Do not get drunk with wine, for that is wickedness (corruption, stupidity), but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him.
Ephesians 5:18 (AMP)
Apostle Paul’s speaks to every believer today, the same way he said to the Ephesians. Lets put aside for a moment his warning about excess consumption of alcohol. For me, this Bible verse explains graphically and animatedly what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Two words come to mind, transformation and submission.
You may not know what excess of alcohol does to a person; if you have never been near a drunk, but I am sure you would have seen a drunk’s strange mannerism in a drama scene on TV. Excess alcohol changes the person’s character, and the drunkard is in total submission to the effect of alcohol.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit means to be consumed by God. The Spirit of God guides this individual at all times. The process starts with a yearning for more of God, the desire to get closer to God. Then the experience of fullness comes as we:
- Read, study and meditate God’s word
- Pray (having conversations with God)
- Offer devotional worship and thanksgiving praise
- Intentionally practise spiritual exercises that deepen our faith in God.
There are many attributes to hunger after a life filled with the Spirit; I will mention four most essential for us today:
- Joy overflow – the Holy Spirit is a joy giver. Whenever a believer shows enormous strength in times of adversity or suffering, this is the Holy Spirit at work. The Spirit of God revealed this truth to Priest Ezra, in Nehemiah 8:10 … for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
- Trust in God – to trust in the sovereignty of God means we believe there is absolutely nothing hidden from God. He sees it all, knows it all, and God will have His day. Matthew 10:29, “What is the price of two sparrows one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it”.
- Speaking faith – what comes out of a man heart, the Bible says, defiles the person (Mark 7:15). Also, whatever is in a man’s heart will be revealed by his/her character (Proverbs 27:9). The Holy Spirit’s cleansing power erases certain words in the person’s speech and expressions. Living by the Spirit’s power enables us to commune with each other in a unique way. Ephesians 5:19, “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts”.
- Gratitude and thanksgiving – a life filled with the Spirit is submersed in appreciation; there are no complaints and regrets. One event in the Bible that drives this home was the moment Jesus stood by the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:41-42), and then he said, “… Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit, gave thanks and had no regret from arriving four days late after Lazarus demise.
Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you personally. Desire with your heart, then deliberately be in pursuit of a spirit-filled life.