Ephesians Day 26: Be Filled.
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (5:18)
Some people think you only receive the Holy Spirit once and that’s it. When I said to a friend of mind at university that it’s good to be filled with the Spirit afresh he took exception and replied, ‘I’ve already been filled with the Holy Spirit – why would I need it again?’ If he were referring to the first time the Holy Spirit comes upon us – at the genesis of our faith and the moment of inclusion in God’s family – then he was right – that is special and doesn’t need to be repeated.
But he also seemed to miss the significance of these words in Ephesians 5. The verb Paul uses is an on-going one, meaning we should be repeatedly filled with the Holy Spirit. Yes we’ve been marked and sealed (1:13), but we’re also spiritually leaky. We need topping up. The Holy Spirit who sparks salvation is also the Holy Spirit who refreshes and replenishes. He empowers us for particular tasks, and at times give us a new and powerful encounter with God.
These repeat experiences of the Holy Spirit take nothing away from our first encounter, they only add to it. We’re not just one-time recipients of the Spirit any more than we are Sunday Christians only. Be hungry for more, be thirsty for more. Seek the Holy Spirit the way a parched man longs for water in the desert – he doesn’t stop after just one sip.
And look what happens when we are continually filled with the Holy Spirit: we grow in knowledge and are able to encourage and instruct one another; we are better able to worship with God, knowing joy in our hearts (5:19); we overflow with thankfulness and go deeper in our relationship with God (5:20). That’s worth seeking continually and wholeheartedly.
So be filled with the Holy Spirit – seek Him out and let Him do His thing.
To take away: You might not be an alcoholic, but are there earthly things that you depend on or chase after more than God? Let this verse encourage you to seek God more wholeheartedly – just watch what happens when you spend more time with the Holy Spirit. Your whole life will change.
This is the 26th post in a 31-day walk through Ephesians. I’d love for you to join me in exploring this amazing book of the Bible for the rest of the month of May. Every day you’ll find a new post with fresh encouragement from God’s word. I hope this series blesses you, and if it does, please share it with others. Thank you.