Summary: We receive the Holy Spirit as Christians, but how do we tap into that power to do God’s Work?
Last week we talked about the Holy Spirit and how we possess the same
power that the 1st apostles possessed. We discussed how in order to be the
Christ’s light in the world we need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Today, I
want to talk about how we go about tapping into that power. Yes we all have the
Holy Spirit living within us when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, but
how do we draw on that power? How do we make ourselves open to the working
of the Holy Spirit? We can answer these questions by looking at today’s
scripture. Let me read it again. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise
men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do
not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving
thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father”.
We have already said that, as believers, we have the Holy Spirit living in us.
We do not need any other type of power, we do not need to ask God to give us
his spirit again and again, because He already has given the Spirit to us. We
have everything we need for insight, comfort, power, courage, and wisdom.
Here’s how we do it. I want you to pull out your bibles and look at the scripture
for today. See in verse 18 where it says, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads
to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” What we have here are 2
commands. The 1st is a negative and the 2nd a positive. The 1st command we
are given tells us not to give ourselves over to something that takes over our
control of how we act, speak and function. All of us know the effects that alcohol
can have on a person. They no longer function “normally”. Someone who is
shy, suddenly becomes outgoing. A person who generally has good sense, is
suddenly acting in ways that put them in physical danger. What has happened
is that the person no longer is in control of their actions. The alcohol has taken
over. Now the reference here is specific towards getting drunk, but I like to think
of this command as applying to anything that would cause us to act against our
normal behavior; Drugs, lust, greed, physical desires, anything of the flesh that
causes us to do and say things we normally would not. Galatians 5:19 lists these
“desires of the flesh” as sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and
witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension’s,
factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. If there are any of these
things in your life that control you, cause you to act in ways that you never
thought possible. Paul is commanding us to stop!
The second command Paul gives us is “be filled with the Spirit”. The Greek
words for “be filled” are “en” and “pleroo” (play-ro’-o) . The word “en” means
position in place, time or state. Without giving the 15+ line description, it
basically means right here, where you are at this moment. Pleroo, means to
“make replete, to cram, make full, fulfill, perfect, complete. In essence, it means
to be completely filled right where you are at this moment. This is a command, it
is given in the imperative mood. This is not a suggestion, it is not a casual
statement. It is a command! And it is a command that is given to all of us. Not to
just this person or that person. Or just to the people in Ephesus, in fact the early
manuscripts do not show that Ephesians was directly written to the people in
Ephesus at all. Pauls greeting in the beginning of his letter is directed to “the
saints”. period. That’s all of us. Also, the command “be filled” is in the passive
voice. That means that in order to be filled with the Spirit we must always be
going through the process that leads to it.
I brought my flashlight with me again to help explain how we go about all
these things. Just as a reminder to everyone and also to anyone who was not
here last week, we said that the flashlight represents us as Christians, being the
light of Christ in the world. And even though everything looks like it is working
properly, without the batteries, without the Holy Spirit, we are powerless to let