The Spirit-Filled LifeEphesians 5:18-21By Matt Borja

A guest preacher was with us recently (I forget his name) and challenged us with the truth that while you can be indwelled by the Holy Spirit, that does not mean you're filled with the same.

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Ephesians 5:18

Drunkenness is used in this passage to illustrate how being filled (or under the influence and control) affects your boldness in the way you walk and the way you talk.

I've dealt with drunken men in the past and can remember an openness about them: they seemed more bold to receive what you were telling them without concern for what anyone else in the room thought than when they were actually sober and had their "dignity" back.

Being filled with the Spirit, of course, is far better and doesn't run the risk of incapacitation. Yet, like drunkenness, being filled will affect your boldness in the way you walk and the way you talk, which is something I see in my own life having great need of.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Luke 6:45

So how exactly does one become filled with the Spirit?

  1. You must first have accepted Jesus Christ in order to have the indwelling Spirit
  2. You must prepare your heart to receive thankfulness by meditating and singing the right kind of songs (Ephesians 5:19)
  3. You must be thankful for all things, regardless of the circumstances (Ephesians 5:20)
  4. You must be in submission to authority, even outside the church (Ephesians 5:21)

To reiterate the preacher's words: these things must be done in this specific order if you wish to be authentically filled with the Spirit; to possess a boldness greater than you can muster and to truly be a shining light in this dark world.

But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

1 Corinthians 8:3

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