“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19
Whenever you talk about being filled with the Spirit, the question always comes up – and should come up – “How do you know if you are filled with the Holy Spirit?” In order to answer this question, you must understand the marks of the Spirit-filled life. The Apostle Paul gives us several, but this passage does not contain an exhaustive list.
First, a Spirit-filled Christian is joyful. That is surprising! The first mark of a Spirit-filled life is not mountain-moving faith or some amazing spiritual gift. It is having a heart so full of God that you want to sing and worship the Lord. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, there will always be a song in your heart and a melody in your soul for Him. If you ever see someone walking down the street and they are whistling or singing, you immediately know they are happy. The same is true of a joyful Christian.
The next mark of the Spirit-filled life is gratitude. Ephesians 5:20 says, “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” A Spirit-filled believer is a grateful believer, able to give thanks in everything in the name of Jesus. This is not an easy task. But if you are Spirit-filled, you can find something to be grateful for in every situation.
The Spirit-filled believer is also graceful. Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” When you are filled with the Holy Spirit you always seek to serve others and, if necessary, submit to others in harmony and peace. This does not mean you are a doormat, or you never stand up for yourself. Rather, it means having the grace and humility to consider others before you. It is the ability to give grace in the same way that you have received it from God.
None of these characteristics are possible without the filling of the Holy Spirit. We cannot make ourselves joyful to the point of singing, grateful in any circumstance, or selflessly grace-giving Christians. Only the power of God can do that. If you do not know Christ, trust Him as your Lord and receive Him as your savior and He will fill you with His Spirit. If you are already a believer, ask God to cleanse you of anything that is filling you and taking the place of the Holy Spirit in your life. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and you will be filled. As a believer you have all of Him…how much does He have of you?
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and his presence in my life. I pray that others would be able to see that your Spirit lives in me because of the way I worship you. Help me to be a light to others so that they might come to know you. Amen.