“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” - Ephesians 5:18
The five short words, “be filled with the Spirit,” in Ephesians 5:18 are powerfully filled words. The verb translated, “be filled,” is in the imperative mood. This means it is not a suggestion to be filled with the Spirit. It is not a request or simply a good idea. This is a command of God to every believer. In other words, to attempt to live the Christian life apart from the Spirit’s filling is not just a mistake. It is more than just bad judgment. It is a sin. It is the will of God for every Christian to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The previous verse, Ephesians 5:17, says: “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” The very next command is, “…be filled with the Spirit.”
If every Christian is indwelled by the Holy Spirit, why is God commanding that we also be, “filled with the Spirit?” Not only is “be filled” an imperative verb, it is also in the present tense. So it doesn’t say, “get filled,” but rather, “be filled.” So the question is not, “Have you ever been filled with the Holy Spirit?” The Apostle Paul was writing to Christians in Ephesus so he knew that they had. He isn’t asking, “Have you recently been filled with the Holy Spirit?” His question is, “Right now, are you filled with the Holy Spirit?”
The Holy Spirit already lives in all Christians. We receive Him by grace through faith the moment we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ. As believers we don’t choose for the Holy Spirit to live in us. However, we do choose whether to be led by the Holy Spirit. We must continually choose on a daily basis whether we are going to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, or controlled by something else.
When you choose to follow Christ and surrender your life to Him, at that moment God’s Spirit comes to live in you forever. From then on, you have to make a conscious choice to be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit. He won’t share His seat on the throne of your heart. The only way to be fulfilled as a Christian is to be filled full of the Holy Spirit moment-by-moment and day-by-day.
Application: Are you making the conscious choice to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Topics: Holy Spirit