And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 (NKJV)
In a lot of ways, I think what we see here is meant to be a contrast between what controls us. A person who is drunk is more likely to live out their “base” nature and act out the works of the flesh from Galatians 5. By the same token, a person who is filled with the Spirit is going to live out their new nature by bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Alcohol brings us down and the Holy Spirit lifts us up. As believers, we are to be spiraling up into Christ-likeness rather than spiraling down into the works of the flesh. For this to happen, we must be filled, or controlled by the Spirit. This is why Paul tells us to be filled with the Spirit. While I don’t believe there is a formula for being filled with the Spirit, I do believe there are principles to follow that will result in being Spirit filled.
I Must Want To Be Filled With The Holy Spirit. Before we will ever experience the filling and empowering of the Holy Spirit we must settle in our minds that we really want this. We have to answer if we really want to be Spirit filled and Spirit led in our lives whatever that may mean. Jesus promises that those who want to be Spirit filled can be Spirit filled.
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Luke 11:9-13 (NLT)
Every believer who wants to be Spirit filled in every area of their lives can be. This is a promise from Jesus. However, this filling is given in response to seeking Jesus for it. Do you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit? If so then pray for it.
I Must Believe Being Filled With The Holy Spirit Is Possible. As believers, do we really believe it’s possible to live a Spirit filled, Spirit controlled life? Maybe that’s not the right way to ask the question. Do we really believe the Holy Spirit can really fill us, and do in us, through us, and for us all that Scripture says He can.
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can empower me to overcome sin (Rom 8:13)?
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can help me pray (Rom 8:26-27)?
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can fill my heart with God’s love (Rom 5:5)?
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can empower me to share the Gospel (Acts 1:8)?
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can teach me from Scripture (John 16:13-14)?
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can produce the fruit of the Spirit in my life (Gal 5:22-23)?
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can make me more like Jesus (2 Cor 3:18)?
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can and will empower me to serve Jesus (1 Cor 12:4-11)?
Do I believe the Holy Spirit can give and renew my hope (Rom 15:13)?
According to Jesus, what we believe matters.
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24 (NKJV)
I Must Serve Jesus. The final principle in being filled with the Holy Spirit is the willingness to do what Jesus wants us to do. The vast majority of what the Holy Spirit does in us, through us, and for us, is meant to equip us to serve Jesus.
But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit. Romans 7:6 (NLT)
Imagine again the image of a car being filled with gas. Why do you fill a car with gas? So you can drive it. If you are going to take a car and park it never to be used again do you fill the tank full or put just enough in it to get it to its destination? In the same way why would God fill us with His empowering Holy Spirit for us to set in park and not serve Him? He wouldn’t.