As a pastor and spiritual head of both my church and my family, I usually get the following questions either by leaders in my congregation or most certainly by my wife: “Is the Holy Spirit leading you? Did you hear from God for the direction you are taking this church or family? Did you get a word from God about this project, plan or path you are taking us on?”
I must confess that sometimes I am tempted to clothe my speech, my plan, and projects with an emphatic yes , “the Lord told me, the Spirit has spoken, the Lord is leading.” But anointing our plans as God’s will, or the Spirit’s leading doesn’t mean that they actually are Spirit led. In the the same way, claiming to be filled with the Spirit, sounding like we are Spirit filled or acting like we are spirit filled does not mean we actually are. It is crystal clear in the the Bible that we should be Spirit Filled. Ephesians 5:18 commands,
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the
But what does it really mean to be spirit filled.? What does it really look like being Spirit filled? This passage is strategic for our understanding of this subject because it speaks directly to different theological persuasions. On the one hand it speaks to those who believe that the out pouring of the Spirit only happened at conversion and those who believe that the out pouring of the Spirit is just a one time experience after conversion. This passage will say That God is constantly pouring out His Spirit and you need to “be being kept filled.”
That is exactly what the literal translations of the Greek word “plerousthe” means. It carries the idea of keeping oneself constantly filled as he/she yields to the Spirit’s outpouring, indwelling or leading (Acts 1:5; 2:4; 4:8; 4:31).
In fact the Greek word pleroo, a form used here in Ephesians 5:18, conveys at least three meanings to understanding what being spirit filled means:
1. It carries the idea of power. It is used to describe the impetus of wind hitting the sails of a ship causing it to move across the water. What that means is that, it is the Holy Spirit who provides the impetus, power or pressure that moves the believer to make progress – not his or her own will power.
2. It carries the idea of infiltration, or permeation. Holy Spirit wants to spread through our lives. He wants to fill reach, dissolve and affect every fiber of our being.
3. It carries the idea of control. He wants us to allow him complete control of our lives. Our lives become beautiful when our emotions, thoughts and will are under his influence.
Here is a picture of what it looks like when He shows up – He:
1. Brings assurance of our salvation
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
2. Brings freedom
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor. 3:17
3. Brings forth the Spirit’s fruit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law… Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 4:31, 32
4. Brings us into a deeper understanding of truth
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you… “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now… He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you… When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come… All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.John 14:26; 16:12-15
5. Brings the anointing
An anointing to not only experience the ministry of Jesus but to impart that ministry through the anointing to others.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound… See Isaiah 61:1-7
6. Brings power for witness
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth… ” And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8; Luke 24:49