And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.
Unfortunately, the Holy Spirit is often one of the most overlooked facets of our faith. By turning the Holy Spirit into a spooky modern day character, we have missed out on the powerful work that we can experience through His filling.The result of never experiencing a true filling of God’s Spirit is evident in our walk with God. When our relationship with God through Jesus Christ has become dry, boring, and redundant, we are operating in our own strength and not experiencing the refreshing filling of the Spirit.
In Ephesians 5:18, there are three concepts to experiencing a Spirit filled walk with God:
The Concept of a Consumption
The first part of verse eighteen teaches us that whatever consumes us is what will control us. Just as a drunkard is controlled by the consumption of alcohol, we are controlled by what consumes us. The Bible uses the illustration of a sinful consumption which will certainly hinder Spirit fullness. Although, many times we can become controlled by good things that have taken the place of the “God things.” There is nothing wrong with education, dating, friends, social media, to name a few, but if these good things begin to consume you and control your thoughts, actions, and lifestyle, they are not in the proper position.
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
The Bible teaches that we should chase after God and have a desire for the things of God. You cannot experience the true and complete filling of the Holy Spirit until you have become empty of the things of this world that consume and control you. What is controlling your life right now? What sin or vice rules your every action? Or what pleasure of this modern world has gotten out of order and taken the place of God? The good news is that once we are empty of the world, God offers an alternative.
The Concept of an Alternative
The Lord shows the concept of the consumption of the world and how it can control you, but He does not choose to leave us empty. Immediately following the counterfeit filling of the world in verse eighteen, God commands, “but be filled with the Spirit.” The world will always offer a knock-off of the things of God, but God always offers an alternative that is far better. It is our choice whether or not to be filled with the world or with the things of God.
The Concept of a Filling
If the filling of the Holy Spirit is a choice we make and we can operate without it, why would we want to be filled? Simply because the work and filling of the Holy Spirit changes us.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
24 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Christianity is the only “religion” or faith that not only changes your eternity, but also has the power to change your life until eternity. When filled with the Spirit of God while on this earth, we have the opportunity to change the make-up of our fleshly nature. The truth is that there are many Christians who never experience fruit (verses 23-24) because they are stuck in the flesh (verses 19-21). God never intended the Christian life to look like the same as a life without Him, but without the work of the Holy Spirit, we are working on producing fruit on our own.
So the question is not, “Why would I want to be filled with the Spirit?” The question should be, “Why would you not want to be filled with the Spirit?” Instead of shying away from the Holy Spirit, let’s choose to embrace Him and the power of His filling so that we can experience His transforming work.