Summary: What are some of the key truths that can make us people filled with the Spirit regularly?
An Initial Fear:
Letting the Holy Spirit fill you and lead you is not about being out of control but under God’s control.
- v. 18a - “drunk”
- cf. Pentecostal services that are “crazy” or chaotic, like someone who has drunk too much.
- Being under God’s control does mean yielding ourselves to Him and letting Him guide. This is still not an easy thing for many folks because we like to be in charge, but one thing that can help is to know that God’s goal is not a worship that frenetic or chaotic, but one that is beautiful and honors Him.
Being Filled With The Spirit:
- v. 18.
1. What’s that mean?
When you’re saved, the Holy Spirit resides in you; when you’re filled, the Holy Spirit presides in you.
2. How’s that happen?
The phrase ‘Be filled’ has four characteristics:
(1) It is a command.
- This is not an optional activity. Not “think about it” or “if you want to.”
(2) It is in the plural form.
- Paul is not talking to a small group of super-saints, but he is talking to everyone at Ephesus. By extension, the whole church is to be filled with the Spirit, not a small section.
(3) It is in the passive voice.
- The command is not “Fill yourself up with the Spirit,” but “Let the Spirit fill you.” This is not something we can make happen, but it is something we can allow to happen.
(4) It is in the present tense.
- This is not something you pray for once and then you’re done. We need to continually be asking for God to fill us as we walk with Him. As the Amplified puts it: “but ever be filled and stimulated by the [Holy] Spirit.”
- D.L. Moody was asked to have a campaign in England. One of the older pastors there protested, “Why do we need this Mr. Moody? He’s uneducated. He’s inexperienced. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?” One of the other pastors responded, “No, but the Holy Spirit does have a monopoly on him.”
- (Note: those 4 points are insights from Dr. John Stott.)
Some Signs We’re On The Right Road:
Our worship is increasingly punctuated by three things:
(1) joyful songs,
(2) thankful lips,
(3) humble hearts.
- vv. 19-21.
Having More Filling In Our Lives:
What’s the problem?
(1) We weren’t aware we could be filled.
(2) We’ve gotten satisfied with less.
(3) We’re accommodating sin in our heart.
(4) We may not want to give up control.