Under the Spirit’s Control
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:17–18)
When we hear the term “filled with the Spirit,” it can sometimes frighten us. We might have seen bizarre things take place in the name of the Holy Spirit. So we think, If that is being filled with the Holy Spirit, then I don’t know if I want it.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t necessarily involve an emotional experience. It can, but it doesn’t have to. The word “filled” as used in the Bible, and specifically in Ephesians 5:18, is a word that has many shades of meaning. Not one of them, however, describes an emotional experience. One translation of the word “filled” is the idea of wind filling the sail of a ship. The wind carries that vessel along. So to be filled with the Spirit means that God fills your sails, so to speak, and guides you through life. You are led through life by the Holy Spirit.
But the idea of being filled with the Spirit also carries the meaning of being permeated. In the original language, the word was also used to describe salt permeating meat to flavor and preserve it. God wants His Holy Spirit to permeate the lives of His children in what they say, think, and do. In other words, being filled with the Spirit is not limited to one, isolated instance.
To be filled with the Spirit means that God’s Spirit infuses every aspect of our lives. He saturates our prayer life, our worship life, and our business life too. He influences the way we treat others. To be filled with the Spirit is walking thought by thought, decision by decision, and act by act, under the Spirit’s control.
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