And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Whenever one thinks about something being full we usually think about one thing occupying every part of another thing. If my gas tank is full then I can’t put any more fuel in it. If the refrigerator is full then I don’t have anywhere else for more groceries. If my calendar is full then I don’t have any more openings for meetings or appointments. If my stomach is full then I don’t have any more room for that piece of cake that I really want. In Ephesians 5 Paul issues an imperative, a command, for believers when he says we must “be filled” with the Holy Spirit. The idea here is not that we lose the Holy Spirit throughout the day or that God’s Presence leaks out of us. The idea is that we replace Spirit stuff for sinful worldly stuff. In the refrigerator example, when we choose sin or selfish things we take out fresh groceries and replace them with molded leftovers. God doesn’t want our leftovers, He wants to do a fresh new work in us every day. The filling of the Spirit is not about me getting more of God as much as it is God wanting more of me. I must empty myself then ask for the fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. This command is in the continuous tense in the passage, so in other words we need this filling daily. Today, what are you full of? Are you full of self or the Spirit? I urge you to empty yourself today and ask God for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit. The last thing we want to give God or serve up to the world is our fleshly leftovers.