BE FILLED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Bible speaks of the ministry of the Holy Spirit known as the “filling.” There are a number of things we learn from Scripture about the filling of the Spirit.
First, it is for a command. It is not a suggestion to be considered. Moreover, it’s not something for merely an elite few highly spiritual Christians. The fact is that, the filling of the Holy Spirit is totally work of God which all believers should experience. All true born again believers directly experience the filling of the Spirit. It is an experiential ministry of God’s Spirit as opposed to other ministries of the Spirit which are non-experiential.
The Filling of the Spirit basically means has full control. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. However, we do not control or fill ourselves. He the Holy Spirit fills and controls us. While the filling of the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit controlling us we have to give our consent for this to take place. Indeed, the filling of the Holy Spirit can only occur when we submit ourselves to the Lord and His commands, the Bible. This is how a person becomes filled; he or she submits willingly to Jesus Christ and follow him wholeheartedly.
The filling of the Spirit is something that must continually occur in the life of the believer. It’s not a once and for all experience. Indeed, we are commanded to be continually filled or controlled, by God’s Spirit. The Bible gives many examples of people who were filled, or controlled, by the Holy Spirit. They are our example. Like them, we should seek to submit ourselves to Christ in order to be filled or controlled by the Spirit of God. This is how we will please the Lord.
It is God’s Word, the Bible that reveals to us one of the most important ministries of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. This is “filling” of the believer. The filling of the Spirit gives the believer power to live the Christian life. The believer is commanded by God to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote to the Ephesians Believers and said – “And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18 NET).
Some Facts and Truths we learn about the filling of the Holy Spirit in the Bible.
Commanded to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
The filling of the Holy Spirit is not something that is merely suggested by God. Indeed, it is a command. God orders His people to be constantly filled or controlled, by the Holy Spirit of God. This is not a suggestion for anyone to consider.
This Experience Is for All Believers, not some.
Furthermore, all believers are instructed to be filled with the Holy Spirit and it is not to be the experience of an elite few. The command given is therefore universal; this means everyone (born again Christians) must be filled with the Spirit.
Something That is Directly Experienced by Everyone
The believer directly experiences the filling of the Holy Spirit. This is in contrast to some ministries that the Holy Spirit performs in which the believer does not directly experience anything. This would include the sealing and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Filling Mean the Spirit of God Has Full Control
The filling of the Holy Spirit is contrasted with drunkenness. The idea behind each concept is control. While the effects of alcohol control the drunken person, the effects of the Holy Spirit control the believer. When we speak of being filled with the Holy Spirit, we are speaking of being controlled by the Holy Spirit.
You Cannot Fill Yourself
There is another important point. The filling of the Holy Spirit is something that the Holy Spirit does for us; we do not fill ourselves because we cannot. We are to “be filled” with the Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit fills us.
We must intentionally and willingly Submit to God’s Commands to be Filled with the Holy Spirit
The filling of the Spirit can only occur in the life of the believer when that person submits to the commands of the Lord Jesus. It is only then that the filling or control of the Holy Spirit can take place. Disobedience quenches the work of the Spirit in the life of the believer. The control or filling, cannot take place when the believer is practicing sin.
We Need to Be Continually Filled and Overflow
The idea behind the filling of the Holy Spirit is something continuous, it is not a once for all experience. It is a repeated experience. The command in Ephesians 5:18 is for the believer to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus, there is more than one filling of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we are not just filled once in our lifetime and then the experience is over. We are to be filled over and over again as long as we are his children we remain here on earth.
Here Are Numerous Examples of People Being Filled with God’s Spirit in the Bible.
Scripture gives numerous examples of people being filled with God’s Spirit. For example, the martyr Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit when he was about to be killed before a hostile crowd. We read in the Book of Acts. “But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55 NRSV). Stephen was full of the Spirit, or controlled by the Spirit, when he was about to be wrongfully stoned to death.
Barnabas was a man who was full of the Holy Spirit. He is described in this manner. “Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And large numbers of people were brought to the Lord”. (Acts11:24). These are two of the many examples in Scripture of people who were full of, or controlled by, the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18: And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.
Acts 2:4: And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 4:31: And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Acts 13:9: But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him.
Acts 6:3: Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.
Acts 9:17: So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Luke 1:15: For he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
Luke 1:41: And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:67: And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying.
In conclusion, it is important that each believer in Jesus Christ submit willingly and intentionally to Him in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This filling is something which takes place again and again for as long as we remain on the earth as Believers in Jesus Christ.