Having seen that all Christians have the Holy Spirit, and that we cannot lose Him (although we can grieve Him), our final question must be: how can we grow in the Holy Spirit?
The answer come in Ephesians 5:18: we need to be ‘filled’.
Let’s have a look at how that happens and what it means:
Realise you need to be being filled
Being ‘filled’ is something that is continual. We need to continually seek to be filled. As someone once said – I need to be constantly being filled because I leak! Although we have been baptised into the Spirit and we are full in Christ. There is a sense in which we need to be filled –Continually. It’s a command here is Ephesians.
There are examples: Peter.
Acts 2:4 – He is there at Pentecost, then in Acts 4:8 he is filled before the Sanhedrin to speak. Yet in 4:31 he is filled again at the prayer meeting.
There are many ‘fillings’ in the life of Peter, and Paul commands us to seek it here in Ephesians.
How are we to seek to be filled?
Are you ‘under the influence’?
Being filled is compared and contrasted to being drunk. When you’re drunk there are two key things.
(1.) You are under the influence and
(2.) You are out of control.
The comparison: Be under the influence. Let the Spirit dictate what you do.
The Contrast: Be in control. This is a fruit of the Spirit and God is a God of order not disorder.
Keys to being filled:
- Come under the influence through surrendered prayer
If we want to be filled – we must want to and ask to be. It is God who ‘fills’ us.
- Come under the influence through reading the Word
We must never separate the work of the Spirit from His Word. That is His sword. If we want to see Him at work in our lives we must read His word.
Although we are all equal Christians in Christ and baptised into the Holy Spirit at conversion, we can grow in the faith. There are definitely no 1st and 2nd class Christians – but we can mature and grow in the faith. Let’s be straight: We can and should mature.
There is a sense in which these fillings can be continual or crisis point. That is, you can be continually filled over a long period of time, or you can have a sharp filling at a specific time.
I believe it is this that people confuse with ‘baptism of the Spirit’ You see, many people are attributing baptism of the Spirit to a crisis point filling. But the great thing here is that there is not just one experience that cannot be replicated and that we have to talk about for the rest of our lives, but we can experience the Spirit at all times.
We can have many Fillings – loads of them as needed and in the way that they are needed. This is the beauty of the work of the Spirit.
We need to seek to live in the Spirit at all times. As Galatians states: ‘Live by the Spirit’ 5:16.
Let’s seek the Spirit – grow in holiness, prayer and the Bible.