Holy Spirit’s Filling—Part 3

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”  – Jesus (John 7:37-38)

Jesus used the term living water in John 4:10 to symbolize eternal life. Living water in 7:38 (above) refers to the Holy Spirit. Wherever the Holy Spirit is accepted, Jesus brings eternal life. (Related post: Thirsty?)

This summary caps my final review of the Spirit’s filling, taken from the following key verse:

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery [wickedness]. Instead be filled with the Spirit.”   – Ephesians 5:18

The Apostle Paul contrasts the effects of alcohol here—associated with selfish desires and the old way of life—as a temporary high to being controlled by The Holy Spirit, which results in lasting joy.

Although I’ve sensed the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in church services and in my own life, I haven’t dwelt on the following question until recently.

How Does The Holy Spirit Fill Us?

God’s ways can’t be pinned down to formulas, but He doesn’t leave us clueless either. Tony Evans suggests that Paul’s following remarks in Ephesians 5:19-21 explain the process of the Spirit’s filling:

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord: always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

(Paul also urges us to hold our own private worship services, Romans 12:1.)

Practical Application

How does this practically relate to Christians?

  1. Communicate with one another: Christians should regularly reinforce—and be reinforced by others—to keep our focus on Christ and stay on track spiritually (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  2. Communicate with the Lord: Pray . . . . Pray . . . . Pray (John 16:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  3. Give thanks: for everything in Jesus’ name (Ephesians 5:20; I Thessalonians 5:17)
  4. Be subject to one another: This doesn’t mean the demeaning, subservient thing defined in many circles. But rather, reflecting the servant spirit Jesus beautifully demonstrated.

I don’t know about you, but in comparison to an inflated balloon when filled by the Holy Spirit, I admit—I rapidly deflate at times—spinning wildly before crashing to the ground (especially before my morning cup of coffee, or after too many cups!) 68b9b998e8bfb984213c7a440b36ceedMaybe that’s why we’re told to consistently meet together and encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25). I for one need this!

Results of The Holy Spirit’s Filling

In Christ—when controlled by the Holy Spirit—we have a higher and longer lasting remedy to depression, tension, or boredom. When filled, we benefit from the following results:

  • Christlikeness: (Romans 8:5; Galations 5:22, 23)
  • Help: in daily problems and in our praying (Romans 8:26, 27)
  • Empowerment: to freely serve God and carry out His will (2 Corinthians 3:17; Acts 1:8; Romans 12:6)

The Spirit’s filling brings peace and life (Galations 5:16-23). The quantity and frequency of submitting ourselves to the Spirit’s control directly relates to our spiritual growth. (Related post: Training or Trying)

God loves you! Come to Him right where you are . . . . I was blessed by Steve Rebus’ testimony. Here is a link to his page: http://steverebus.com/about/.

The Holy Spirit’s Filling—Part 2

Is it possible to be a Christian, yet be unwise, unproductive, and asleep spiritually? c20d7b4da71b4a62ab8144883dd5c38dThe 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)

  1. God’s CommandInterestingly, 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.
  2. For Every BelieverEphesians 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Keep It UpThis 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.

The Holy Spirit’s Filling—Part 1

“The Holy Spirit can be in you, and yet you can know very little of His power and influence. The issue we always have to deal with is not how much of the Holy Spirit we have, because we [Christians/believers] all have Him. The issue is how much He has of us . . . . The filling is crucial to experiencing the Spirit’s benefits . . . . The absence of this is spiritual defeat and, ultimately, disaster.”  – Tony Evans

The Bottom Line

It is impossible to live the Christian life on our own (John 15:5).

Christianity—A Supernatural Life

When we were saved, we did not lose our sinful desires. (If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you know this is true.) I used to think: If I just try harder, then I will succeed in my Christian walk. 

XXX

Self-improvement programs don’t work long-term (Romans 7:18-21). The only solution for the “flesh” (sinful desires) is crucifixion with Christ (Galations 2:20). Because the Christian life is a supernatural life, we need supernatural help. This is why God gave us the Holy Spirit—“He who is in you” (1 John 4:4).

Tony Evans writes: “The Spirit’s filling is for every believer . . . . We have to appropriate or claim it because it is not automatic. Every Christian has been baptized into the body of Christ, and every believer is indwelt by the Spirit. But not every Christian is filled with the Spirit. If we were, a command to be filled would not be needed.”

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit . . . .” – Ephesians 5:18

The Holy Spirit’s Enablement

When filled with the Spirit, He enables us to overcome temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). He also empowers us to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).

I love Ephesians 1:18-21: I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

How can a believer know he/she is filled with the Holy Spirit?

Next week—part 2—I will explore the meaning of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Have a great week!