Blake Allen, Student and Outreach Minister, LHBC

Ephesians 5:15-20
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yesterday we completed our series “Will of God.” We discussed how God’s will for us is to know Christ, to live the transformed life, and for us to endure. And while these are the main themes we can gather from Scripture concerning the will of God, there is one more theme for us to consider as it relates to the will of God. It is this: God’s will for us is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

But what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? I mean aren’t we already “full of the Holy Spirit” who lives inside of us? Is the Holy Spirit somehow leaking and we need to be “filled up” again? How are we to understand the filling of the Holy Spirit? Let us consider a few things. 

The filling of the Holy Spirit is different from the indwelling and anointing of the Spirit. 

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit happens at conversion. Everyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus is indwelled with the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts uses the phrase “baptism of the Holy Spirit” synonymously with indwelling. Those who placed their faith in Jesus received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which empowered them and guided the believers in spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth. So too, the Holy Spirit indwells us (believers), and empowers us to do his work. 

The anointing of the Holy Spirit is harder to describe. But historically, it has been viewed as God’s presence and favor resting upon his chosen messenger. 

The filling of the Holy Spirit is allowing the Holy Spirit to control and direct every aspect of our lives. As believers, we indeed have the fullness of God’s presence living inside of us; we are indwelled with the Spirit of God. But when we turn to idolatry and sin, we actually grieve and quench the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30; 1 Thess 5:19). Again, we are meant to know Christ and live transformed lives. We overcome all things in Jesus’ name and we endure. But when we choose sin, we are not acting as though we are “full of the Holy Spirit.” 

This is why Paul writes, “Do not be filled with wine which leads to debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. Paul was writing to believers who were surrounded by a community controlled by wine. There were people who were getting drunk with wine and committing sexually immoral acts in order to get closer to their false gods. So Paul says, instead of being controlled by your sin of immorality and idolatry, instead, be controlled by the Holy Spirit. 

Paul warns us to watch our lives. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. God’s will for you and I is to act and live as though we have been transformed by Christ, full of the Holy Spirit. Is God controlling every aspect of your life or is something else controlling you? Is the Holy Spirit directing you or is your flesh? We live in a world surrounded by evil. But we are called to greater things. We are called to watch how we live, especially with all the temptations we face in this day and age. Satan is seeking someone to devour. Be we who are full of the Spirit can know God is guiding us the whole way. 

Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit directing your path, your decisions, your life, etc.? 

Be filled with the Spirit today. 

Father,  we continue to pray your kingdom will come and your will be done in our life. Fill us with your Spirit, directing every aspect of our life. We need your guidance and strength, Lord. Help us to overcome all things. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Jeremiah 32:17
Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.