18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
Wingmen, God’s Word commands us to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). To not be filled with the Spirit is disobedience and sin. As we consider what it means to be filled with the Spirit, let’s note some facts: The Holy Spirit is real. the Holy Spirit’s only purpose is to promote and exalt Jesus Christ. You are baptized with the Holy Spirit when you get saved. You are filled with the Holy Spirit throughout your Christian life.
I. The Subtle Substitutes for the Spirit-Filled Life
Satan and the flesh continually attempt to substitute something for the Holy Spirit’s filling. Paul spells out one of those substitutes: “Be not drunk with wine” (Ephesians 5:18). That is an example of looking for fulfillment outside of being controlled by the Holy Spirit. Some look for happiness in a bottle, a can, a needle, a pipe, a pill, or something they snort up their nose. Others look for happiness and fulfillment in a relationship or in money or things. Some people even look for fulfillment in a religious experience, an emotional experience. But nothing can substitute for the Holy Spirit’s control. Nothing else will satisfy you.
II. The Supernatural Source of Being Filled with the Spirit
The Christian has everything he or she needs to live a happy, victorious, and fulfilling life. You have the Holy Spirit. The word “Filled” (5:18) means under the influence of, dominated by, controlled by. Paul uses the analogy of someone drunk to illustrate being under the influence of something. The drunk person has something else in control of him; he has a boldness he normally would not have; and he appears to be happy, having no concerns. A Spirit-filled Christian is someone other than himself. There is a new boldness and a new joy when that happens. Note four things about this Spirit-filled life:
- It Is a Command
To not be filled with the Holy Spirit is disobedience to God.
- It Is to All Christians
This is for every child of God, no exceptions.
- It Is Continuous
The command is present tense which means a continuous, everyday experience.
- It Is about Control
“Filled” implies that the Holy Spirit, not you, is in control.
III. The Specific Signs of the Spirit-Filled Life
You will notice a difference in 10 areas of your life when you are controlled by the Holy Spirit:
- A Willing Worship
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing,
and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
You desire to worship God.
- A Way Out of Worry
Doing Ephesians 5:19 is impossible unless you are filled with the Spirit. A spirit of gratefulness replaces worry.
- A Winning Witness
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
The result of being Spirit-filled is a holy boldness to share Jesus Christ with others. You become a contagious, an attractive Christian.
- The Will of God Becomes Your Way
17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
The Spirit gives you divine directions.
- You See the Worth of His Wisdom
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
He shows you what to do with what you know.
- Wedlock Becomes Wonderful
In Ephesians 5:21-29 Paul tells us how to have a happy marriage. It is in the context of a Spirit-filled life:
21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, (ESV)
- Work Is Not a Waste
You realize that where God has placed you is your mission field.
- Warfare Becomes Winnable
Ephesians 6:10, 18
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
You can only defeat Satan with supernatural weapons provided by the Holy Spirit.
- The Word of God Becomes a Wonderment
16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching
and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
The Holy Spirit uses the Holy Scriptures to change us and rearrange us. He leads us to the Scripture we need each day.
- Your Words Have a Watch Over Them
Your speech is different when you are Spirit-filled. Not only your words will be different, but your tone and attitude.
IV. The Simple Steps to the Spirit-Filled Life
How can you be filled with the Holy Spirit?
- Confess Every Known Sin in Your Life to God and Ask Him to Reveal Any Unknown Sin
There must be an emptying before a filling can take place.
I John 1:7-9
7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Release those secret sins, habits, strongholds. Specifically confess each one to God and seek His forgiveness and cleansing.
- Surrender Yourself Totally to God
…Put yourself at the disposal of God. (NEB)
Release your way for God’s way. Release your plans for God’s plans. Release your vision for God’s vision. Surrender your body, soul and spirit daily to God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to Fill You
Since it is a command to be Spirit-filled, He is waiting for you to ask Him.
I John 5:14-15
14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
- Accept the Spirit’s Filling by Faith
When you have done all God says to do, it is up to Him to do His part. Trust Him. It’s not a matter of feelings; it is a matter of faith.
- Repeat It Often
You are to be filled again and again and again. You need it today and you will need it tomorrow and the next and the next…
Wingmen … today be filled with the Holy Spirit!