the present tense. In Greek, this means to be a continuous process. Another translation could be rendered: “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” Why? Sin, people, and circumstances take our attention away from God. But unlike a car emptied of fuel, the depletion of the Spirit’s filling doesn’t mean He has left us (Hebrews 13:5). Rather, depletion of His filling means our loss of experience and enjoyment of His full benefits.
Can you think of a time when you were spiritually asleep, drifting through life? What woke you up?
I’m learning a lot from this study and hope you are too. Next week I will explore the process of being filled and share an inspiring testimony from a brother blogger. So stay tuned!
Be blessed. Be filled . . . Rather, be filled and you will be blessed! 🙂
If you haven’t watched Billy Graham’s recent message, I encourage you to view it. His consistent, faithful witness is admirable.