Two vital questions are addressed: What is the filling of the Spirit? How can I experience it?
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:17-18). The last clause of this verse is an imperative. Each believer is indwelt by the wondrous person of the Holy Spirit and is thus morally responsible to be filled with the Spirit.
This truth has been misinterpreted and misused by various groups of professed believers. The fruit of the filling of the Spirit is not an emotional sensational display of imagined revelations with attendant healing powers. Hysterical physical gyrations and speaking in tongues are not the fruit of the Holy Spirit who commands decency and order (I Cor 14:40). The control of the Spirit of God develops love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance (self control) (Gal 5:22-25). The Pentecostal signs displayed in Acts 2:4 were a unique filling for a unique purpose (Acts 2:16-17), for a unique day (Acts 2:1-4), and cannot be repeated today (1 Cor 13:8).
When a believer is occupied with heavenly things, the Spirit controls and fills him. This filling manifests itself in character and conduct in conformity to Christ.
In Ephesians 5:18-6:9 the filling of the Spirit expresses itself in nine relationships:
- Making melody in your heart to the Lord.
- Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father.
- Subjecting ourselves one to another in the fear of the Lord.
- Wives being in subjection to their husbands.
- Husbands loving their wives even as Christ loves the church.
- Children honoring their father and mother in the Lord.
- Parents nurturing their children in the admonition of the Lord.
- Believers laboring for their employers in singleness of heart as unto Christ.
- Believing employers as servants of Christ treating employees with the respect God has given them.
This filling requires daily exercise. When one has violated and departed from the will of God, being filled with the Spirit must be restored. Consider beloved Peter. In Acts 2:4,14 he is filled with the Spirit and in Gal 2:11-18 he is to be blamed.
May we submit daily to the Holy Spirit’s word and power and thus know His peace and joy.
Spirit of God, fill Thou my heart;
Wean it from earth, with all its changing moods
Stoop to my weakness for might Thou art
And mold me to love Thee even as I ought.